Summer Intern Kyler Dunn ’20 Manages Systems at Vivio Technologies in Walla Walla, WA

When people ask me what I am doing over the summer my response usually does not suffice. “I am working at Vivio Technologies, a local server hosting company!” That always prompts another question, asking “what is server hosting?” It’s quite simple really, you want to start a website which needs a server to run, then poof now you have a website. Anyone who has tried starting/maintaining a website knows that is not actually how it happens, and that’s where we step in. You get a website, we make sure it’s up and running.

It’s weird thinking that little ol’ Walla Walla is home to a server hosting company, living here all my life I never thought there was anything here other than wine. Many years ago Jordan Michaels (CEO) and Mark Keymer (CFO, COO) became partners, thus, Vivio Technologies was born! At the time Vivio Technologies was working with a shared hosting company to host their marketing applications, and their relationship with the hosting site was starting to fade as Vivio’s sites were receiving a lot of traffic. So Vivio Tech left, and thus beginning the task of finding a hosting company, over the next several months and many failed hosting companies later Mark and Jordan decided that they would simply just host themselves. What set them apart, was the idea of quality over quantity and an excellent support for their servers and customers.

A few years of amazing growth later, they hired their first intern… me.

Such an honor being their first intern, and then a debate erupted on my official title, I think my fellow co-workers have decided on “Kyler (One Intern to Rule them All)” you can see my co-workers have a sense of humor. What does an intern at Vivio do? Get coffee? I got Coffee once, but with my supervisor as a reward for a hard day’s work at one of our off-campus sites. My Supervisor, Scott, was a part of the support crew a few months ago, but now holds the title of Systems Administrator. Many of my tasks waver between support and system management, which is awesome. I do a lot of smaller tasks, too, such as testing a failed or old hard drive, which then can be reused or destroyed.

Vivio Tech’s number one selling point is their support, around the clock, employees answer calls from customers who are having an issue with their site. Support identifies the culprit of the problem, fix and or upgrade the customer’s system. One of the large tasks that I have been working on is the transfer of information from some of our old support systems. Vivo often upgrades their support systems to further their customers’ experience when getting help. I went back into the old systems to transfer vital information from servers that had not been moved to the new system. It was my job to transfer the IP information into the new support system so that it makes it easier for my co-workers like Jason (my daytime office mate and sometimes supervisor). Customers will call in and some of the questions we have to ask are which IP are you working on today, Vivio is constantly growing when I got here there were nine day-time employees, consisting of support, admin, and billing. Now there are twelve of us, I have actually been working here longer than some of the full-time employees.

Experiences like Kyler’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Victoria Wolff.

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