CONNECTIONS BUSINESS. Summit County Turns to Cloud-Based Solutions. Broadening Broadband 3 // Spotlight on Summit County 4

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1 BUSINESS SEPTEMBER 2015 VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4 CONNECTIONS Summit County Turns to Cloud-Based Solutions Summit County Courthouse is one of the County buildings equipped with All West s hosted PBX system. Broadening Broadband 3 // Spotlight on Summit County 4 Perks to Perk Up Employee Morale 6 // Keep Customers Coming Back 6 Brand Advocates Are Your Raving Fans 7

2 SEPT 15 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS Building loyalty is a great way to build your business. The allegiance of customers, employees or the community may take some time, but it s worth the effort, especially when you consider the costs of getting new business, hiring new workers or a less-than stellar reputation. In this issue of Business Connections, we explore how loyalty can be fostered. We start on page 3 with news about how All West Communications is Broadening Broadband. In an effort to ensure all our business customers have access to the latest technology, we re engaged in a multi-year project with the ultimate goal of getting everyone in our service area on our fast, future-proof fiber network. Business Connections is a publication of All West Communications, 50 W 100 N, Kamas, UT No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, electronic, photocopying, recording, mechanical or otherwise without the prior written permission of All West Communications. All rights are reserved. Editorial and circulation contact: Neal Marchant All brand names and product names used in this publication are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Extra copies of this issue are available to our business customers on a limited basis while supplies last. Contact Neal Marchant at or to make a request. Copyright 2015 by All West Communications and Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. Postmaster send changes to: Neal Marchant All West Communications 50 W 100 N Kamas, UT The Business Spotlight on pages 4 and 5 features Summit County, which has taken steps to ensure its technology is in line with the needs of residents. Its new hosted PBX phone system makes communication more efficient and saves the County money. On page 6, you ll learn about Perks to Perk Up Employee Morale. Many companies are now offering perks that help employees achieve a better work/life balance. What could you do to encourage your workers to stay? Finally, on page 7, discover why Brand Advocates Are Your Raving Fans, and how you can leverage their appreciation of your company. Since potential customers tend to believe messages from other customers, encouraging brand advocates to spread the word about your products and services is a valuable sales tool. All West Communications is here to assist with any business improvements you want to make. Let us know how we can help by contacting our Corporate Sales Executives: Phil Marchant at , or Bobbi Whitehead at Sincerely, Matthew Weller President All West Communications L to R: Phil Marchant, Mary Young, Bobbi Whitehead and Matthew Weller PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER 2 SEPTEMBER 2015

3 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS Broadening Broadband Our fiber build-out supports telecommuting, networking and much more The key to businesses being able to take advantage of the latest Internet offerings is a solid fiber network. Here at All West, we re working hard to ensure all customers in our service area have access to up-to-the-minute broadband technology. What Is Fiber? Optical fiber is a hair-thin strand of glass, specially designed to trap and transmit light pulses. It s unique because it can carry high bandwidth signals over long distances without signal degradation for both upload and download operations. Fiber is considered future-proof because the equipment used to support fiber networks keeps getting better. Equipping an existing network with new electronics and lasers can vastly increase available bandwidth. Therefore, once fiber has been deployed, network operators can increase bandwidth any time at very little cost. Benefits for Every Business Vice President of Marketing and Sales Bridget Watkins describes All West s progress in making this technology work for customers: We re in the process of continuing a significant Fiber to the Premise build in Summit and Wasatch County areas. In Evanston, we have combinations of fiber, copper and co-ax, but we re always moving more customers to fiber. It s an ongoing project, and eventually we hope to have everyone on fiber to improve their online experience. Some of the first entities to get fiber were community anchor institutions, such as hospitals and schools. Other types of businesses have benefitted as well. Telecommuting is becoming a more popular option; for businesses that want to have people work at home, fiber makes it easier to transfer large amounts of data to a remote location. Businesses that monitor utility-type functions, such as water flow, are able to perform these functions more quickly. Condo and apartment complex owners can provide high-speed Internet services to tenants. In addition, companies that have multiple locations can be networked, so anyone in the company can access data quickly and easily. A Variety of Service Options While other companies offer high-speed broadband service, no other provider has the long-standing relationship with the community that All West has. We ve been doing business here for 100 years, and have always contributed to local organizations and events. We were also the first company to launch a Gigabit Internet service to customers in our service areas. Customers that appreciate stability, longevity and a commitment to service can choose from the following services: Basic Business Broadband regular asymmetrical Internet service Premium Broadband symmetrical broadband service with higher speed options Symmetrical Broadband includes a guarantee of service at specific levels Special Circuits Ethernet or other types of connections to connect various locations Business Network consulting for the best types of network for the services you use Hosted PBX Internet phone system Visit to learn more or contact Bobbi Whitehead at or Phil Marchant at SEPTEMBER

4 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT SUMMIT COUNTY Residents benefit from ongoing technology upgrades Summit County provides governmental services for Coalville City, Francis, Henefer, Kamas, Oakley and Park City, ranging from animal control to planning and zoning to emergency management. Supporting a Diverse Population IT Director Ron Boyer notes that about 50 percent of residents have their primary homes in the County, and the other 50 percent are secondary home owners who may only stay in the area for vacations. Boyer says, Our mountains attract a diverse population. We have property owners from all over the world, and we also serve the construction industry and architects who are often from outside the area. The County employs over 290 full-time and 30 part-time people who appreciate the range of tasks, opportunities to fulfill many functions and the stability of government work. Duties in the IT department are especially varied, says Boyer: In a given week, our team might put in a phone system, update a website, put in new wiring and troubleshoot a particular program. A Simplified Phone System Like many businesses and institutions, the County suffered from the 2008 recession, but it was also an opportunity to look at how to operate more efficiently. The phone system at that time had been in service for 15 years and wasn t keeping up with demands. Boyer says, That system was designed for people to be at their desk to take calls or retrieve messages. It just didn t fit in with where technology was going. So, the IT department looked into making a switch. The budget wasn t big enough to accommodate a new system at that time, so changes were made over the next few years. In 2011, the County moved to a cloud-based system that took advantage of All West s fiber deployment. Boyer states, From that, we saw reduced costs and improvements in operation, and we hoped we would see the same type of improvements when we were finally able to get a new phone system. In 2014 the County chose All West to install a hosted PBX system, which enabled a cloud-based solution that was cost-effective and brought the County up to date with current technology. The system keeps the various County locations connected as though they were in the same building, without a lot of extraneous equipment. Boyer says, All we have at each location now is a network switch and the phones. This system has simplified our whole phone deployment, and when we re ready to grow, it can scale up with us. Plus, we ve been able to consolidate our billing. 4 SEPTEMBER 2015

5 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS Boyer has been pleasantly surprised with the results. He comments, When we first started looking at a hosted solution, it seemed expensive, but when we started putting the numbers together, we realized we were saving because of the technical expertise that comes with it. We no longer had to worry about cooling, power, backups and so on, because All West provides that. Those things are a bigger burden for us because we have to provide the infrastructure and energy use for it. It s easier to pay someone that s already set up for it. Plus, there s always someone to take care of things if the system goes down. The Personal Touch Boyer notes that All West provides prompt service when issues arise. He notes, When you need them, they re there. We have some of the technicians personal cell numbers and have developed close relationships with them. With other providers, you never know who you ll get, but All West assigned a person to our account, so we know that when we call them, they ll listen. As yet another benefit, the County appreciates being able to do business with a local company and support the local economy. All West Corporate Sales Executive Phil Marchant observes, Summit County and All West have had an excellent working relationship for many years. We work closely with them to provide solutions such as Internet, TV, analog phone service and VLAN services in addition to the hosted PBX phone system. We feel that it s critical for anchor institutions like the County to have the latest fiber services. When we first started looking at a hosted solution, it seemed expensive, but when we started putting the numbers together, we realized we were saving because of the technical expertise that comes with it. RON BOYER, IT DIRECTOR, SUMMIT COUNTY ALL WEST DELIVERS FAST, CONVENIENT HOSTED PBX When Summit County wanted to replace its old phone system, it chose All West over other vendors for several reasons: With fiber from All West already installed, employees don t have to worry about bandwidth issues, various delivery platforms or complications resulting from multiple providers. When employees have questions or service needs, they place a call and speak with a qualified All West employee. The PBX phone system requires minimal hardware onsite, is updated on a regular basis and is backed up by batteries and generators in case of power outages. All West hosted PBX for Summit County comes with 200,000 minutes of long-distance calling each month. Employees can take their office phone with them via a soft-phone client on their smartphone, laptop computer or tablet. The hosted PBX service includes inter-office dialing to their various office locations, even those in different cities and towns. To learn more about how hosted PBX services can benefit your business, call or SEPTEMBER

6 Perks to Perk Up EMPLOYEE MORALE KEEPING HOW TO KEEP CUSTOMERS COMING BACK Repeat customers are the foundation for business success. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, most retailers should receive between percent of their business from repeat customers. Service businesses (such as those offering landscaping or architectural design) need to have approximately 75 percent of their business from steady clients. How can you foster customer loyalty and increased patronage? Consider these triedand-true incentives: Set up a program that rewards customers for their repeat business, or for referring others. Communicate with repeat customers on a regular basis through letters, s or phone calls. Offer extra services, such as free delivery or more liberal return policies, for repeat customers. Invite repeat customers to shop for sale items a day before sales are announced or run special sales events exclusively for them. Make sure your staff recognizes your company s repeat customers and works to make them feel special. Employee turnover is costly, so figuring out how to keep talented workers is a major concern for businesses. Many companies are now offering perks that help employees achieve a better work/life balance or reward them for exceptional performance. Here are a few creative ideas to help keep your employees happy: On-site Amenities. Internet search giant Google is known as one of the best companies to work for, largely due to amenities offered to employees, including free gourmet meals, dry cleaning drop-off, on-site oil changes and mobile libraries. While Google s employee perks are exceptional, they do illustrate a make long work days easier philosophy that can be implemented on a smaller scale. Spontaneous Rewards. When you notice a specific outstanding achievement, reward the employee right away with a small bonus. It doesn t have to be cash; consider event tickets, movie passes, restaurant certificates or an extra paid vacation day. Company Traditions. A software developer in Virginia gives employees time off every year to participate in a community service project together. Other company traditions to consider are celebrations at the end of your busy season (such as with in-office shoulder massages), or marking the anniversary of each employee s first day with a lunch or small gift. Flexible Work Hours. Employees will be grateful for flexibility that allows them to do their job and still take care of family obligations or make time for outside interests. Is your business able to bend on work hours, even on an occasional basis? It s an inexpensive perk that can prove to be invaluable in employee retention. Corporate Recess. Playworks currently serves more than 900 schools in 23 US cities, providing play-related programming for kids. It also offers Corporate Play Days for adults that serve as an outlet for adults to get active during their workday. Perhaps the company that plays together, stays together. As you reevaluate your company s employee benefits and perks, remember to ask your employees what they d appreciate or what they need in order to work more effectively. 6 SEPTEMBER 2015

7 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS Brand Advocates are Your RAVING FANS Your business can win big by encouraging these customers Customers who buy your products are great, and those who tell a few others about you are even better. But the most valuable type of customers are your raving fans, otherwise known as brand advocates. These customers can have a huge impact on your business since they love it so much they regularly want to sing its praises. Brand advocates will tell glowing stories about your products and services during conversations with friends, family and co-workers. They will also post enthusiastic recommendations online via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Since potential customers tend to believe messages that come from other customers more than messages directly from companies, encouraging brand advocates to spread the word about your products and services is a valuable sales tool. While some people will naturally be more excited about your offerings than others, you can take steps to help encourage and develop brand advocates. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 1. Hire employees who are passionate about your products and your mission. This enthusiasm will naturally spread to customers. 2. Provide great products with desired features. It may seem obvious, but product features are the factor that advocates mention most when asked what makes them want to rave about a company. 3. Find out what your customers are passionate about, and create promotions that drive those factors. For example, many consumers are passionate about outstanding customer service; Nordstrom and Zappos are two companies that have taken note and created exceptional customer service and many brand advocates. 4. Make it easy for brand advocates to cheer about you. Provide social links on your website product pages, articles, blogs and any other content you post online. 5. Consider offering rewards. Acknowledging brand advocates with discounts, freebies and special services can ensure they continue spreading the word. However, proceed carefully, as other customers may be turned off if they believe you are paying advocates to share their enthusiasm. 6. Make it easy for advocates who create their own content to share it with the world. For example, you could create a section on your website devoted to customers who want to post photos of themselves using your products. 7. Track and measure advocacy for your brand. Research the best online tools to determine what people are saying about you, and use the information to build future promotions. Loyal brand advocates are more than just customers; in fact, you should consider them an informal extension of your marketing department. Nurture them and watch your business score! SEPTEMBER

8 GO BIG & GO GIG INCREDIBLY, AMAZINGLY, EXTREMELY FAST INTERNET How fast is a Gig? It s equal to 1,000 Mbps of Internet speed. Which means the data transferring, downloading and uploading that used to take your business hours can now be done in minutes. Call 866-ALL-WEST today to speed up your Internet! Or visit us online for details and pricing. If you have different speed needs, ask about our new Premium Fast Fiber Symmetrical plans at 25 Mbps, 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps. *Not available in all areas. Contact us for details and availability. 866-ALL-WEST 50 W 100 N, Kamas, Utah Cornerstone Group 2015

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