Volunteer Days: Corporate Marketing flexes their non-creative muscles

Softchoice’s Corporate Marketing team is known for such things as organizing great events, coordinating sales training programs and designing spectacular campaigns…but little did you know about the team’s ability to move a whole lotta heavy stuff!

Last Friday, October 14th the entire team took one of our volunteer days off together and spent it at a Habitat for Humanity build in the east end of Toronto. After consuming a large amount of coffee to ease the early morning chilly start, we were suited up in hard hats and steel-toe boots and put to work.

With dreams of being assigned the “cool” tasks such as  framing, drilling or sawing we soon realized our task may not be as glamorous as we had hoped. With our Habitat Team Leader’s message of “every job is important” as our inspiration, we set off on our job for the day – moving a LOT of stuff. A huge area needed to be cleared of supplies to make room for digging the foundation of the next house. Piles and piles of wood, scaffolding, pipes and metal had to be moved from one end of the site to another. Others may have been disheartened by the somewhat boring task, but not us! Before we knew it an assembly line was formed, songs were being sung, nicknames were being allocated and everyone was laughing and having a great time. The best part – we totally impressed the Team Leader by finishing in record-time and having the best stacked piles of wood he’s ever seen. We actually may have created a new Six Sigma process for wood moving and stacking!

We ended off the day by signing our names on the frame and then heading out to share some cold beverages together. Overall, it was an incredible day of team-building (even though we didn’t get to participate in any “real” building) and most importantly – we did our part to help 8 families in our community have a new home to call their own.

 

Reliving The Excitement of Prom!

“There’s a big world out there. Bigger than prom, bigger than high school, and it won’t matter if you were the prom queen or the quarterback of the football team or the biggest nerd. Find out who you are and try not to be afraid of it.” – The Breakfast Club

If you remember these words from that famous 80s movie – we know it’s true. Our employees are in the big world now but  for just one day, wouldn’t it be fun for them to kick it up a notch and tap into the excitement of what prom was all about all those years ago?

Our Toronto Telesales Team sure thought so! Today, all showing up to work in their finest prom-wear. It was all part of our monthly theme days at our Toronto location to boost the excitement and energy on the Telesales floor! Our Customer Service Reps, Inside Sales Account Managers and Territory Sales Reps all joined in on the fun to get dressed up, have a laugh and enjoy a team lunch. Past themes have also included “baseball day” and “everyone’s birthday day”.

Do you have some ideas or sure fire ways to add fun and energy in your office? If yes, then share your ideas with us – we may just use them!

Softchoice Toronto Goes Wildly Green!

This past Friday the Corporate Marketing and Business Development teams joined forces with the Softchoice Green Team to bring Softchoice the greenest, most environmentally friendly, beer cart ever. Dubbed as ‘Green Day’, the event embraced all that is green in celebration of World Environment Day. Unlike other beer carts- and with Mother Nature on our side- the team managed to throw a rockin’ party outdoors; a fantastic way to start the weekend and get people excited for the summer!

So what was so green about it anyway?

As World Environment Day was to be celebrated on June 5th – the team kicked it up a notch by doing their best to reduce the environmental impact of this event. The scrumptious food was local – thus supporting our local community and reducing our Co2 emissions. To be specific, the team ordered fingers foods- meaning no napkins, plates, or spoons which lead to zero waste! We also purchased herbs from a local greenhouse to use as décor for the event and then sold them off for charity- now there’s an idea! [Read more…]

Put a lid on it!

Office Compositing Program at Softchoice

In October 2010, Softchoice started its first composting program in the Toronto office. This idea was something that was talked about for quite some time but was never initiated due to some specific challenges that the Green Team had to face.

For a lot of people, the first things that come to mind when you think of office composting are odor and insects – definitely not something wanted in the office, especially an office of 500+ employees!

After speaking to our waste management vendor, we learned ways that these problems can be completely avoided and keep reluctant co-workers happy. [Read more…]

PUE Calculator Update

In a previous post  I talked about the project I was going to take on to find out PUE number.  Well it turns out that it wasn’t nearly as easy as I thought it was going to be.  Softchoice’s main data center is managed out of a co-location, so no matter how much power and cooling we actually use, we are still going to pay for a specific amount.  It sounds like unless we can consolidate enough to remove an entire rack of equipment, our price and power won’t change.

We also have a smaller back up data center in our Toronto office as well.  So again I worked with a very nice person in our IT department who took the time out to talk to me again.  Unfortunately I got the same answer out of him.  Our Toronto office is on a monthly plan with our power company that allows us to pay the same amount every month regardless of what we use. 

Now I am kind of stuck for ideas.  Even if we measure and find our PUE number there isn’t anything we can do about it.  Has anyone else run into this yet?  We have consolidated on the newest equipment in the industry already so I don’t think we can shrink our data center footprints any further.  But now what?

A Summer full of fun (and fundraising)

Through a variety of activities from April until August, employees managed to raise dollars for Softchoice Cares:

  • BBQ in Montreal
  • Beer Cart Raffles
  • Biggest Loser Competition Company-Wide
  • Book Fair in St Louis (organizer: Vicky Zeis)
  • Habitat for Humanity Builds in: Montreal, DC, LA/Irvine, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Atlanta
  • Windows 7 technical training (organizer: Rebecca Horton)
  • Marra Farms – One Brick Event in Seattle (organizer: Larissa Tietjen)
  • MKG Self Defense class in Seattle (organizer: James Kessenich)
  • NorCrawl event in Atlanta (organizers: Kellie Boggs and Jody Girard)
  • SBM Canada Golf Tournament in Toronto
  • Seattle Golf Tournament (organizer: Lisa Yu)
  • Street Hockey in Toronto (organizer: Peter Cibula)
  • Trivia Night in Seattle and Toronto (organizers: Karly Billstein and Melissa Alvares)
  • World Cup Pool, company-wide (organizer: Peter Cibula)
  • Selling Softchoice Cares T-shirts
  • Seattle Movie Night