Our halls are filled with stories and tales of Otava employees who have gone above and beyond delivering exceptional experiences over the last 25 years. Here are just a few of our favorites:
One of our networking engineers was on the phone with a client helping them solve a complex networking issue. Sounds pretty normal, right? Now picture him on the phone in a hospital bed while literally being wheeled into surgery, and you really get the sense that we’ll help our clients no matter what.
Two of our account representatives had an important meeting with a CIO that they had been trying to schedule for weeks. During the meeting, a tornado warning raced through the area and sirens shrieked to take cover. Dutifully filing to safety, our team then continued their presentation to the CIO because they knew his time was valuable and they didn’t want to inconvenience him by having to reschedule.
In 2003, a software bug caused a massive blackout that left large swaths of Ontario, Canada, the East Coast and Midwest in darkness. Employees immediately left the board meeting they were attending to answer the call of duty and tend to needs at hand. While successfully operating on backup generators, these heroes ensured everything continued running smoothly for 50 STRAIGHT HOURS and that no clients experienced any down time. The CEO and his wife even brought in food to help keep the troops going. On top of that, a company called, urgently needing to deploy servers as the disaster had left them helpless…and we did it, in addition to the round-the-clock work going on in the data center, demonstrating the true meaning of client focus.
The U.S. recession in 2008 hit hard for many companies, and Otava (then Online Tech) was not immune to its effects. Clients were struggling to pay their bills, and money was tight all around. During a company meeting, the CEO announced two options: Cut wages for all employees, or cut staff. Without question, every single employee voted to cut wages by 10 percent so that no one lost their job. Management promised to reinstate everyone’s wages by December if the company could reach its sales goals, and employees rose to the occasion and reached those goals two months early. For those employees who stayed on, the wages that were lost during the pay cut were added to their bonuses when News-Press & Gazette Company bought Otava in 2012. Our employees are truly dedicated to our clients and to each other, through thick and thin.
In 2006, Otava helped the Central Intelligence Agency bust a terrorist group based in the Philippines that wanted to steal military weapons. Of course, we didn’t know that’s what we were doing at the time. The CIA devised a front company, then paid in cash for a dedicated server to trap terrorists that wanted to steal military weapons. Our employees helped our client (whose representatives mysteriously never had the same name or phone number) add Google Analytics to help them understand who was visiting their website (ie, track bad guys.) These heroics helped bust the terrorists trying to smuggle stolen guns, resulting in a thank-you letter from the CIA. That’s what we call a legendary story, indeed!
In 2019, a client contacted us, frantic because their production environment had been destroyed due to a water leak in their data center, and they needed help restoring from their recovery environment. On Super Bowl Sunday. Our team jumped on it and immediately started working with the client to restore as much of their environment as possible, through day and night. The company’s board of directors was thankful, writing: “Sincere appreciation from all efforts from all teams to get us where we are today. We’re grateful for the hard work that all teams have put in to get us to this point [of stability].”