Tag Archives: Las Vegas

The New “Vegas Bucket List” (Tech Edition)

Who doesn’t have a Vegas bucket list? But if you’re a technologist visiting Vegas for one of the over twenty two thousand conventions held here each year, this is the bucket list for you.

We all know Vegas casinos are fat with technology, from the security to the slot machines, digital signage to the property management systems. But this Vegas Bucket List will get you out of the casinos and off the strip to discover the emerging technology sector Las Vegas is beginning to be known for.

The number of companies doing amazing things you would never image coming out of Las Vegas is too large for a single list. Below is my top 5 list of a few thing that should be on your Vegas Tech Bucket List.

#1. TOUR A SWITCH SUPER NAP

The coolest Las Vegas company you’ve possibly never heard about. Las Vegas is home to a growing number of Switch Super Naps. Huge, world class, data centers. And when I say data center, trust me, a Switch Super Nap is not like any data center you’ve seen before. It’s not surprising that companies of all sizes are gobbling up rack space in their growing number of locations. In addition to their data centers, Switch has opened the Rob Roy InNEVation Centeras a collaborative work environment for technology companies, to support economic growth in Las Vegas.

#2. VISIT ZAPPOS.COM HEADQUARTERS

Acquired by Amazon.com in 2009, the 1.2 Billion dollar company has become one of the world’s largest online shoe stores. Zappos is commonly referred to as a company that has redefined the customer service model and is consistently ranked in the top 25 on Forbes “Best Companies to Work For”. Take one of the company tours of it’s Las Vegas headquarters (Zappos purchased and moved into the old Las Vegas City Hall building in 2013) and you’ll be in for a eye opening approach to Customer Service.

#3. WALK THE NEW LAS VEGAS DOWNTOWN FREMONT EAST AREA

When Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh needed to find a new home for the rapidly expanding Zappos, he considered building a corporate campus in the same vain as many of the Silicon Valley giant tech companies. He and his team chose a different path, instead of building a community of just Zappos employees, why not embed the Zappos family into a larger more diverse community. From that the DownTown Project was hatched with a $350 million investment to transform Downtown Las Vegas. Designating $200 million to real estate investments, $50 million for small businesses, $50 million for education and $50 million to develop a tech startup community through the Vegastech Fund. The Downtown project offers tours of much of the redevelopment and new development that is turning Downtown Las Vegas to a rich vibrant community of tech startup companies.

#4. EXPLORE THE #VEGASTECH SCENE

The #vegastech scene reaches far beyond Downtown into all areas of the Las Vegas and Henderson communities. While Switch, Zappos and Downtown Project are the anchors for the new and growing tech community, there is a growing number of established and startup technology companies calling Southern Nevada home. A short list of some of my favorite #vegastech tech companies include:

AliceReceptionist Banjo CheckiO CrowdHall DocBeat Equiinet Fandeavor iStreamPlanetJobHive JusCollege LaunchKey LocalMotors MoveDocs Moveline OrderWithMe PrimeloopRobocoin Rolltech Shift SkyWire SkyWorks Tealet TechCocktail Tracky TurntableHealth.Vegas WorldViewExperience Wedgies Zuldi

#5. SEE THE WORLDS LARGEST SOLAR PLANT

On the Nevada-California board sits the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation System, currently the world’s largest solar power plant. Owned by NGR Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy, the site can produce nearly 400 megawatts – enough power for 140,000 homes. There are currently 89 solar companies at work throughout Nevada employing 2,400 professionals. Nevada ranks 5th in the county in installed solar capacity.

BONUS: DISCOVER WHERE DRONES FLY

In December of 2013, Nevada was named one of six states by federal officials to develop test sites for drones and was cleared in 2014 for the FAA’s first drone test site flight. Nevada has a rich history with drone technology with pilots at the Creech Air Force Base located in Nevada, flying many of the US military oversees drone missions. This is a bonus item because, well, it is a highly secured military base, so use good judgement. With the recent federal designations, Nevada may soon be at the forefront of commercial drone advancements. In fall of 2014 UNLV will begin offering students a Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Minor program to educate students in this fast growing technology. Already local companies like SkyWorks are moving forward with commercial drone development.

The future of the technology sector in Las Vegas is bright and a sure bet to continue it’s rapid growth for the foreseeable future.

Who knows, you may just find a reason to come back to Vegas more often to do business with one of these companies, and having another reason to justify a Vegas trip is never a bad thing.

Written by: Mike Yoder

Twitter – @mikeyoder

Rise of the Remote Worker

Has the time of the remote worker arrived?

Remote office workers have been commonplace in the tech community for over a decade. With employees working from home, coffee shops, public areas and just about anywhere they can find good WiFi and close proximity to strong coffee.

But technology companies have been ahead of the curve on this, while the majority of corporate america has been slow to implement policies or programs to allow their workers to work from remote locations. One of the main arguments against a remote workforce has been the loss of connectivity and the cohesiveness of it’s team members. Admittedly this was true for many years. With Email and telephone as the main tools available to stay connected, there are clear limits to the effectiveness of teams to communicate ideas and engage in immerse collaboration. To understand why most companies have yet to embrace telecommuting, we need to understand what we loose when we communicate without visual elements.


Effective communications involves much more then words

In the late 1970’s Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements ie. facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc.

A master of story telling without verbal communications, Charlie Chaplin in his 1931 silent film “City of Lights”

Understanding how we communicate helps explain why in the past, email and phone communications has limited the effectiveness of remote workers. When communications is carried out without the benefit of the visual component our conversation suffers. As Dr. Mehrabian showed in his study, 55% of effectively communicating with others involves clues and inferences we are accustomed to receiving through face to face communications.


Face to Face video communications changes everything

ALICE Receptionist virtual building receptionist

When we add video to our communications we achieve the most effective and natural way to relay our message to others. This allows teams to engage in immerse, natural conversations.


Video agent for car rental kiosk

Video bank teller

One area ripe for remote workers is customer service. Companies are starting to empower their employees to engage with customers in face to face communications using 2-way video. The technology is now reliable and affordable enough to take hold in all sorts of business environments. Some examples include full-service video kiosk, video bank tellers, video drive-through cashiers, and our technology ALICE Receptionist just to name a few.

You can expect to see these remote video workers showing up in all sorts of industries in the coming years.

Video ordering at a Starbucks drive-through


Federal Appeals Court Rules clears way for Remote Worker rights.

Agency Charged Automaker Denied Employee the Chance to Telework; Sixth Circuit Agrees Case Should Go Forward

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a former employee of Ford Motor Corp. who was terminated from employment, when she informed her employer that she needed to work remotely from home due to a medical condition. Ford terminated the employee and the employee sued for discrimination, claiming she could effectively perform the duties of her job by telecommuting. On April 22, 2014 the court ruled to reverse a lower courts dismissal of the suit and allowed the suit by the EEOC on behalf of the fired employee to proceed.


Will these recent development lead to a spike in similar claims from employees? Will companies be forced to allow certain types of employees to telecommute in the near future? It’s too early to tell, but the fact that remote workers are a growing portion of the workforce and that advancing technology will likely accelerate this trend is difficult to deny. From all indications telecommuting is here to stay, the old arguments against it are becoming difficult to defend. Maybe the question we should be asking is how do we look on camera?

A Note from the CTO’s Desk: ALICE Receptionist & ELO Touchscreen Solutions

An excerpt from today’s release about the partnership we have entered with Elo Touchscreen Solutions, the original inventor of touchscreen technology:

“Elo’s 42-inch touchscreen plus WinTech LLC’s ALICE™ receptionist software enables employees to communicate with visitors in the lobby from their desks using face-to-face video or audio-only conversations. Guests are automatically greeted and told how to use the interactive directory without losing the personal touch of human customer service. The intuitive, one-touch interface makes it easy for a receptionist in a central location to manage several remote office lobbies. Visitors no longer feel “lost” upon entering a company lobby; and employees feel more secure knowing visitors will automatically be greeted. ALICE receptionist operates 24/7 and is always available to welcome office visitors.”

The Elo Corporate Collaboration Solution

The Elo Corporate Collaboration Solution

Today marks a new chapter for WinTech and ALICE Receptionist. Today we announced a partnership with ELO Touch Solutions to offer ALICE Receptionist as part of ELO’s newly created “Elo at The Office” business solution suite.
ELO Touch Solutions is the original inventor of touchscreen technology and is a global leader in touchscreen manufacturing and sales of touchscreen devices. Because of the interactive nature of ALICE Receptionist, ELO is a perfect partner for us as our software complements their hardware, and their hardware works perfectly with the ALICE Receptionist software.

With this partnership, ELO resellers around the globe will now be able to sell ALICE Receptionist as part of a package that includes ELO all-in-one touch computers with screen sizes from 32-inch to 70-inch.

For WinTech, this is the first of a number of key partnerships which will make ALICE Receptionist available to businesses, government agencies and organizations around the globe. The ELO partnership alone will immediately add hundreds of reseller organizations who are already selling Elo’s interactive solutions, to begin offering ALICE Receptionist.

We know businesses are looking for a technology solution that provide increased building security, improved visitor interaction and empowers their employees to manage multiple locations remotely. ALICE Receptionist does this and much more and continues to be the most advanced technology solution in this market. The Elo partnership will help us reach those companies who are looking for but have not heard of ALICE Receptionist yet.
We are honored that an industry leader such as ELO has chosen to partner with WinTech and understands the value ALICE Receptionist will bring to their customers.

Cheers,
Mike Yoder
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer

To read the full press release CLICK HERE. 

ALICE Receptionist wins StartupCamp 8 at the IT Expo

ALICE Receptionist StartupCamp 8“ALICE Receptionist can revolutionize the front desk like Nest did to the thermostat.”

That’s what a judge said to a live audience at the StartupCamp 8 event at this year’s IT Expo.  It was one of those moments that really makes you step back and reflect on why we work so hard to make ALICE Receptionist.  We are more excited than ever to change the way companies communicate with their visitors.

A great night at what was by far the largest competition event we have entered. Close to 1,000 IT Expo attendees packed the room to watch 4 companies compete for the title of best StartupCamp “Comms Edition.”

We had some great competition with companies TextGen, Perzo, and Perch.  All startups looking to change customer service, how we consume social media, and how we collaborate with each other in the workplace.   We are very grateful to have shared the stage with what were all class act leaders and innovators.

There could only be one winner at this event and we were humbled and grateful to be voted by the audience as best Startup.

Thank you Larry Lisser for putting on such a fantastic event and all the wonderful people at IT Expo.

The journey continues for ALICE, not to just create a great Virtual Receptionist but to fundamentally change the way you service your visitors.

Stay tuned for more great things from the ALICE Receptionist team.

Cheers!

ALICE Receptionist at SXSW V2V

Most of you have heard of SXSW, the huge collision of Tech, Music and Film in Austin, Texas.  What you might not know is SXSW has now branched outside of Austin and created a new event right in our backyard called SXSW V2V!photo

Why Las Vegas for a SXSW offshoot?  It’s simple, Las Vegas has a remarkable community called #VegasTech and it’s the most exciting startup hub in the country.  Seeing the potential of what Las Vegas is building from the Downtown Project to the several other startups spread across the Las Vegas Valley you can’t help but think that SXSW and tech leaders from around the world see Las Vegas as the next great startup city.

The ALICE Receptionist team demoed in Austin this past March with other #VegasTech companies and jumped at the opportunity to do it again here in Las Vegas at the SXSW V2V Startup Spotlight. The best part was we weren’t the only #VegasTech company at the Startup Spotlight! It’s always a pleasure to see the wonderful people from Tracky, an amazing collaboration tool if you haven’t tried it yet and we made some new #VegasTech friends from Cubby Road, a company aimed at making finding child care easier!

It was great demoing our Virtual Receptionist solution to all the attendees from entrepreneurs, VC’s, content creators, and all around amazing people who all contribute to the meaning of “V2V” which swswv2v.com states as: “Visionaries to Vegas, Vision to Venture, Voice to Voice, Venture to Vegas – all the variations of the V2V moniker carry the same theme, the movement from idea to reality.”

Thank you for another great event SXSW, until next time!

-The ALICE Receptionist team

Get Out of the Office and Get Inspired!

Having our company based in Las Vegas has a lot of perks, and no we aren’t talking casino comps, fine dining, and golf courses as far as the eyes can see.

We are talking about the community. You may have heard about an emerging technology hub being born in Las Vegas, collectively called #VegasTech.

The booming start-up community in Las Vegas is nothing short of amazing and we are proud to be a part of such an amazing group of leaders and innovators.

Okay enough of the mushy stuff and to the point. Our office isn’t in Downtown Las Vegas where a lot of the emerging tech companies reside. Wintech LLC the parent company of ALICE Receptionist has actually been creating software solutions in Las Vegas for over 20 years and only 3 years ago decided to focus on our own product, ALICE Receptionist.

The great part of our history in Las Vegas is we have had our own office for some time, the bad part is sometimes we feel disconnected from the amazing community of startups coalescing in Downtown Las Vegas. So a couple of us from the office have decided to try and work from one of the new co-working spots Downtown a couple times a month.

A lot of individuals and companies in the #VegasTech scene have begun working out of a co-working building called Work in Progress (317 S 6th Street), so we figured let’s start there!

Source: www.tech.co

Source: www.tech.co

Source: www.WorkinProgress.lv

Source: www.WorkinProgress.lv

It was a great experience seeing so many familiar faces and getting the opportunity to work in such an energetic environment. The chatter in the background of people discussing different pricing models, the excitement of people sharing new user interface designs for their yet to be released apps, and the sea of coders and designers in head down mode feverishly working to build the next disruptive tech product of the future.

We will definitely be getting a membership to WIP and the moral of the story is even if your work environment is awesome it’s good to get out, explore and work amongst like-minded people because not only is it inspiring to be around so many doers and thinkers you never know what could happen, your next big idea or just meeting a new friend.

Get out of the office, and if you’ve got an ALICE Receptionist system, you can be rest assured knowing visitors can still reach you, even if you’re working remotely. 😉

Virtual Receptionist vs. Virtual Receptionist

shutterstock_108066572

Will the real virtual receptionist please stand up?

As a company we had a hard time deciding if the term “Virtual Receptionist” applied to us.   If you look at the companies that market inside the Virtual Receptionist domain it becomes very apparent on what they do. They are phone answering services and that’s where it ends.   So are we a Virtual Receptionist company?

Well what does a receptionist do?

The Wiki explanation: “A receptionist is an employee taking an office/administrative support position. The work is usually performed in a waiting area such as a lobby or front office desk of an organization or business. The title “receptionist” is attributed to the person who is specifically employed by an organization to receive or greet any visitors, patients, or clients and answer telephone calls.”

Combing thru some job boards, Craigslist and other job websites here is the most common job requirements for a receptionist job:

  • Typing, Filing, Answering phones
  • An upbeat attitude
  • A professional appearance
  • An ability to deal with several situations at once
  • Providing information to callers
  • Running errands — must have good driving record
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Highly organized and detail oriented
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Great attitude
  • Excellent computer skills, must be experienced in Word, Excel, Outlook, Internet Research
  • Team player, but able to work with minimum supervision
  • Must be reliable with good work ethics
  • Experience in a certain industry office setting is preferred
  • Bi-Lingual — Spanish speaking is preferred
  • You must be legally able to work in the US and have proper documentation.

Because ALICE Receptionist empowers your entire organization to manage your front desk via ALICE and the fact that you can take your current receptionist or dedicate one employee to greet visitors, we can say with confidence that ALICE is in fact a Receptionist.  If “virtual” annotates “the quality of having the attributes of something without sharing its (real or imagined) physical form,” then ALICE is indeed a Virtual Receptionist.

So then what are all these other companies really? Virtual Call Centers? Virtual phone answerers? Surely they are not Receptionists.

We will stick to the facts, and the fact is we really are the only Virtual Receptionist company offering real human interaction through 2 way video and accomplishing the tasks that you really look for in a receptionist position.