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The Forbin Blog

Aug 29

20 Years of Doing Web Stuff

Posted by vgmforbin in Forbin History

 

history-blog-header-image

After getting our start as a web hosting and dial-up email service provider, Forbin has become a leader, locally and nationally, in all things web.

Twenty years is a long period of time, whether you’re talking about a person’s age, the age of a rather tasty bottle of wine or how long a particular web company based in Waterloo, IA has been doing web stuff. However, the VGM Forbin that’s alive, kicking, and creating today is a far cry from what it was two decades ago. Before the creative workspace and large team of salespeople, web marketers, designers and programmers, there was one guy with a basement full of modems.

 

The Pre-VGM Years

 

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started Apple in a Jobs’ garage; Sergey Brin and Larry Page started Google in a garage; John Friel started Forbin in his basement. While we’re not on the same level as those two companies (yet), we can appreciate what it means to come from humble beginnings.

 

In 1994, the very infancy of the internet, Friel had several friends and colleagues that dialed in to his server. After outgrowing the basement, Friel moved in with a business partner on 18th Street in Cedar Falls close to the Panther Lounge, and then moved to another building nearby.

 

Current Forbin General Manager Jeremy Kauten, then 19 and studying for a career in law enforcement, began working at Forbin answering the phones to help people using Macintosh computers.

 

“It was all dial up modems back then, you could see the lights in the back of all the different modems people would dial in to,” Kauten said. “If someone dialed off, you could see the light go off.”

 

At that time Forbin was primarily an internet service provider, only hosting their own website. VGM Group, Inc. was one of the first customers Forbin worked with that wanted its own domain name, VGM.com. After that came VGMT.com and VGMgolf.com, and email accounts to go with all of the new domains. With all the new domain names and email addresses being created, a bit of a running joke started.

 

“We would joke, ‘What does VGM do?’ and we always said wheelchairs,” Kauten explained. “But then they got VGMgolf.com which threw us off. So then we said ‘wheelchairs and golf.’”

 

Joining the VGM Family

 

old forbin officeAt this point, VGM was Forbin’s largest customer, so it was a natural transition when the internet service provider turned web hosting company was acquired in 1999. Jim Walsh, President and General Counsel for the VGM Group, Inc., said making the move to bring Forbin into the VGM family was a strategic move to provide better service for the organization’s members.

 

“We realized early on that we needed help here at VGM with reaching our customers via the internet and the worldwide web,” Walsh said.

 

The first impression many VGM employees got of Forbin was on their first official working day as part of VGM, Halloween, a holiday that has always been embraced at VGM.

 

“We all dressed up as a group as Men in Black,” Kauten said, “and we had the light flashing things that one of our people made that actually flashed.”

 

Kauten said he believed other VGM employees “perceived us as different and young, and that’s probably what we were.” Forbin was shuffled around various locations on the VGM main campus, including a garage. Now, after moving to our own space, as well as growing in size and experience, Kauten believes “the perception has risen as we’ve built ourselves and established ourselves as a truly profitable company.”

 

To Infinity and Beyond

 

In web time, 20 years is forever; it separates extinct dinosaurs from the latest and greatest technology. We’ve come a long way since John Friel’s basement of modems and flashing lights, but we don’t feel old. That’s the amazing thing about doing web stuff: the job changes every day, always keeping you on your toes and adapting.

 

The biggest component to our success has been our people. There were seven employees when Forbin was acquired in 1999; today a staff of 36 full-time employees, plus a revolving crop of awesome interns, churn out websites, work systems and social media content while servicing our customers’ needs. Despite the seemingly constant change in all things web, one thing never goes out of style: good employees.

 

“When you buy a company like Forbin, you’re buying the people,” Van Miller, VGM CEO, said when discussing the acquisition of Forbin in 1999. “The people [in Forbin] have been great. It’s all about the people.”

 

While we can’t accurately predict the industry, we can assure you of one thing: “these people” will never lose the work ethic that took us from a basement to a building with our name on the front.

 

Aug 29

Office Space: The Evolution of a Creative Work Environment

Posted by vgmforbin in Uncategorized

VGM Forbin's modern and creative workspace

The entrance to Forbin sets the tone for a creative web experience

After moving and sharing space for most of the last 20 years, Forbin moved into new digs in February designed specifically for our unique work style.

Every wall at VGM Forbin is influenced by some sort of creativity and imagination. Located in Waterloo, IA just five minutes from the VGM Group’s main campus, there is no doubt about the inspiring passion that lives and breathes in our workspace. And it starts with the walls.

 

The walls at Forbin tell prospective customers a lot about who we are and our approach to work. Most of the walls carry a coat of our signature orange or blue. Others hold whiteboards covered in graphics and projects that show off our creative and strategic ideas. One even introduces visitors to an entire miniaturized version of our team.

 

The importance of our walls in conveying our identity is especially telling considering a lot of these walls didn’t exist a year ago.

 

History in Motion

 

Throughout much of Forbin’s history as a part of the VGM Group, the company shared space with other companies at the main campus. As Forbin grew and moved throughout the main campus buildings, it became harder to find enough space for our growing team. Our growth, combined with the growth of other VGM companies, meant new space was needed. The decision was made in 2013 for work to begin on a workspace for Forbin separate from the main campus.

 

There was space available in a building owned by VGM a short drive away that already housed Strategic Imaging, a company owned by VGM that specializes in the latest digital printing technology. Renovation of the space began in the last part of 2013, with Forbin occupying the new space in mid-February of 2014.

 

A Departure from the Traditional Office Setting 

Forbin's meeting rooms equipped with white boards make team collaboration easy.

With a variety of meeting rooms equipped with white boards and tech, collaboration between teams is easy and efficient.

 

What makes our new workspace so special? There are a lot of useful features and tools available that stem from two principles that were central to our new workspace: having a creative environment that promotes the generation of new ideas, and having a space that shows clients what type of interactive agency we are.

 

In our previous workspace, desks were high-walled cubicles that, for the most part, were organized by team. They didn’t promote inter-team relationships, a central component to every project. Now, our team areas and desks are tailored to each team’s unique needs:

  • Our sales team’s passion for the web gets a little loud at times, so we gave them higher walls and a little more privacy for their client calls.
  • The web marketing and design teams have low walls and are located next to each other to promote collaboration and to continue the age-old debate of content vs. design.
  • Our programmers prefer the peace in quiet, making their higher-walled traditional cubicles and location in their own corner of the building conducive to their coding lifestyle.

 

Our space also gives us a lot of tools and room for our creative minds to roam. From bookshelves that are half white board and floor-to-ceiling white board walls, to four smaller conference rooms and a larger conference room, each with their own white board walls and personality, the focus is on small group collaboration and giving visiting clients a part in the creative process. You can brainstorm ideas in the Ideation Station, illustrate your project in Etch-A-Sketch, map out a strategy in the Think Tank and get some vitamin D while having a client meeting in The Greenhouse. Even something as simple as sitting in a swivel chair can stimulate the mind!

 

Don’t Forget the Physical Benefits 

Playing ping-pong in back area of Forbin

Our lounge area allows us to step away from our screens and recharge the batteries, whether done through quiet reflection or competitive ping-pong

 

The Forbin work space also encourages a healthy lifestyle. The space in the back of our building was converted into a workout area, which is used for group workouts and twice-a-week Zumba classes for a mid-day boost of endorphins. A lounge area with a ping-pong table also gives us a chance to step away and get a short change of pace during busy workdays. Healthy minds and bodies are capable of great things, and our back space gives us the chance to relax and better ourselves without having to leave the building.

 

The results of these tools and spaces throughout the work space is (1) better collaboration between teams and with clients, (2) an atmosphere of ingenuity and (3) a work place that demonstrates our expertise in doing web stuff for companies of all sizes and in all industries.

 

As always, we love having current or prospective customers in for visits or tours, so if you’re going to be in the Waterloo area, let us know. We would love to meet you and show you what we’re all about here at VGM Forbin.

Jul 3

Work Hard, Play Hard: How VGM Forbin Launched 9 Websites in One Week

Posted by vgmforbin in Customer Websites

launched 9 websites

 

If you follow us on Facebook, it might seem like all we do is host theme parties and get silly at work (World Cup Lunch, anyone?). That’s not entirely untrue; we like to celebrate and reward ourselves for the hard work we’ve put in, and there’s been a lot of that lately. Last week was especially successful, as we launched 9 new websites for our clients. Yes, that’s right…9. While juggling website design, copywriting, programming and web marketing for multiple clients can get overwhelming at times, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a successful website launch.

 

We’ve worked extremely hard to finish these sites in the last week, and it has paid off in a big way. There are 9 more beautiful, mobile-responsive, helpful, and user-friendly websites on the Internet now. Our clients have the tools they need to reach their audience on the web and provide them with the resources, products and services they need 24/7. None of this would be possible without the commitment, extensive communication and feedback provided by our awesome clients.

 

We work hard and we play hard. If you don’t believe the “work” part, just take a gander at the 9 websites we launched last week (can’t say that enough!).

 

cvhospice.org

 

Cedar Valley Hospice now has a website with full content management and clear sections for patients and family members, healthcare professionals, and people who want to donate or volunteer. It also offers an updatable events calendar.

 

progressivemobility.com

 

Progressive Mobility and Medical’s new website features a full catalog that customers can use to learn more about their products and home accessibility services available at their facility in Washington, PA.

 

myomnimedical.com

 

With Omni Medical’s new website and social media campaign, patients can get connected with mobility experts based in Irvine, CA to get the spinal cord injury supplies they need.

 

dmeinc.net

 

Dartmouth Medical Equipment’s website and social media campaign now provides their customers with information about their wide variety of products, including CPAP machines, breast pumps, and compression therapy in North Dartmouth, MA. The site also features a convenient breast pump order form.

 

jpo-online.com

 

For this site and social package, we wanted to make it simple for people in Arkansas and Southern Missouri with prosthetic and orthotic needs to connect with practitioners at Jonesboro Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory to get the medical equipment, therapy and care they need. To do that, we included a photo gallery, video gallery and a Google Maps locator.

 

matconusa.net

 

Material Control Systems (Matcon) is a different client for us. They needed to reach other businesses with a clean site to explain their services and the benefits of working with them for returnable packaging solutions.  Their site features a full content management system and a photo gallery. Matcon is based in Port Byron, IL.

 

dwauto.com

 

We worked with DW Auto and Home Mobility of Columbia, MO to show customers what their specialties are: making your home and vehicles fully accessible and comfortable. The site has accessible van inventory and a product catalog as well as a resource center.

 

midmooandp.com

 

For this site and social media plan, we visually highlighted the advanced technology Mid-MO O & P offers for its patients so they can lead active lives.  Mid-MO O&P is based in Columbia, MO.

 

www.alliedpurchasing.com

 

Allied Purchasing provides members in the bottled water, dairy, soft drink, water treatment and craft brewery industries with buying group discounts on the equipment and supplies they need. The Allied Purchasing Ordering System we created allows Allied Purchasing to place orders for their members to their partner suppliers. Allied Purchasing is able to add, edit, and remove orders, members, and suppliers though an intuitive grid layout. The cloud-based system allows Allied Purchasing to now take their ordering system on the go, enabling orders to be placed on the road and at tradeshows.

 

Creating these sites has been an incredible amount of work, and all of our amazing employees have had to put in some extra time to complete them, but it has been well worth it. We’re proud of these accomplishments. It seems a mini happy dance is in order.

May 22

Lock it Down: How to Create a Strong Password

Posted by vgmforbin in Tech News

Forbin's strong password creation tips

The days of using “123abc” as your password are long gone! Try these strategies for making a rock solid password

Protect all of your online accounts with these strong password creation tips

Another week, another major cyber-attack. The intended victim this time was online selling giant eBay. The attack compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other non-financial data. After extensive testing, eBay announced that while there has not been any unauthorized activity for eBay users, they are still recommending that their millions of users change their passwords for enhanced security.

 

This attack, combined with the ever-present danger of cyber criminals lurking in the shadows of the internet, make having a different and strong password for each of your online accounts even more important. But what makes a password “strong?” Your friends at VGM Forbin are here with some simple tips for creating passwords that are harder to crack than the vaults at Fort Knox.

 

Remember the “8-4 Rule”

There are two parts to this rule:

  • Part one: Password Length- your new password should be at least 8 characters in length, and longer if possible.
  • Part two: Password Complexity- your new password should also contain at least one character from each of these four groups: 1) lowercase letters, 2) uppercase letters, 3) numbers and 4) special characters

 

These two things create the “8-4 Rule:” at least eight characters in length, with at least one character from each of the four categories.

 

Avoid similar words

Your first name, middle name or last name shouldn’t be in your password. Skip out on using your kids’ names and pet names too. You should also stay clear of the name of the account you are logging into. For example, if you are resetting your Facebook password, the word “facebook” shouldn’t be in the title.

 

Randomize

“Oh, I need numbers. I’ll just use my birthday.” Your birthday, spouse’s birthday or kids’ birthdays should also be avoided. If you need a memorable number, use a jersey number from high school sports or other more obscure number that does not show up in a personal information search.

 

Use multiple passwords

Having a strong password is great, but do not use the same password for all of your logins. Create a unique strong password for each login, which leads us too…

 

Keep track of your passwords

There are a number of ways to keep track of your passwords without writing them down. Password managers, such as KeePass1Password, or Keeper can store all of your unique passwords securely.

 

Change your passwords regularly

Changing your password once every couple of months should do the trick. However, do not change your password if you have followed a link from an email asking you to do so. Clicking the link could end up allowing the sender of the email to track your keystrokes and steal your password.

 

Having strong passwords for each of your online logins, from Facebook and Twitter to your online banking account, is a great first line of defense against losing your personal or financial information. We hope these tips help you create a password that gives you a little more peace of mind.

May 20

Walking on Sunshine: 4 Ways Business Systems can Make You Happier

Posted by vgmforbin in Programming

Business systems from VGM Forbin

How can you make your workplace a bit more spritely? With a business system from VGM Forbin, of course!

Think about all the processes at your job that you use on a daily basis. From clocking in and out to managing customer projects in a database and organizing purchase orders, business systems are used for a variety of tasks in businesses across the country. Keeping critical information in an easy to reach location helps businesses of all sizes and in all industries maximize their efficiency.

 

At VGM Forbin, our programming and design teams are skilled at creating business systems that take a manual, time consuming process and automate it for the benefit of the customer. From optimizing purchase order systems and inventory to developing business systems for project and employee management, Forbin can breathe simplicity into a work process full of pain points.

Forbin business system dashboard

Forbin business systems give you the information you need in a simple layout.

 

But why? Why do you need a new business system when you already have a manual process in place that you have used for years and are comfortable with? Here are a few ways business systems could take your company to the next level:

 

Forbin business system

Forbin’s business systems allow you to capture the same information easily every time.

They Promote Consistency- whatever your specific process is, it requires the same information in the same format every time. By doing it manually, you are inviting the chance for employees to skip steps, not get some of the necessary information or do things out of order. With a uniform, step-by-step process in a business system, you get the right information in the right order every time.

 

They Save Time- by making your work processes simple and repeatable, your employees can learn to do them quickly, saving you time. This time can be spent bringing in more business, or on larger projects that will help you achieve your business goals.

Forbin health services business system

Forbin’s business systems, like this one built for health systems, feature an easy-to-use interface for quick navigation.

 

They Promote Efficiency- by making time consuming tasks go quicker, your employees are able to spend more time using their skills and abilities to focus on producing quality work. When they don’t have to spend hours every week compiling data because a business system does it for them, it frees them up to maximize their newly found free time doing more important tasks.

 

They Promote Happiness- we’re not making this up. When you deliver on time, your customers are happy. When your customers are happy, you and your employees are happy. Whether it helps you track orders, manage inventory or smooth out any other work process you have, a business system helps reduce stress and increase the number of smiles you see at work.

 

Are you tired of the same process that, while vital to your business, causes more headaches than you want? Forbin has experience with listening to customers’ pain points, identifying possible solutions and developing them for companies in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, transportation, medical equipment and hospice ordering systems. We would love to talk with you about your pain points, so get in touch with Forbin today to see how we can help!

Apr 28

4 Reasons Why Responsive Design Turbocharges Your Website’s SEO

Posted by vgmforbin in Web Development Process

Responsive design from Forbin

Responsive design helps the content of any page reshape and resize to fit any shape, just like water.

Water is one of the most unique substances on Earth in that it can take the form of any container it is put into. Think about it: you pour water into a normal glass, and it becomes that shape. If you pour it in a triangle, it becomes a triangle; if you pour it into a square, it becomes a square, and so on. Water’s ability to fit into any shape or form is a lot like responsive design.

 

We first wrote about responsive design last week explaining what it is, why it is critical for the user experience of your website. Not only is responsive design critical for giving the user the best experience, but it’s “liquid” characteristics are also very helpful for the search engine optimization (SEO) of your website.

 

Google Goes Gaga for Responsive…

…and since Google owns a majority of the search market (67 percent as of this January), they are who you want to impress. Google’s algorithms, the topic of much conversation, favor mobile-optimized websites, especially when it comes to local searches on mobile devices.

 

“But we have a mobile site, so we’re doing just fine!” you cry. True, having a separate mobile site is a good step to take, however the better option in most cases is to have a responsive site. Why? Separate mobile websites have their own URL and HTML code. On the other hand, responsive sites use one set of page files and one URL, which makes it much easier for Google’s bots to index the content.

 

No Need to Start From Scratch

By no means are we saying having a separate mobile site is never a good idea. For some companies that have a lot of content, such as a news website, a separate mobile version of their site would work well. However, when thinking of terms of SEO, this does present a challenge.

 

Let’s say your full website has built up great authority and has made it into the top three of the Google searches you want to be showing up for. When you build a separate mobile site, you have to re-create that authority from scratch. Redesigning your site with responsive design technology allows you to keep your backlinks and previously built up authority, as well as focus your SEO hours on one website. Instead of directing your links to two separate domains, you direct them to your responsive website, meaning you keep(or boost) your SERP rankings.

 

Reduce Your Bounciness

Your website’s bounce rate represents the percentage of users who enter the site and leave the site (bounce) from the same page instead of navigating to other pages. It plays a critical role in Google’s user-friendly mindset.

 

For example, even if your website is doing well in search results, display and functionality problems on mobile devices and tablets can cause a rather large problem for users. They aren’t getting a good experience with your site, so they leave on without visiting other pages. Google will see the high bounce rate for your mobile website as a sign that it is not offering relevant content (a focus of recent algorithm updates), which will most likely lead to your website falling like a rock in rankings.

 

With responsive design, you keep all the same content, but featured in a user-friendly way that keeps them on your website and your bounce rate low.

 

It’s All About the User

The focus of practically all of Google’s algorithm updates has been centered on providing users with a better experience. Since responsive design places an emphasis on designing for users, it makes sense that it would be highly beneficial for your website’s SEO. Oh, and Google is encouraging developers to embrace it, so there is that as well.

 

Think about your current website and how it looks on other devices besides your desktop. Does it allow the content to be like water, adapting well to different screen sizes, or does it make things more difficult for the user?

 

If you’re looking to make the switch to a website that incorporates responsive design, Forbin is your solution. We were one of the first agencies in our area to make responsive design technology a standard in the websites we build. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

Apr 17

Responsive Design: Why You MUST Know What it Is

Posted by vgmforbin in Web Design

Responsive design helps your website display correctly on devices of all kinds

Responsive design from VGM Forbin

Not sure what responsive design is? Allow us to drop some knowledge on you.

Think about how many different devices you use to access the internet during the day. There’s your desktop or laptop for work, a smart phone for quick searches during the day, and maybe even a tablet for entertainment when you’re relaxing in the evening on your couch. There’s no denying we live in an “era of mobile,” as ownership and use of multiple mobile devices has increased dramatically over the past few years. If you use multiple devices during the day, you are just one of millions who do so.

 

In the United States, 94 percent of consumers age 16 and older own a mobile phone, and 42 percent of adults 18 and older own a tablet. Even more importantly, 90 percent of adult consumers are moving “sequentially” between multiple screens every day, e.g., smart phone -> PC -> tablet.

 

So, what does this mean for your company’s website? In simplest terms, your website needs to provide users with the best experience possible on a variety of screen sizes. In the past, this has meant creating a completely separate mobile website. However, this is no longer necessary thanks to responsive design.

 

About Responsive Design

 

Responsive design technology allows for a website to reshape itself to fit any screen size while giving users the best experience possible. This reshaping process ensures that the navigation, images, content and other essentials of your website are displayed in a way that benefits customers visiting your site on a PC, laptop, smart phone or tablet of any size.

 

Take the website VGM Forbin created for Iowa State Bank, a winner of a Silver American Advertising Award for mobile responsive design, as an example. In these first two images, you see the old Iowa State Bank website, first in full desktop view, and then shrunk down for a mobile view. While the desktop display looks fine, you’ll notice in the mobile view that much of the home page has been cut off. This forces users to scroll up, down and sideways to view the entire page.

 

 

Iowa State Bank's Old Website

Iowa State Bank’s Old Website

A mobile view of Iowa State Bank's old website...not a user-friendly view

A mobile view of Iowa State Bank’s old website…not a user-friendly view

 

 

Now, look at the redesigned website that incorporates responsive design technology. The full desktop view looks like you would expect, but the view on the mobile device has been resized and shifted around to make it more user-friendly.

 

New Iowa State Bank website by VGM Forbin

A full-size view of Iowa State Bank’s new website

Mobile responsive website by VGM Forbin

A responsive view of Iowa State Bank’s new website on a mobile device

 

 

Put another way, the elements of the page – the navigation, images, etc. — have not shrunk, but rather repositioned to fit the new size of the screen. Visually speaking, this is what happened:

 

Responsive design

The page elements (the colored blocks) resize and shift around based on the screen size in responsive design

 

This results in Iowa State Bank’s website looking great and offering users the best experience, whether they are on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone of any size. Instead of website that is a miniature version (as many mobile sites are) or that is cut off and hard to navigate, they get the full website in resized, stacked and shifted form.

 

In a quest to make the most user-friendly websites, VGM Forbin is continually researching and testing new technologies such as responsive design. It is essential in this age of mobile use to have a website with responsive design to reach users clearly and effectively, and Forbin is one of the first agencies in our area to make this technology a standard in the websites we build.

 

To learn more about responsive design and how it can benefit you, contact VGM Forbin today.

 

Apr 15

Award Week: Recognizing the Results of a Talented Team

Posted by vgmforbin in Award Winning

Award-winning Forbin work

Forbin started 2014 out on the right foot, garnering three judges awards plus a People’s Choice Award for work completed in 2013 at the 2014 American Advertising Awards.

We are nothing if not humble here at VGM Forbin. Well, that and busy. We don’t always take (or have) the time to recognize the awesome work our team does day in and day out. That being said, the Forbin team was recognized publicly at the AAF-Cedar Valley American Advertising Awards on Feb. 21, walking away with three awards plus the highly coveted People’s Choice Award. In a break from our normal noses-to-the-grindstone approach, we wanted to showcase our work that was deemed worthy of a Gold or Silver American Advertising Award.

 

Gold Award

VPanel® Content Management System for Monroe Wheelchair

Forbin’s proprietary CMS, VPanel, was built to give clients an easier way to access and manage their own websites without needing a degree in computer science or coding expertise. This upgraded version for Forbin client Monroe Wheelchair in Rochester, NY includes a newly designed interface and some additional tools to make the customer experience even better:

  • A product catalog that makes adding any of the 17,000+ products in our product library easy for clients, and is also easy for users to navigate and place orders.
  •  Website statistics upon logging in to see website visits, top performing pages and other valuable information.
  • The option to have a featured video highlighting a specific product.
  • Industry-specific newsletters to position your company as a resource.

 

Silver Awards

Iowa State Bank Website

With locations in Burlington, Wapello, Mount Union and Morning Sun in southeast Iowa, Iowa State Bank posed the unique situation of marrying a modern look and feel without straying too far from their roots. The solution was an “illustrated” design – no stock images, all custom illustrations and icons – that incorporated the characteristics of their area and customer base. The website was built using responsive design technology. In a world thinking “mobile-first,” we consider responsive web design a standard, not an add-on. We are also one of the first in our area to provide responsive web design to our financial customers.

 

Brent Anderson

“Site feels friendly, particularly for a bank. Responsive design works nicely, easy to access pull-down menus and all info on a phone. Social links stay in view.”

- Brent Anderson, founder of Stir and Enjoy out of KC

 

 

The Cedar Valley Connect App for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber

The heart of economic development in the Cedar Valley, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber needed their most important information available to users on all kinds of mobile devices. The Cedar Valley Connect App allows users to see all of the GCVAC’s upcoming events, the latest economic and business development news, contact information for area businesses and organizations, and Near Me mapping.

 

AAA-judge-corinne

“It’s like the local yellow pages in your pocket.”

- Corinne Skoog, Creative Director at Ahni & Zoe by Creative Memories

 

 

People’s Choice Award- The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance App

Winning this award is sweet, but winning it with the client in attendance made it even sweeter. Getting to share in the excitement of winning this award with the amazing people you created for was a unique experience we’ll keep with us forever.

 

Getting to enjoy a night on the red carpet while taking home a few awards was a great reward for the Forbin team. We look forward to partnering with our great customers in pursuit of the highest quality work throughout 2014 and beyond!

Apr 10

Tech News Update: VGM Forbin Servers Safe from “Heartbleed” Bug

Posted by vgmforbin in Tech News

Forbin servers are secure from Heartbleed

All VGM Forbin servers are patched and safe from Heartbleed-related issues.

The “Heartbleed” bug that has been reported on by major news outlets may have you concerned about the security of the personal information your patients and customers are entering into your website. However, VGM Forbin customers can have the peace of mind of knowing that their websites are safe. All VGM Forbin servers are protected from the Heartbleed issue, as a patch was put in place last year.

 

Here’s the short and sweet version of what the Heartbleed bug is:

  • OpenSSL is an open-source encryption technology used on about two-thirds of Web servers.
  • It helps protect information from cybercriminals.
  • Heartbleed is a flaw in OpenSSL.
  • Cybercriminals could exploit the bug to access visitors’ personal informational, as well as cryptographic keys in order to impersonate the site and collect a larger amount of data.
  • A website has been created to answer questions related to Heartbleed.

 

Again, Forbin customers can rest assured knowing that all of our servers have been patched, and are safe and secure from this security flaw. You can check to see if your website is affected using either one of these tools:

 

If you have further questions about Heartbleed, you can go to the website mentioned above or call VGM Forbin at 877-814-7485.

Apr 4

The Forbin Sales Team: A Range of Expertise, One Common Goal

Posted by vgmforbin in Forbin Team

The VGM Forbin Sales Team

The Forbin Sales Team- sales pros dedicated to finding you the right solution!

“Some people will tell you salesman is a bad word. They’ll conjure up images of used car dealers, and door-to-door charlatans. This is our duty to change their perception.” – Dwight Shrute, Salesman, “The Office.” 

 

Two moms, a firefighter, a motorcycle owner and chef with a zoology degree: it sounds like the opening to a joke, but it’s actually a description of VGM Forbin’s sales team. With a variety of expertise and industry knowledge, the Forbin sales team is flexible enough to help any business in any market identify their web needs and create a plan of action to fulfill them.

 

We’ve been featuring our awesome sales people on the Forbin Facebook page all week, but here’s a quick rundown of our sales pros, their specialties and how you can get in touch with them.

 

The Ladies

Jane Gordon- a lot of energy in a small package, Jane works with HME providers, O&P professionals and healthcare organizations of all kinds in building up their presence online. A mom of two and experienced sales professional, Jane’s sense of humor and “Iowa nice” attitude help her build long lasting relationships with customers all across the eastern half of the United States. Get in touch with Jane! 

 

Carrie Fitzgerald- with nothing but pure love for the sales process, Carrie helps us in solidifying our expertise in web solutions for HMEs and healthcare providers in the western half of the country. Carrie’s enjoyment of the simple things – she can catch you up on “Downton Abbey” if you’re behind – and easy going demeanor always make her a welcome sight at trade shows across the country. Get in touch with Carrie!

 

The Guys

Derek Miller- Derek has been rocking sales since he was in high school. His passion for helping companies and nonprofits in all sizes, industries and locations identify how they can do business better makes him a valuable asset to the Forbin team. As an avid cyclist, Derek can also give you pointers on your riding form. He’s also your man if you have a fire or other emergency as he is part of the Denver, IA fire department. Get in touch with Derek! 

 

Donny Wilson- talk about moving in a different direction. After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in zoology, Donny began working in sales, gaining experience while working for every size of company from startups to large corporations. Assisting bank and financial customers with their web needs isn’t his only skill; Donny is also capable of whipping up delicious food and creating one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that are only rivaled by the web solutions he delivers for customers. Get in touch with Donny!

 

Neal Price- Neal doesn’t get out much, if at all, and by that we mean he works almost solely on internal projects with other businesses underneath the VGM banner. Neal is actually quite social, as his knowledge of the latest social networks and marketing techniques proves. Whether he’s working on a full website or web marketing campaign for another VGM company, Neal just “tries to be awesome and put a smile on everyone’s face.” Get in touch with Neal!

 

While the Forbin sales team each has their own strengths, specialties and experience, the one thing they have in common is a love for helping customers do business better. Whether a customer needs help establishing a web presence, building or strengthening a social media or search engine presence or making a certain work process more efficient, the Forbin sales team is ready to provide a solution. Contact any members of our sales team today to get started!

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