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A second Steven? An introduction

Steven De Messemaeker

 

Steven De Messemaeker
Infrastructure Engineer

Steven is an overly romantic IT guy to boot

 

Why IT?

I am passionately driven by everything technology. From chemistry to physics, from energy generation to mobile gadgets. And, since IT is, in my humble opinion, the technology making all other modern technology possible, it is only natural that I’ve grown an immense interest in this field. In my teens I was already taking apart computers, and putting them back together, well, most of the time. It was, in fact, as if it was written in the stars! Yes, I am an overly romantic IT guy to boot.

First memory of a computer?

My first memories of a computer still haunt my dreams frequently. It was a dark, cold and dreary November night back in ‘94. I was staying at my aunt’s, sleeping over in my cousin’s room. She booted up her own personal computer (spoiled brat), running MS-DOS. She then casually launched a game called Alone in the Dark. The title says plenty I’d think, and trust me, I truly felt alone in the dark during the opening scene in which a dog-like creature, mad with rabies, jump-scares the player, by suddenly jumping through a closed window behind you. Being only six years old didn’t help either.

What gives me energy at work?

Getting things done. There’s nothing more annoying than not having the opportunity to truly delve deep in assignments, because of work load, or because of constant priority shifts.
On the other hand, there’s nothing more fulfilling than finishing an assignment, knowing you did everything as good and correct as possible, gaining the most knowledge in the process.

Hobbies and interests outside of technology?

I like cars, not in a mechaphilia way, but as an enthusiast. From old Porsches to new Lamborghinis and touring cars; automobiles in general float my boat.
In my spare time I practice calisthenics (bodyweight fitness) and power training. I’ve only been doing this for a year, so it’s nothing fancy yet.
Enough for the stereotypically macho stuff: I also like movies and long walks on the beach. Oh, and music, yes, I like music. Every genre, but lately I’ve been leaning more towards oldies, much to the frustration of a certain lady friend of mine.
Did I mention I love cars? Seriously.

Traveling

Japan, Australia, the West Coast of the US, Peru, Bhutan and Nepal, the Balkans… Each one of them destinations I want to visit someday, and then some. A whole lot to do yet, but I have at least already visited my dream country: Japan. It was the perfect mix of modern cities, extreme cleanliness and a polite populace, beautiful nature and well-preserved temples, castles and other heritage. Add to that the typical Japanese craziness, and you can imagine, it was truly a trip with never a dull moment. My three week long trip from Tokyo, through Kyoto, to Nagasaki and finally Fukuoka has taught me one thing: I am coming back. That’s why I included it in the initial list. I have certainly been bitten by the traveling bug. And I have a great girl to share it with, making traveling all the more interesting.

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Op 05/07/2015 door Hannah

A teambuilding to die for? Follow these 5 steps

Every year, we undertake a teambuilding activity. It’s always a perfect opportunity to further improve the already excellent atmosphere on the workfloor. Our teambuilding event generally starts on the Sunday before, which is when our colleagues from Poland come to Belgium to work together with us for a week. This gives us a chance to meet new colleagues face-to-face and develop closer ties with some of the people we already know.

The actual teambuilding event starts on Friday. How do we set about organising it? Here is our guideline:

1. Look for an interesting setting

A classic - and therefore never a poor choice- is “a chalet in the Ardennes”. This was this year’s choice, too. We booked a chalet (through ffweg.com) from Durbuy Adventure and were pleasantly surprised.

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Or would you like to try something new? It goes without saying that your choice of overnight accommodations depends on the activities you plan to undertake. Make a list of activities, with possible overnight accommodations. One of the things we always look for is a space that has a big, cosy living area (see point 2). If this is not one of your priorities, a hotel might also be an option.

To keep our ecological footprint as small as possible while reducing the possibility of any accidents occurring we always encourage carpooling. This way, nobody will have to drive for too long a stretch if they’re tired!

2. Combine a home-like atmosphere ...

If your programme for Friday is mainly to enjoy a cosy evening together ‘at home’, this will make everyone feel immediately more at ease! You can promote this by assigning someone to be in charge of the evening meal. This person should choose an easy menu and take the initiative, while everyone chips in to prepare the meal.

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To keep the team-building juices flowing, it’s a good idea to organise an activity for later on. This is another activity that can be delegated. We decided on a game with riddles and questions.

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Don’t plan too many activities! Leave plenty of room for your colleagues to take an initiative and make sure you won’t need to keep a constant eye on the clock!

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3. ... with plenty of action

It’s a good idea to plan something active in Saturday. To decide on an activity, start by taking stock of the DNA of your organisation and staff. Orbit One is a young, primarily male, ground-breaking organisation. You can score highly by taking up challenges, action and team work. Driving through the woods in 4x4 jeeps was a brilliant idea. To make sure that we would also be focusing on team-building, a few assignments were also incorporated into the activity.

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Even if this also meant a little waiting.

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After all, changing a tyre is also a great way to build team spirit!

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4. Add a fun bonus

This is certainly a great idea if your employees have children and the accommodations aren’t too far away. Make arrangements to allow your employees and their families to spend a night at the chalet if they want. Holiday homes can usually not be booked for just one night, so you might have to pay for two nights anyway. Giving your staff the chance to make use of this offer will give their families an opportunity to get to know the company and the other staff members better.

5. Keep everything secret

I always keep strictly to this rule! This is not the easiest path to take, but it will help create the right ambiance and atmosphere even before you leave for the weekend! Apart from that, it’s a sure-fire way to avoid discussions about your choices. Make sure that you have taken your staff’s medical needs or important personal preferences into account and, if necessary, provide enough information about these matters or make sure that any special needs are taken care of.

Keeping secrets does, however, have a price: in response to my keeping mum I was treated to a fun, new (and warm!) outfit that I was allowed to wear all day long!

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News News

Op 24/03/2015 door Hannah

Register now for our new ShareCafés!

 

 ShareCafé sessies 2 Header ENG

 

Just as last year, Orbit One will once again be offering its familiar ShareCafés concept in 2015.

By popular demand, this time we’ll be focusing on innovation.
We will be looking at this from the perspective of three popular tools: Office 365, Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, and getting together with you to see how these tools can contribute to keeping your organisation future-proof and cost-efficient.

 

The concept itself has remained unchanged:

 

  • An inspirational session by an Orbit One expert
  • An informal networking moment, with a little finger food to quiet your hunger pangs

This year, we’ll be enhancing the concept with an added twist:

Invite a colleague to join you and be eligible to win a free follow-up session in which our expert will tailor his ShareCafé to the challenges facing your organisation.

 

An important detail - and please don’t allow yourself to be daunted - is that the tone of voice of this edition’s ShareCafés will be a little more technical than before, but we will be placing this within the larger context of day-to-day business operations.

 

 

02/04 Office 365: Efficient collaboration, while keeping costs and complexity to a minimum. What’s the best approach? (Dutch only)

The aim of this ShareCafé is, above all, to lower the threshold for you as a manager, IT administrator, or current or prospective user.

Office 365 is the ideal solution for more efficient, faster and better-structured collaboration. Although the location of data - whether in the cloud or on a local server - makes no difference to the end user, this does have a significant impact on costs, efficiency and convenience from a management point of view.
We will provide you a step-by-step plan, discuss the possibilities offered by the hybrid cloud and show you how to get the most out of Office 365.

After all, Orbit One also migrated to the cloud and supervises similar projects on practically a daily basis! Who can better take away your apprehension than those who have gone before?

 

 

07/05 Dynamics CRM Social: Integration for more information. Being better informed boosts sales. (Dutch only)

A central CRM database: should this task be restricted to the sales department, or shared by the entire organisation?

We will be showing you how to make data obtained for and from marketing campaigns available to the entire organisation with a view to doing away with individual contact management.

Discover how you can transform your website into a tool for boosting sales!

In conclusion, we will also be taking a peek into the future:

what opportunities can use to respond to what is being said about us on the internet?

 

4/06 SharePoint: A box full of documents or an ultra-convenient tool for efficient collaboration? (Dutch only)

We will be focusing on SharePoint during this edition of the ShareCafé. Collaborating with parties from different locations is not difficult at all when you can rely on the possibilities offered by this tool. No more version management and documents on a local server!
In this session, we will be using practical cases (our own and our clients) to show you how to efficiently collaborate with others in your organisation and external parties through technical configuration and the right training programmes. Discover how you can easily present this alternative method of collaboration to your team, your clients, your project groups ... and many others!

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Op 05/03/2015 door Hannah

Get to know Steven, our new Solution Architect!

Steven small 105Steven De Waele 
Solution Architect

Steven joined us on an evening out with the team on the day of his interview!

 

CRM lover

He really loves Microsoft CRM. Why?
”There is a great user experience and functionality right out of the box. CRM is easy to use and is very flexible. You can do so much more than only managing customer relations. For example managing your website, social media and much more.”

Energy boost

It gives him a great feeling when he sees people working with his software. Moments when customers let him know they are enjoying their implementation, give him the energy to continue with this job.

World of IT

The world of IT evolves so fast, so it is from key value to get new information as soon as possible. He mostly keeps up through social media and blogs. New software or updates are launched on those platforms just seconds after release. For the Microsoft products itself, he thinks that the Microsoft Virtual Academy is great to learn new stuff like Azure, CRM or SharePoint.

Underwater life

In his spare time he’s a scuba diver and photographer, so he loves the water and the sea.
Therefore most of his time is spent on or in the water, always searching for pictures of some beautiful underwater life. As you can expect his favorite holiday destinations are tropical and if he has a view at the sea he’s the happiest man in the world

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Op 29/01/2015 door Hannah

7 steps to get more things done

 

Everyone knows how it goes. In the afternoon, you are already so far behind with all of your work. While your schedule is getting full, your to-do list continues to grow by an endless flow of emails, phone calls, and then you also have to answer all the questions of your colleagues. Fear not: there is hope.

 

Use these seven ready-to-use tips to be more productive in 2015.  

 

Step 1: Get a grip on your agenda

Start the day with some healthy rituals such as drinking a glass of water and having a peaceful breakfast. Take some time to review your to-do list and daily schedule or create a new one. Next you should check your emails for the first time. Do the supplementary tasks that you can complete in five minutes first.  Plan the other ones in your agenda for the following days.

 

Step 2: Make a realistic plan

Plan only small and feasible tasks with realistic deadlines in your agenda. Divide the large tasks in smaller ones and foresee enough time because otherwise you are only fooling yourself. Also, use the Outlook colour codes to demarcate your partial tasks.

Incorporate a block of 'loose tasks' a few times per week during which you make time for a brief follow-up of current matters. Stop when your time is up.

 

Step 3: Complete your list of tasks systematically

Focus on one task at a time. Because...switching costs time. Forget about multi-tasking. Purposefully opt for solo-tasking: this is the way to get results more efficiently.

 

Step 4: Avoid any distraction

Block Facebook and Twitter, switch off your cell phone, and avoid any distraction until your planned tasks are completed. Yes, just hold on for a little longer. The temptation is strong but the satisfaction you get after having completed a task...is a lot stronger.

 

Step 5: Channel your email influx

Turn off your email alerts and check your mailbox only two to three times a day. This will increase your level of concentration because you will not see new notifications every time.

 

Step 6: Use your phone

Emailing is handy but making a phone or Lync call gives you an instant answer. Is it urgent, are there many questions to be asked, and have you been emailing back and forth more than twice? Pick up that phone and call! At the same time, it’s also a better way to discuss a sensitive matter without any misunderstandings or loss of time.

 

Step 7: Take a breaks

Keep your level of concentration high by taking small breaks every 60 to 90 minutes. Going for a walk and eating a healthy snack will help you ease your mind. Are your batteries recharged? Start the next block of 60-90 minutes.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

 

Gather even more inspiration and get started:

35 tips op je productiviteit te verhogen – Intermediair (dutch)

Verhoog je productiviteit op kantoor – Jobat (dutch)

Slimmer werken – How to manage (dutch)

Productiviteit tips – Opencircles (dutch)

Working efficiently Working efficiently

Op 22/01/2015 door Hannah