Archive for month: April, 2019

Get to know GeoLinks’ Director of Human Resources Amanda Gonzalez

amanda gonzalez - geolinks

Get to know Amanda Gonzalez: Director of Human Resources

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

As the Director of Human Resources, my role at GeoLinks is to recommend how to strategically manage people as business resources within our company. This includes recruiting and hiring employees with specific skill sets to meet the company’s current and future goals, coordinating employee benefits, and suggesting employee training and development strategies. My position also requires me to advise managers and the executive team on issues related to employees, and how they can help the organization achieve its goals. HR deals with people, and that means investing in developing skills for the future, building loyalty and commitment, building a talent pipeline, and staying current and competitive within the market.

Get to know GeoLinks’ Director of Human Resources Amanda Gonzalez

2. What got you to the position you are in today…what came before GeoLinks?

I worked in healthcare administration for 7 years prior to my employment with GeoLinks. I started off in HR and recruiting and worked my way up into a Director of Operations role in home health. Working in home health can be very difficult as you deal with sick patients and grieving families. This aspect of health care was particularly difficult for me to encounter on a daily basis. Eventually, this led me to wanting to explore other career opportunities in an entirely different field. Although I love healthcare, my job search led me to become interested in looking for employment in tech. My research eventually lead me to GeoLinks, and the rest is history!

3. What’s something that most GeoLinks’ clients might not know about GeoLinks’ company culture?

GeoLinks embodies what it means to have a company culture that is truly family oriented. I loved that within the first 2 weeks of starting with GeoLinks, I met many of my coworker’s children. It’s not uncommon that you see kids running around the office and playing in our game room. GeoLinks treats their employees like family. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that GeoLinks has created a culture that promotes the importance of family within and outside the workplace.

4. For anyone reading wishing to apply for a position at GeoLinks, any insider tips?

Get connected, research, and reach out! Do connect with us on LinkedIn. This will prompt you to check out what we do and do more research on the company. There is nothing I love more than a candidate reaching out and saying, “Hey, I see you are hiring, and based on my research this is why I’m a great fit for GeoLinks…..” That is a total mic drop, for me. Check out our current job postings on our career page.

GeoLinks’ Director of Human Resources Amanda Gonzalez - GeoLinks.com5. Outside of work…what is your favorite pastime or hobby?

I love to travel! Traveling, and learning about different cultures is a passion of mine. There is nothing better than being in a different part of the world and immersing yourself in their food and culture. I also love to learn languages. I currently speak 2, and want to learn another. I’d like to learn 7 in my lifetime.

6. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

I am deathly afraid of birds. I mean hyperventilating, panic attack, hysterically crying fear of birds. I know this is a weird phobia. However, this stems back to when I was little and my uncle had a mean rooster in his backyard. The rooster would attack me whenever I wanted to go in the yard to play with my cousins.

7. What’s your favorite (either personal or work-related) tech product or device? Why?

Probably Cliché, but my Samsung Galaxy S9. I do everything from shopping to taking photos with my phone. My relationship with my phone is probably unhealthy lol.

Get to know GeoLinks’ Director of Human Resources Amanda Gonzalez - GeoLinks.com

8. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

That’s easy, I’d be in Barcelona eating at my favorite tapas, Cerveseria Catalana. If you ever go to Barcelona this is a MUST!!

9. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?  

Keep moving forward – Walt Disney

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

Growth! We are on the brink of a lot of exciting opportunities happening within our company, and I can’t wait to see where all this leads us to.

Interested in applying for a position with GeoLinks? Explore our current openings on our Career Page.

Local internet service provider wins $87.8 million in government funding

 Local internet service provider wins $87.8 million in government funding - GeoLinks - Ryan Hauf

Photo taken by GeoLinks Co-Founder and CTO Ryan Hauf

 

A local internet service provider is going regional, thanks to $87.8 million in funding from the federal government.

GeoLinks, an 8-year-old Camarillo-based ISP that primarily serves businesses and rural areas, is among several companies that will receive funding from the Federal Communication Commission’s Connect America Fund Phase II Auction. The company plans on using the capital to bring high-speed internet to rural communities previously lacking connectivity.

The first phase of the fund was held around five years ago and catered to larger, national ISPs.

Money from the fund’s second phase, which totals around $1.5 billion, will be paid out in monthly installments over a 10-year period. GeoLinks will receive $731,000 monthly starting in May, according to CEO Skyler Ditchfield. The company is primarily focused on providing internet service to rural regions and businesses that may be overlooked by the nation’s larger ISPs.

Ditchfield said money from the Connect America fund would allow GeoLinks to create a residential division but said the focus would still be on primarily rural areas.

“It enables connectivity in rural parts of California,” Ditchfield said. “People that live in those locations can try new business ventures, educate themselves better and enable a lot of new internet services like video.”

GeoLinks currently provides internet service to various parts of Ventura County and most other Southern California counties. Local areas serviced by the company include rural parts of Ojai and Thousand Oaks. The company also services entities such as schools, libraries and hospitals in rural areas across the state.

The company plans on using the bulk of the money for new equipment and infrastructure, such as towers, wireless links and distribution. GeoLinks also plans on using around $5.5 million of the funding it will receive to service areas on the California-Nevada border. While GeoLinks will use some of the funding to begin servicing parts of Camarillo and Oxnard, it will also allow the company to make a larger regional push into the Central Valley and around northeastern parts of the state.

The company is allowed up to six years to use the funds to build out its network, although Ditchfield said GeoLinks aims to complete work within four years. As payments will be doled out throughout the next decade, funds received after the network is built will be used for operating costs, such as rent and maintenance.

Applications for the third phase of the fund will likely open in late 2019.

Tyler Hersko covers business news for the Ventura County Star. Reach him at [email protected] or 805-437-0312.

MORE: Camarillo-based GeoLinks joins universities on wildfire project

Get to know GeoLinks’ Project Coordinator Tania Wiley

Tania Wiley GeoLinks

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

I’m one of GeoLinks’ Project Coordinators. I help both our team and our clients with basically anything and everything that is needed in the sales process. I can be qualifying an address one minute, and the next I can be helping draw up a proposal, updating orders, or sending post-install information to end users.

2. What’s your favorite part about working for GeoLinks?

I love my team, as well as the great work-life balance. Working here, you don’t get shot down when you have questions, and everyone has an open-door policy. I can even go to our C-level management with questions, and they are always willing to genuinely hear me out and answer. Same thing goes for the rest of the team. Also, never a dull moment here…I work with some funny people!

3. Not having a telecom background, what drew you to the industry, and what elements of telecom do you find the most interesting?

I find the ever-changing platforms within the industry, and the way our team adapts and evolves accordingly, incredibly interesting. For example, we recently starting offering SD-WAN. I was able to witness our teams’ brilliant behind-the-scenes R&D transpire into the physical product our sales team now sells daily!

Tania Wiley GeoLinks4. What do you think makes GeoLinks different from its competitors?

The passion, efficiency, and collaborative dedication that each and every member of our team demonstrates daily. For example, GeoLinks provided a free same-day circuit to Red Cross during the recent local wildfires.

5. Outside of work…what is your favorite past time or hobby?

I love kickboxing and Krav Maga. I took a break for a bit but I plan to start back up soon! I’m also a big fan of the entertainment industry, so catching up on the newest shows and movies at home is where you can find me after work. I also enjoy finding new local and unique businesses to support. There is a lot of momentum coming from the younger generations, and it’s exciting!

6. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

Hmm, that’s a hard one. I’m an open book. But I would have to say that I have an extremely eclectic taste in music. Some current genres I’m listening to are classical music, country, and old school hip hop, amongst others.

7. Born and raised in Southern California, what are your top three favorite things about working and Tania Wiley GeoLinks.comliving in Ventura County?

I’ve been lucky to live close to where I work, so the short commute and living near family definitely tops the list. Next I would say is the weather! Lastly, I enjoy the proximity to LA and Santa Barbara County. While nearby, Ventura County still maintains a small town feel which I love. 

8. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

I would go to Paris! It’s been on my bucket list for a while. I would visit Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, and roam the streets eating all the French cuisine I possibly could!

9. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

Hustle hard, stay humble.

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

I’m a person that likes to learn everything about my position no matter what I am doing, so expanding into a Project Manager role would be awesome! Also, I am excited about all the opportunities that arise in this company, and how quickly they can come about; I’m also grateful about all the talent I get to work alongside. I’m an optimist if you can’t tell. The sky’s the limit!

 

Wildfire Technology Innovation Summit

Lessons Learned in San Diego – Panel at California’s First Ever Wildfire Technology Innovation Summit

Moderator:

Jessica Block, Assistant Director of WIFIRE Lab, Qualcomm Institute, UC San Diego

Panelists:

1. Skyler Ditchfield, CEO, GeoLinks

2. Tony Mecham, San Diego Unit Chief, CAL FIRE

3. Brian D’Agostino, Director of Fire Science & Climate Adaptation, SDG&E

4. Graham Kent, Director, Nevada Seismological Lab, University of Nevada-Reno

Should Your Business Invest in SD-WAN?

Should Your Business Invest in SD-WAN? - Geolinks.com

What is SD-WAN, and how can it benefit your business?

To stay competitive in today’s fast-paced digital landscape, organizations must evolve and adapt their internal networks to support the latest and greatest business software and technology.

Enter SD-WAN.

SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) utilizes software to simplify the process of delivering the WAN (Wide Area Network), ultimately making business procedures quicker, more cost-effective, and more reliable. In order to understand why SD-WAN is growing in popularity, let’s take a step back and look at the fundamental network problems the technology addresses and resolves.

The Origins of SD-WAN

To deliver the services and applications necessary to perform key-business functions, multi-location companies utilize WANs to connect remote offices to both each other and centralized data centers. However, when networks are extended over long distances, operational challenges like high jitter, packet loss, network congestion, and outages can occur. To address these issues, IT professionals have been creating and experimenting with redundant telecommunication links since the 1970s.

Fast forward to the early 2000s, and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) became a highly utilized data-carrying technique for high-performance telecommunications networks. However, the reality is that MPLS infrastructure is both expensive and slow to deploy, therefore becoming restrictive to an increasingly impatient society focused on efficiency and rapid expansion. Thus, come 2013 the concept of a “Hybrid WAN” was introduced to the market. By 2014 networking publications started utilizing the term SD-WAN to describe the new networking trend.

With the promise of significant cost and time savings, the enterprise client became the first to employ SD-WAN, ultimately causing the market to perceive the technology as an enterprise-only solution. However, SD-WAN also enables small and medium sized businesses to adopt an upgraded corporate-like infrastructure. Therefore, SD-WAN has become a dynamic solution for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Should Your Business Invest in SD-WAN?

So, what is SD-WAN? SD-WAN is a software-based approach to managing WAN connections to more effectively route all network traffic between headquarters or data centers, remote and branch offices, and the cloud.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. The promise of SD-WAN goes far beyond simply connecting multiple office locations.

SD-WAN…

  • Is less expensive than MPLS drastically driving down operational and capital expenditures.
  • Is software-based and delivered via the cloud allowing for quick enablement of new branches or remote offices.
  • Assures optimal application performance and dynamic multi-path optimization and routing.
  • Gives companies the agility to implement changes quickly to accommodate evolving customer and market trends.
  • Reduces security threats through comprehensive encryption and micro-segmentation, ultimately securing the flow of data.
  • Has a centralized orchestrator that monitors all network activity, alerting branches of problems, and enabling the remote remediation of issues.
  • Delivers real-time analytics and reporting across the entire network.
  • …and More

If all of that seems irrelevant to your business, consider that SD-WAN can benefit your business if…

Your Company Relies Heavily on the Internet

How much money would it cost you if your business was down a couple hours? Now, if the answer is not much, then SD-WAN might not be all that profitable for your business. However, if after 30-minutes of downtime your employees would frantically be driving to the nearest Starbucks to get back online, switching or upgrading to SD-WAN is definitely worth considering.

SD-WAN has the ability to combine multiple Internet connections together to act as one. This means that if one connection fails, SD-WAN can issue automatic failover to your backup connection. That’s right, no need to call up your IT provider, wait for a response, and then get manually switched over to the backup Internet connection. It’s “Internet insurance” in real time. Interested in securing true business continuity and 100% uptime for your business? Check out our blog: Disaster Recovery Plan – The Only Way to Ensure Business Continuity.

Your Business Uses Cloud Applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, Etc.

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen an upstream of organizations leveraging software as a service (SaaS) applications and cloud services from providers such as Google, AWS, and Microsoft Azure. This has caused data traffic patterns to move to the cloud.

Because traditional WAN architectures are not built to support this migration, cloud applications repeatedly encounter extra hops, ultimately wasting bandwidth, increasing costs, and generating higher packet loss and latency.

SD-WAN, on the other-hand, defines policies based on business intent and steers traffic intelligently and securely forgoing additional hops. For example, if the app is hosted somewhere in the cloud, then traffic will be automatically directed to it without backhauling to a POP or HQ data center. By adapting this more agile network infrastructure, businesses will experience overall higher application performance.

Your Business Uses Hosted Voice (VoIP)

Hosted Voice - GeoLinks.com

Imagine the following scenario—you have a very important conference call scheduled for 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. You’ve reviewed all the paperwork, made sure everything is in order, and are ready to go. The call starts off well. Then suddenly, unbeknownst to you, someone in your office starts watching a 4k YouTube video and your call starts to suffer the consequences. The other person on the call becomes gargled. You can’t understand what is being said. You keep saying, “What” and “Can you repeat that? Sorry. You’re breaking up.” Not good.

SD-WAN allows for easy prioritization of traffic. This means that conference calling can always be prioritized over YouTube traffic. This ensures business critical applications, such as voice and video, are never compromised due to off-task coworkers. To learn more about business phone systems check out: From POTS to VoIP – A Look at Today’s Top Phone Systems for Business

So, Should Your Business Switch to SD-WAN?

Today, having a static and inflexible network architecture is no longer plausible for companies that depend on Internet-based applications. From the associated cost of digital downtime, to compromised application and voice performance, ensuring your company’s internal network operations are safeguarded to function seamlessly is essential for success.

Still not sure if SD-WAN is right for your business? Talk to one of GeoLinks’ in-house experts to learn more, and find out if  Your Business Should Invest in SD-WAN.

Should Your Business Invest in SD-WAN? GeoLinks

Get to know Noah Laughon, GeoLinks’ Business Development Representative

1. Let’s start with the basics, what’s your role at GeoLinks?

Business Development Representative. As a GeoLinks’ BDR, I primarily work with and manage our Indirect Sales relationships and partnerships within the Channel and Wholesale.  

2. What’s your favorite product or service that GeoLinks offers?

The product that I am most proud of has to be our ClearFiber™ solution. It has continued to change the way the industry thinks of Fixed Wireless while simultaneously diversifying the market for Internet solutions.

Noah Laughon GeoLinks

3. Outside of work…what is your favorite pastime or hobby?

Spending time with my wife and daughter. Granted, my daughter is only 7 months old, so usually that time is spent on walks, throwing toys out of a basket because she is more interested in the basket itself, and making a mess of pureed sweet potatoes.

4. What’s something that most GeoLinks’ clients might not know about the company?

That we started out of the very small rural community of Ojai, Califonia. It is the reason we care so deeply about bringing broadband into underserved areas across California and America. I never knew about the Digital Divide before working for GeoLinks. The fact that schools and communities are still without high speed internet, is simply shocking to me. I am proud to work for a company who is actively working on closing that divide.

5. What’s something most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

Probably that I play and write music. It isn’t something I talk about a lot but has been one of my longest hobbies.

6. Do you have any cool or unique client case studies you could share with us?

One of the things I always love to share is how we brought a reliable multi-gigabit circuit to the island of Catalina using Fixed Wireless technology. We were able to accomplish something that no other WISP had been able to do by integrating multiple links for redundancy with automatic failover, over 30+ miles of ocean.

noah laughon geolinks7. You are allowed to do anything you want, anywhere in the world, for one whole day…what do you do and where do you go?

I would take my family to the Cliffs of Moher and explore Ireland as much as possible. I have a decent amount of Irish heritage but have never been myself. That is something I would love to experience with my wife and daughter.

8. Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

“We are what we believe we are” – C.S. Lewis.

We live in a society that is driven by what people think about us and who we are. We develop that as a personal belief about ourselves, and in turn, start to reflect that in our actions and thoughts. If you are able to tune that out, learn who you are, and start believing positive things about yourself, you can go pretty far in life. It is amazing what our opinion of ourselves can do to our lives.

9. What’s your favorite part about being a Business Development Representative?

For me, it is all about the people. I get to build lasting relationships, work with new people, and solve new problems every day. It keeps me on my toes and is never boring!

10. What’s next…what are you most excited for when you think of your future with GeoLinks?

We are a company that moves, adapts, evolves, and pushes hard to close the Digital Divide. So the thing I am most excited for is to continue to be a part of that in any way that I can.

Are you a wholesaler or do you work with a master agency? If so, connect with Noah directly by calling 805-640-5560 or emailing him at [email protected]