Sunday, 16 December 2012

UFB – What this means to us..

Recently Ripped Orange connected up with Telstra Clear Cable, allowing us to access faster broadband.  We managed to triple our download speed and increase upload speed ten times.

Before with Telecom Broadband

After with Telstra Clear Cable
Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) is the buzzword that all the telcos are promising, but what is it really and what does this mean for your business?  The UFB project is defined as delivering a minimum speed of 100 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up over a 10 year period.  For those in a city your current standard broadband is about 10 Mbps up and 0.8 Mbs down.

What has changed for Ripped Orange?

Most of the work we do is in the “Cloud”. This means we download and upload information and documents to the internet frequently. Having faster download speed has not been that noticeable,  but upload, or the time to save documents certainly has.  A major timesaving for us.

Another big change is phone services, we were already using Lync, Skype and 2Talk for communicating.  With faster speed this is now a more reliable and pleasant experience.  The upside for this is that we now use the internet for all phone calls which will reduce our phone costs.

If you are considering a similar move, please get in touch and we would be happy to share some of the learnings' both positive and negative, that we have had along the way.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Ripped Orange Magic Mango Fruit Punch

Looking for a cool drink on Christmas Day? Check out this suggestion from our team member Mark.

Magic Mango Fruit Punch



Simply add:


1 container of NZ Natural Sorbet Mango (946 ml)

1 container of Just Juice Fruit Juice Pineapple & Mango (1 litre)


1 Sprite Soft Drink Lemonade (1.5 litre)


You can throw in some sliced oranges and kiwi fruit for a nice visual affect and added flavour…enjoy!

Ripped Orange Christmas Songs and more...

The team at Ripped Orange have compiled some of our favorite sites and tips for the Christmas season.

Ripped Orange Christmas Playlist

Struggling to find some Christmas Music, the Ripped Orange team have compiled a playlist of our 45 favorite Christmas hits from You Tube. Ideal for the big screen on Christmas Day!

NORAD Tracks Santa

Tired of waiting to track Russian Missiles, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) has also been tracking Santa since 1955.

Visit  to download the smartphone app or check in for live updates from December 24th.

Stuff has a great selection of Christmas themed apps for your smartphone.
You can check them out here

Travelling over Christmas,  the MetService have just updated their site with more video and information, visit

You can also download their smartphone apps

Or if you are too cheep for the $2.95 you can also view their mobile site at

Monday, 26 November 2012

Grab a course launched!

Want to learn a specific feature in Microsoft Office?  Ripped Orange have launched Grab a Course, where we feature a specific course on a specific day at a great price.

This month we launch with Reviewing Documents in Microsoft Word,  for people that collaborate with other users and want to make efficient use of the reviewing tools available.

All courses featured as a Grab a Course are a standard Ripped Orange Classroom course including a manual and hosted in our purpose built training room at Ripped Orange.

What's the catch you ask?

Courses are strictly limited to eight people and are not refundable. They are also limited to two people from the same organisation only.

Tickets can be purchased online with a credit card here.

Book Now!

Eating our own dog food

At Ripped Orange we train on many applications, we also use the tools we train and many more on a daily basis.

Here is a quick overview of some of the applications we use daily. For some applications it’s a bit like a builders house that is never finished, for others we are really happy and have the application adding real value.

File Sharing
Google Drive

Social Media
Office Applications
Office 365
Google Apps

Workflow Max
Marketing and CRM
Microsoft CRM - 2011
Mail Chimp
Survey Monkey
Google Analytics
Google Add Words
2 Talk
Last Pass

The challenge we have is similar to many organisations. How to evaluate what is available and what will suit our needs. For some tools this is easy for others there are a variety of comparisons and trade-offs to be made.  

Sunday, 25 November 2012

City Care makes Smart use of Tender template

Business Overview:

City Care is a leading provider of construction, maintenance and management services across New Zealand's infrastructure and amenity assets, employing over 1,350 staff across 16 operational branches throughout the North and South Islands. Established in 1999, City Care has an annual turnover of approximately $354 million.  City Care is a Council Controlled Trading Organisation (CCTO) operating under the Local Government Act.

Business Issue:
Each year City Care responds to over 150 tenders and requests for information.  To manage this significant business development activity, City Care employs four tender writers who gather and collate information from within the business to complete a tender response.
The tender team identified that they spent a lot of time formatting tender documents and there were inconsistencies in the brand and layout of the final document.
Tenders documents can be very complex and large; often documents are over 100 pages and may have more than ten individual contributors to the document. “Responding to tenders can often be a high pressure task, with short deadlines and considerable detail needed to be provided.  Delays and time taken up in formatting and trying to ensure consistency was frustrating”, says Margot Hall, City Care Business Development Co-ordinator.

City Care approached Ripped Orange to look at options.  One option considered was to provide advanced Microsoft Word training for staff who prepare tenders. After some consideration, it was recognised that this would not address the issue of brand and document consistency.  It was identified that the cost and time to train the users to a very advanced level would be considerable and outweigh the benefits. Instead, Ripped Orange proposed that templates were established and training provided to users on how to use these templates.

Gill Mason from Ripped Orange commented, “Even with advanced users, the Smart Template approach works well as it ensures consistency and speed of document creation”.

City Care commissioned Ripped Orange to undertake a scope of the style and functionality required; this resulted in a base template that included the City Care logo, fonts, icons, and graphic styles.
From this, Ripped Orange then developed specific Smart Templates for tender covers, body copy and other components of a tender.

“Smart templates are designed so users can follow a quick and easy process when inserting and managing the creation and layout of documents.  For example, call out boxes can be inserted with a click of an icon:

The template also handles the time-consuming issues of applying text font, colour and size, headers and footers or switching from portrait to landscape with a click of an icon for the user,” commented Mason.

Call out boxes can be made with a click of a button
“The Smart Templates have allowed City Care to focus on the content in the template rather than worrying about the graphics and layout with the end result being a professional and consistent document”, commented Hall.

Juice Review - Mail Chimp

Like many companies in New Zealand, we use Mail Chimp to distribute our newsletters.  This popular tool has over 2.5 million users worldwide.
Email marketing is a crowded field with many tools and options. We chose Mail Chimp because of its ease of use, clear and sometimes quirky feel.  How many other applications use terms like...

Huzzah! Your campaign has been sent.

People are still engaged with what you're saying - that's good, right?

It even has random messages from the chimp like this one inviting you to view a weird file on You Tube.

While this may seem rather odd, it does make the application easy enjoyable and fun to use. Mail Chimp covers the basics and even more than you would expect from an email marking tool.

Other features we like are the excellent reporting including an Android App and the “Golden Monkey” app to go along with this.

We are still using the free version and it suits us just fine as the subscription version is designed for US companies that are a lot larger than us.

4 Oranges

The most fun and easy to use business tool we have used.