Crickets, Caught Ball, Cold Beer and Tequila Shots at Fulcrum Mariners Night!

The Fulcrum crew represented (maybe a little bit too well) at Safeco Field last Thursday night.  Several from Development, Professional Services, IT, and Marketing were there on hand to see the Mariners play the White Sox... and to also enjoy the amenities of the park.

In addition to trying the pizza and hot chicken, several happy hour beers were enjoyed, and the CTO bought a round of tequila shots for the entire crew.  About half of the group tried some of the crunchy fried crickets available at Edgar's cantina near center field, which have a beautiful nutty flavor in addition to the heat. 

A Perk of Working in Seattle’s Tech Corridor? Water Beetles for Lunch.

Fulcrum Technologies headquarters is located in the exploding tech corridor of Seattle, situated between the iconic CenturyLink Field and the vibrant International district.  The recent deluge of tech workers in Seattle also brought an equally large influx of restaurants, which are quickly gaining international notoriety for their quality, diversity, and innovative nature. 

The innovation is evident in the cuisine almost everywhere.  In the Fulcrum seats at Mariner games, employees can snack on “Chapulines”, which are crickets sautéed with garlic, chiles, and lime juice.  Just down the road are 5 different varieties of chicken feet to eat for those who are willing to work (or gnaw) for their food.  If you have a craving for an octopus burrito stuffed with fish eggs and seaweed, you can find it quickly.  Want an alligator, camel, or ostrich burger?  You can find that as well.  Hungry for PB&J jalapeno poppers?  No problemo.

One of the most experimental foods drawing the computer crowd is balut, which was tried by the Fulcrum CFO on a recent team outing.  She chased the ‘developed duck egg’ down with a few chicken heart nuggets dipped in chili oil and a Habanero infused Lychee martini. One of the other Fulcrum-ites was even more adventurous, opting for the sashimi (i.e., raw) water beetles for lunch.  These are even trickier to eat than the balut, requiring the careful removal of the head and legs to allow for the suction removal of the guts. 

Whichever direction you wander, you’ll discover new foods to try.  Armenian, Cajun, Chechen, Azerbaijani, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Belarusian, Malaysian, Mexican, Native American, Polish, Pakistani, Syrian, Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Pakistani, Russian, Turkish, Peruvian, Thai, Brazilian, Ethiopian, Indian, Filipino, and many, many more.

There are dozens of types of ethnic food choices in Seattle, and all of them – even the water beetles – are a fantastic culinary experience.  So the next time you’re in the Fulcrum seats at Safeco and Brent hands you a basket of fried chili-lime crickets to try… embrace the Seattle food culture and dig right in.  

Fulcrum’s own Shauna Balderson recently conquered the Pacific Crest Trail!

Fulcrum’s adventurous CFO Shauna Balderson recently conquered one of the hardest stretches of the Pacific Crest Trail, a world renown hiking and equestrian route which lines up with the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.  This trail runs about 100 to 150 miles east of the U.S. Pacific coast, with a southern start point on the U.S. border with Mexico, and a northern end point on the Canada–USA border. Shauna jumped in at the Big Bear start point at 7,000 feet elevation. Shauna saw a litany of flora, fauna, and landscape changes throughout her hike – which made the long hike (and sore legs) totally worth it.

Pacific Crest Trail Sunset.jpeg

Top 10 Wineries in Woodinville

Woodinville Wineries number in the hundreds now – a crowded field with some amazing wines.  Fulcrum surveyed over 200 partners, customers, friends, experts, and employees in to rank the top ten wineries in Woodinville.  Here is the list of the best of the best for 2017.  And… you’re welcome:

1) Baer - Lance’s legacy remains in the form of Baer Winery, thanks to the love and dedication of his sister, Lisa, and their father, Les. Today, it’s a 3,000-case winery that crafts some of the most beloved red blends in the state.  Top favorite of many voters pushed this one to the top of some fantastic competition.  Also a top pick of local Woodinville wine aficionado Dave Caple. 

2) Long Shadows - Long Shadows Vintners is a collection of seven ultra-premium Columbia Valley wines showcasing the viticultural excellence of the growing region and honoring the internationally acclaimed winemakers who inspired them.  Close tie with Baer, and ranked VERY high thanks to one thing and one thing only; upper level quality.  

3) Mathews - Their wines tip their hat to old world traditions, while embracing the energy and innovation of this ascendant wine region. Since 1992, Matthews has crafted red blends from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, and white wines exclusively from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. They work with many of the most iconic vineyards in Washington, honing their growing and blending processes to deliver wines of depth, complexity and verve. 

4) Pepper Bridge - They built the first state-of-the-art, gravity-flow facility in Washington state, complete with subterranean caves. In a gravity-flow winery such as this, the grape pulp and juice are moved from the sorting table to the tanks to the barrels via gravity, rather than by pumps. This gentle treatment of the grapes prevents the shearing of seeds and the introduction of bitter tannins.  Fantastic.

5)  Celeano – Hidden around the corner from Chateau Ste. Michelle is Celeano, where every single wine they serve is fantastic.  The wine-maker Brian frequently hands out signed bottles and private tours.  

6) Page - Uncompromising quality, handcrafted premium red wines from the finest fruit and the very best vineyards on Red Mountain and the Columbia Valley defines the essence of Page Cellars.  In addition to great wine, they feature THE FUNNIEST WINETENDER in Woodinville – a drunk version of Jack Black dropping F-bombs on laughing (and startled) customers.  Its a must-stop for those with thick skin – just for the banter alone.  

7) Col Solare – Want some pedigree? Col Solare is the partnership between two influential wine producers who are recognized leaders in their respective regions: Tuscany's Marchesi Antinori and Washington State's Chateau Ste. Michelle.  People who know what they are doing, making extraordinary wine that you will remember for years.  

8) Mark Ryan - Mark Ryan Winery has earned acclaim from wine-lovers and critics alike, and garnered respect from the state's elite producers. Their goal is simple; make delicious wines that represent the vineyard from which they come, making every vintage better than the last.

9) Sky River - With hints of berries, pears, apples and grassy fields, Mead is the ancient drink of kings and poets – ascribed with bringing poetry, virility and wit. The gods, from Mount Olympus to Valhalla, were believed to drink mead – garnering from it strength, poetry and passion. Sky River Meads, lighter and dryer than their ancient counterparts, balance beautifully with the foods of today, from around the world - curries and chutneys, salsa's and ginger.  This is an absolutely perfect last stop on the tours, with unbelievably good wine flowing that is more creative than you can imagine.  

10) 3 of Cups – A small newcomer making waves with wine tasters is 3 of Cups in the warehouse district.  Their fruit comes from premium vineyards throughout Washington State including such places as Red Mountain and Walla Walla Valley.  They strive to produce wines that express the very best of the regions we source from and pair well with food.   When in 3 of Cups, take a moment to do two things:  Enjoy the cool 3D artwork, and (if you are feeling brave) step next door to the Pacific Absinthe tasting.

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Burpees in the Workplace: A Perfect Stress Reliever!

Fulcrum has a huge amount of competitive employees, who enjoy challenges of all shapes and sizes - from Ping Pong to Paintball.  The latest one in January is the burpee challenge, which involves dropping into a pushup from the standing position, and then returning to the standing position.  The Fulcrum champions are Carl and Shauna, who are still vying to see who can be crowned the king or queen of Burpees at Fulcrum.  The record is currently 259 in a row, a tie between these two, with both of them eyeing the 300 plateau as the next record.

John Cena Look-Alike

Brent Bauer is famous for being the CEO of Fulcrum Technologies, the leading provider of Asset Lifecycle Management solutions for CSPs.  In India, he is twice as famous, as he is (very) often mistaken for a celebrity when out in public.  That celebrity is John Cena, an American professional wrestler, rapper, actor, and reality television show host signed to WWE.  As you can see from the picture, they could be brothers separated at birth.  Brent is also physically fit, can rap on Fulcrum Karaoke morale events, and would be fantastic on reality TV. The only real difference is that Brent knows how to track millions of assets and save you millions of dollars, while John... does not.  

John Cena and Brent Bauer - twins in every way except for one.

John Cena and Brent Bauer - twins in every way except for one.

Skiing in Whistler, Canada

Situated four hours south of Whistler, Canada, Fulcrum employees can easily escape there for a weekend of skiing.  Known as one of the premier ski mountains on earth, Whistler offers an amazing amount of runs for skiers of all types.  By many measures it is the largest ski resort in North America; it is 50% larger than its nearest competitor in terms of size, and has the greatest uphill lift capacity.

Whistler Blackcomb also features the Peak 2 Peak Gondola for going between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains at the top; Peak 2 Peak holds records for the highest and longest unsupported cable car span in the world. With all of this capacity, Whistler Blackcomb is also often the most-visited ski resort, often besting 2 million visitors a year.

One Fulcrum employee, Brian Hodges, is pictured here high up in the mountain:

Fulcrum's Brian Hodges in-between the clouds on Whistler's iconic mountain runs...

Fulcrum's Brian Hodges in-between the clouds on Whistler's iconic mountain runs...

10 Best Restaurants In Seattle

With 55 responses to a restaurant survey of people who regularly frequent the Seattle restaurants, here is the 2016 list of Top 10 Seattle Restaurants (not in order):

Chans – unbelievable fusion food with flair. Not sure what to get?  Get a multi-course meal and let them bring you a taste of everything.

Il Corvo – the most authentic Italian food you can eat.  You have to stand in line similar to ordering soup on Seinfeld, but when you get the food (and a table) you will love it.  Usually only 3 choices on the menu on any given day - and they are all good. 

Salumi – sandwiches and meats to die for. The Pancetta sandwich is the most amazing thing you can imagine, and a crowd favorite.

Japonessa – Latin influenced sushi.  Everything is fresh, inventive, and often spicy... the house favorite is the "Super Bad Boy" roll, with a side of Citrus Habanero sauce to drizzle on it. 

Roaring Bowl – Cook your raw foods in amazing soup, which include Spicy Miso, our favorite.  The veggie plate works great, the sauces to add are perfect, and the meat cooks up perfect in the soup.  Try the dumpling meat combo if you are new...

Butcher Table – steak that melts in your mouth.  It has gotten higher reviews and raves than even the king of Seattle steak, el Gaucho.

Tats – Philly cheese sandwich is SO good.  You stand in line, yes, but totally worth the wait.  Pay the extra money to make it large, and let gluttony reign.  

Casco Antiguo – Artisan mexican food, the way you wish they all were.  They craft everything to the finest detail, including the sauces.  

Serious Biscuit and Pie – Pizza or biscuit combos… you cannot beat them.  The chicken on a biscuit is incredible.  Like if God made Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.  

Mamnoon – Syrian food that is fresh and tasty, in a great, well done environment.  Also huge props to their sister location, the MBar, which has incredible views of the Space Needle and Lake Union.

Honorable mention:

67 for the view

Buddha Ruska for the Garlic Chicken which is so good they call it “Crack Chicken"

El Gaucho – such elegance, and absolutely amazing food.  See and be seen place.

Berliner – The kebab on german flatbread is a party in your mouth

Paul Haury, Fulcrum Technologies

So, Paul Haury happened.  For years, actually, Paul Haury happened… juggling untold numbers of hats, and handling thousands of Fulcrum issues with thousands of Fulcrum solutions.  He was part corporate architect, part motivational speaker, part psychologist, part project manager, part piñata.  He was all those things and more.

His bio on the website said “He Keeps Everything Clicking with Heart and Soul”.  And at the core, that’s what he did.  He kept the departments, the technology, the solutions, the morale, the relationships, and the inspiration clicking, enabling and empowering Fulcrum to succeed in a litany of ways that aren’t even visible to most.  

You quickly learn that this man *knows*…*his*…*shit*.  He has a quote, saying, methodology, and applicable business tidbit for any possible scenario or paradigm – known as a “Paulism”.  This pragmatic and effective stream of consciousness comes from a vigorous and constant quest for learning, exploring, and reading of pretty much every business and tech journal he can get his hands on.  

He’s moving on, to be corporate architect, motivational speaker, psychologist, project manager, and piñata to a bigger audience.  And he’s taking his trademark hat with him but leaving some big-ass size 18 Shaquille o’Neal shoes to fill.       

Yes, Paul Haury happened.  And it was a very, very, very good thing.  Peace be the journey, friend.  

The Best French Fries in Seattle, Washington

Fulcrum's own Michael Knowles, a foremost expert in french fries, spent years searching Seattle for the best fries people could make.  He tried regular, single fry, double fried, truffle, cajun, crinkle, Shoestring fries, Steak, dipped, waffle, curly, chili cheese, poutine, blue potato, garlic, yucca, sweet potato, paprika dusted, and blue cheese fries.  In the process, he kept coming back to the simple, well executed double fries, where both the purists and the connoisseurs could relish in the food-gasm that french fries can deliver.

The top five for Michael, in order, is:

Lowell's

Bait Shop

Li'l Woody's

Café Presse

Katsu's Nori fries (Katsu has fantastic fries but Michael admits they are "not for everyone")

Lowell's made the top of Michael's list, because "the cooking was perfection. The process was simple-but-well-executed. Right amount of salt. No sugar on coating (so common nowadays)
Really - nothing special with them, just very simple-done-great!"

Honorable mentions for having print-worthy fries:  Dicks (a late night favorite), and Uneeda (freakin' amazing in general).

For sweet potato fries, Michael recommends Smiths.

For truffle fries, its Canlis.

Lowell's of Seattle French Fries, Michaels favorite....

Lowell's of Seattle French Fries, Michaels favorite....

 

 

Seattle's Underground Food Scene

Shauna Balderson, Fulcrum's Finance Guru, checks out some of the colorful street art that can be found near many of the iconic underground restaurants near the Seattle HQ - where the food rivals any city on earth.  Sandwiches from Salumi, Pasta from Il Corvo, Philly Cheese Steaks from Tats, and much, much more.  There is also a plethora of fantastic international cuisines available nearby in the Seattle International District, including our CEO Brent Bauer's favorite dim sum at Harbor City

Graffiti came to Seattle by way of San Francisco and New York, where 1980s-era practitioners started tagging trains and then painting much larger, more complex pieces on the exteriors of the train cars. Their now iconic “wild style” is characterized by bold color schemes and complicated lettering that conveys a sense of movement and flow. Wild style pioneers such as Dondi, Zephyr and Twist bent, twisted and connected letters, creating 3D effects and adding little embellishments like arrows, bubbles and characters. (Read typography expert John D. Berry's story on the relationship between graffiti and typography.) Wild style quickly took root on the west coast, where local artists replicated and innovated. The Seattle graffiti scene of the early 1990s was influenced heavily by New York, where lettering was king, and San Francisco, where graffiti grew more curves and characters. Seattle law enforcement played a role in the evolution of the local art form too.

New Fulcrum Headquarters: 705 5th Avenue South, Seattle WA 98104

Fulcrum Technologies has moved the corporate headquarters to south Seattle, to a beautiful location with sweeping grandiose views of the sports fields where the Seattle Seahawks, Sounders, and Mariners all play.  Visitors to this space are not only delighted by the scenery, but also the incredible 94 walk score, with dozens of restaurants within a couple of blocks.  The transportation score is even more amazing at 100, thanks to the massive intersection of trains and buses nearby as well.  Visitors and employees will have an easy time getting in from Sea-Tac or any other location in the greater Seattle area.

 

The Best Ginger Beer on Earth

After a taste test (both solo, and inside a Moscow Mule) of ten different ginger beers, it was determined that the best one was from Seattle, WA.  

The winner is Malus, a hand crafted brew that keeps it simple but maintains a perfect taste and "mix-ability".  Honorable mentions goes to the finalists:  Q Ginger Beer, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, The Ginger People Ginger Beer, Hollows & Fentimans Ginger Beer, Gosling's Ginger Beer, Reed's Extra Ginger Beer, and Bundaberg Ginger Beer.
 

Voted Best Ginger Beer on Earth by a panel of 100 tasters.

Voted Best Ginger Beer on Earth by a panel of 100 tasters.

Remembering the Alamo!

Fulcrum Technologies, makers of the CATS Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) software, was excited to participate at the ISE Expo ’16 in San Antonio on September 21st.  Fulcrum CEO Brent Bauer co-presented ALM and Supply Chain best practices with Yvonne Sabatini, Director Sourcing & Logistics for XO Communications to attendees at the ISE Expo.  They took a break in-between presenting and Expo Hall meetings to visit the historic Alamo in San Antonio Texas.

The Alamo Mission in San Antonio, commonly named the Alamo and originally known as Misión San Antonio de Valero, is part of the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site in San Antonio, Texas, United States. Founded in the 18th century as a Roman Catholic mission, it was the site of the famous Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The Alamo is now a often-visited museum in the Alamo Plaza Historic District.

The compound was one of the early Spanish missions in Texas, built for the education of area Native Americans after their conversion to Christianity. In 1793, the mission was secularized and then abandoned. Ten years later, it became a fortress housing a military unit, the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras, who likely gave the mission the name Alamo. During the Texas Revolution, Mexican General Martin Perfecto de Cos surrendered the fort to the Texan Army in December 1835, following the Siege of Béxar. A relatively tiny number of Texan soldiers then occupied the compound for many months. They were badly wiped out at the Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. When the Mexican army retreated from Texas several months later, they tore down many of the Alamo walls and burned some of the buildings.

Brent Bauer and Yvonne Sabatini pose for a picture outside the historic Alamo in San Antonio Texas, where they were presenting at the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center.

Brent Bauer and Yvonne Sabatini pose for a picture outside the historic Alamo in San Antonio Texas, where they were presenting at the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center.

 

A Rainbow of People at FALMS (Fulcrum) in Gurgaon, India APAC HQ

India has always been a country of bright colors, and the various Fulcrum employees who have visited have enjoyed the beautiful rainbows of textiles, paints, and dyes. To an outsider, its colorful culture seems like a page out of an ancient story. But color, in essence, has been a large part of the Indian mind-set for centuries.

From the deep orange flowers that adorn almost every celebration to the deep hues of red that dress up the new bride on her most important day, color in India has, over time, become synonymous with religion – an expression of faith and beliefs. In a country where a deep understanding of the prevalent diversity is perhaps the only common thread that ties its people together, India is a dramatic experience that ought not to be missed.  On many occasions, several Fulcrum employees have enjoyed ceremonies featuring the colorful textiles, paints, and dyes.  On each time, it was enjoyed with the wide-eyed enthusiasm it deserves.

In a country as diverse and culturally vibrant as India, it is perhaps the common, simple expressions of color that hold together the multitudes of outlooks, lifestyles, and traditions. Whether you were born in Gurgaon or Seattle, the symbolism of color stands out and is appreciated in every aspect of life in India, be it religion, politics, festivals, or celebrations. In India, be it the north, south, west, or east, color and culture go hand in hand. Just like many other cultures across the world, there are some typical classifications of color to be found in India.

Because of the obvious differences in its population, India is home to a lot of different interpretations of symbols and colors. Colors represent different emotions to people living in different regional, geographical, and religious divides. And perhaps certain colors that have a special place in a particular area may not enjoy a similar status elsewhere. 

The colors of India have mesmerized royalty, kings, outsiders, and visitors – perhaps more so because of the stories and legends that bind its people, its culture, and its beliefs. The unusual pink color of mystical Rajasthan, the pastel hues of southern India, the joyous, bright hues of the northern region, and the dull-yet-bright colors of the east offer an intricate kaleidoscopic-style insight into an almost perfect blend of history and blossoming modernism. And perhaps a trip down its many roads will lead you to an understanding of how all the colors work together - a combination of life, passion, and happiness. Maybe you’ll take the road untaken and bring home a whole new colorful outlook to your life.

Fulcrum certainly has.

Telecom Best Practices: Billing Portals

Do you ever wonder if your enterprise customers even read the giant ‘due date’ listed on their bills?  If you’re like most usage-based service providers, more often than not, the number of payments coming in late far exceeds those coming in on time – and this represents the majority of your business revenue.

Beyond the frustration and constant follow-up from your billing and account teams, this growing and seemingly inconsistent days sales outstanding (DSO) trend is having a significant impact on your bottom line. The cash is floating in an unpredictable state, making it impossible to evaluate and forecast your company’s performance with any sense of accuracy.

So why are your enterprise customers delaying their payments to you? Is it lack of funds? Overlooked bills? Withholding out of spite? Nope, none of the above. It’s all about the bill itself.

Read more from our billing portal partner Globys: