Prepare Like Lance is Coming – Agosto’s Co-Founder Shares Advice

Agosto co-founder Irfan Khan is racing today in the Leadville Trail 100, a grueling mountain bike race, all above 10,000 feet, across the high-altitude, extreme terrain of the Colorado Rockies. Part of the Lifetime Fitness Leadville Race Series, the race is for the most determined athletes. Starting at 10,152 feet and climbing to 12,424 feet, it is safe to say those of us seated inside our air conditioned homes and offices securely at right around sea level have little idea what kind of endurance the race takes. Agosto is sponsoring the race day videos that enable participants to see video clips of their progress at key points along the race. On a recent visit to Colorado, training for the race, Irfan and Agosto’s Director of Development, Paul Lundberg, caught up with Postini and Authentic8 founder Scott Petry and six-time Leadville 100 winner Dave Wiens.

Irfan asked Dave what it was like to race against Lance Armstrong, whom Dave beat in one of his Leadville 100 victories. Dave shared some insight into what it takes to win on and off the course. He didn’t know until about 10 days before the race that Lance was going to be there. His mechanic happened to talk to Lance’s mechanic, who let on that Lance would be doing the race. Once Dave found out, he knew his preparation was either going to beat Lance or it wasn’t, and that wasn’t good enough. He should have been preparing like Lance was coming, from the beginning.

These days, Dave and his kids have a saying around their house. He regularly asks his three boys, “How are we going to prepare?” The only answer is, “We’re going to prepare like Lance is coming.” Irfan got a great kick out of this, and the conversation led to the fact that we all need to bring our A-game to all that we do. Whether in our athletics, our work or our personal time, we should all prepare for big things to be coming our way. It’s what Lance does, it’s what the founders of Postini, Authentic8 and Agosto do and it’s good advice.

If you’d like to see them, Agosto is sponsoring RaceDay videos, filming from multiple locations capturing each cyclist from the most epic spots along the Leadville Trail 100 race course. These free videos will be provided to participants with their personalized results soon after race day. Visit GoRaceDay.com to view results.

Agosto Sponsors Lifetime Fitness Lutsen 99er with Race Videos in the Cloud

Agosto was a proud technology sponsor of this year’s Lifetime Fitness Lutsen 99er bike race, providing a cloud-based video delivery system for participants.

Taking place in Duluth, Minnesota, the Lutsen 99er course winds through nearly 100 miles (a 39 mile option also offered) of beautiful forests along Minnesota’s North Shore. Beginning at the Lutsen Ski Resort overlooking Lake Superior, the race consists of road and trail that the organizers say has as much moose traffic as people traffic at any given time.

Agosto’s development team devised the race day video system, rendering videos via IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) in the cloud, automatically scaling on demand as resources are needed. Participants were invited after the race to view themselves at various points along the race route. Using Google’s Cloud Platform, the Agosto team creates custom applications to help businesses improve efficiency and reduce costs.

In addition to the technology challenges of the day, Agosto CTO Irfan Khan, faced extreme weather challenges. Duluth and the surrounding area experienced the worst flooding in decades just prior to the race. Local roads and resources were severely damaged across the region, but businesses remained open and tourism was encouraged as immediate volunteer and official repair efforts got underway.

“This year’s Lutsen 99er was a fun but tough race, made more difficult because of the wet ground,” said Irfan. “Agosto is proud to be a race sponsor, with our developers bringing the race day videos to the cloud and to race participants. We’re also proud of the people of Duluth, who have been pushing through the damage to the area’s infrastructure, and we wish them the best.”

To learn more about Agosto’s core Google Apps or Google Cloud Platform work, or to talk to us about how we can help your business, contact us.

Google, Agosto and Okta Host Top Minnesota Companies for Twins vs. Cubs Win

This past Friday night, Agosto, a Google Apps Premier Enterprise Reseller, and its partners at Google and Okta (a company that enables single sign on or SSO) hosted 20 VIP guests from some top Minnesota companies in a suite at Target Field for the Twins vs. the Cubs. To enhance the fun, guests were treated to food, drinks and gift bags loaded with loot from Agosto and Google as well as some of our current clients. Thanks to their generosity, in addition to the Agosto mini-bats and water bottles and Google’s notebooks and pens, there was coffee from Dunn Bros, golf towels from 2nd Wind and baseball hats from CATCO.

The evening kicked off with drinks from a smart bar, which automatically dispenses mixed drinks based on pre-programmed or on-demand recipes and brand preferences. The inventor and company owner, William Metropulus, was even there to show us the ropes. It was a lot of fun for guests to pour their own cocktails without ever touching a bottle. We see this creation going a long way and wish the company all the best.

Google, Agosto and Okta presented an executive overview of Google Apps. We also mentioned our enabling capabilities and Okta’s SSO prowess. Guests were able to check out Google Apps with a customized single sign on login. This provided an opportunity to experience a sampling of all of the host companies’ offerings.

Using Google Sites and Google Spreadsheets, Agosto set up activities. Throughout the evening, guests had a chance to prove their baseball trivia knowledge and guess the outcome of the game. At the end of the game, two lucky winners took home the grand prizes: an iPad and a new Chromebook Series 5 550.

In a close game that went extra innings, the Twins beat the Cubs 8-7. When the Twins win, it’s a big deal. When the Twins beat the Cubs, it’s a party.

Thank you to all of our guests for joining the party with Agosto, Google and Okta. We look forward to seeing you again soon and to helping you hit a homerun with Google Apps and SSO.

Agosto and Google Ready for Business in Canada

After a lot of planning, scouting and strategy meetings it’s official: Agosto has opened its Toronto office and the company is the first Google Apps Premier Enterprise and SMB Reseller to establish a local presence in Canada. Over the past few months, we have co-hosted several events with Google in Canada, where we have heard about the opportunities for a company like Agosto to provide both a strong partnership for Google Apps migrations and deployments. Agosto’s managed service experience, spanning over 11 years, also uniquely positions Agosto to help create new and more cost-effective mobile apps, cloud-based services and solutions for our clients.
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Speaking of clients, as a Premier Reseller of the Google Apps suite of communication and collaboration tools, Agosto already helps companies in Canada including The Second City, to successfully deploy and use Google Apps. At Agosto, we serve clients of all sizes, from CIOs of the largest companies to the volunteer IT staff at small non-profits. A recent complex project included the migration of over 17,000 employees from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps, with employees located in 41 locations across four continents and training for users in eight languages. Agosto is pleased to be able to offer a high level of service to Canadian businesses.

Our new office is located in Suite 2500 of Toronto’s beautiful Eaton Town Centre at 1 Dundas St. West, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z3, Canada. You can reach Agosto at sales@agosto.ca. Send us a message and let us know what IT projects have been lingering on your plate that you’d really like to see through, and let us lend a hand.

The Agosto Team is excited to be in Canada. Look forward to meeting with you soon at one of our events.

Agosto Marks Milestone in Google Apps Partner Ecosystem

 

Today marks a milestone in Agosto’s continued growth in the Google Apps partner ecosystem.

In 2007 we became a Google Apps partner, in 2009 we became a Google Apps Authorized Reseller, and today we became a Google Apps Premier Reseller in both the Enterprise and SMB segments.

Becoming a Premier Reseller is a monumental accomplishment requiring significant effort and dedication from the Agosto Cloud Services team. One of our last projects best captures our abilities: a complex migration from Exchange to Google Apps, 17,000 employees, in 41 locations, across 4 continents, and training users in 8 languages. I am very pleased with what we’ve accomplished and proud to be recognized as one of the top Google Apps partners in North America.

I look forward to 2012 and continuing to help customers leverage Google Apps to further their business.

Innovation Doesn’t Occur in a Vacuum: Atmosphere 2011 Recap

At Google’s 2011 Atmosphere conference Google attempted to answer one question; what does it really take to be innovative?

In front of 350 Fortune 500 CIO’s, speakers used example after example to drive home the point that innovation comes from collaboration not just inspired thought.

Dr. Astro Teller explained how Ben Franklin sat in coffee houses discussing the theory of electricity.  How Gutenberg created the printing press after visiting a winery and learning about wine presses.  Vince Cerf, the inventor of TCP/IP discussed how TCP/IP only came into existence though the collaborative efforts of many different teams across different companies.  The point was succinctly captured by Steven Johnson who coined his speech – chance favors the connected mind.  Innovation doesn’t simply occur.

Businesses today must figure out how to enable an inter-disciplinary exchange of ideas.  This means real-time collaboration and socialization.  As CIO’s, the greatest struggle is to build this collaborative and socially-enabled IT infrastructure that retains a level of control especially as more and more consumer products (iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, etc.) make their way into the organization.

This point was not lost on this audience.  CIO after CIO articulated this point in their own words; each acknowledging that Google’s collaborative products is certainly one crucial step.

Most CIOs admitted to struggling with finding the right balance between corporate governance and collaborative flexibility.  And to make matters harder, their users are putting more and more demands on their IT department by expecting support for their consumer products.

By no means trivial, each CIO had their own plan for overcoming these challenges. The CIOs I spoke with seemed to have the same three items on their list for 2012 initiatives:

1.     Developing and executing a comprehensive cloud strategy
2.     Adapting existing IT governance and controls to better accommodate a cloud strategy
3.     Device agnostic mobile management strategies

These seemingly universal challenges are those that CIOs across all organizations will face in the months ahead. The content forced participants to think big. Through Atmosphere 2011, the best and brightest forward-thinking CIOs sought answers and shared concerns.

– Aric Bandy

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