About Natalie Petouhoff

Natalie Petouhoff

Dr. Nat is a leading expert, often quoted in the press and provides commentary as a guest expert on radio and television on how the top companies provide great experiences and retain loyal customers. She also writes about technology, social media, mobile and products. Her research has been highlighted in cover stories in business publications like Business Week, New York Times and USA Today and she has given talks at leading events such as WOMMA, Forrester Consumer Forum, SOCAP, and more. Dr. Nat is the author of four business books on customer service, CRM and contact centers as well as author of dozens upon dozens of articles, white papers and research.

Latest Posts by Natalie Petouhoff

Which Companies are Now Building the Green Internet?

April 26, 2014 by  

The GreenPeace Report puts technology companies into groups of energy use: Dirty Energy, Middle Of The Road and Green Innovators. As an analyst, we talk a lot about the newest types of software, computers and gadgets of which need energy to run. And there is real resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit, where people are looking to feel satisfaction from the work they do and make the world a better place, rather than just tolerating brain-numbing work for the sake a of paycheck, only to find enjoy somewhere else. With all the enthusiasm also comes a great deal of energy use that we may or may not be aware of.

According to the Kaufman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity (KIEA), the entrepreneurial rate in the U.S. is already well above the dot.com bubble of 15 years ago. From social media to music, streaming video, email and commerce, we are increasingly moving much of our lives online. But which companies are storing all of that data, and how are they getting the energy? Here’s who hosts some of the internet’s most popular sites and services in their data centers – and whether those companies are using dirty or clean energy.

Three Types of Energy As the expansion of technology is continuously accelerating, we are also creating a world where more and more energy is be required. There’s a term called Dirty Energy, which means the focus is only on efficiency and the company has taken few or no steps to switch to renewables. And the there’s the Middle of the Road, which are the companies that are taking steps toward a greener internet, buy not leading the way. And then Green Internet Innovators are the groups that are committed to 100% renewable energy. Their leadership is helping to make our lives, online and offline, greener.

Clicking Clean How Companies are Building The Green Internet

Clicking Clean How Companies are Building The Green Internet

The Green Internet Innovators Here’s one of the companies that is on the side of the green internet innovators.  Apple’s aggressive pursuit of its commitment to power the iCloud with 100% renewable energy has given the company the inside track among the IT sector’s leaders in building a green Internet. Apple has made good on its pledge by building the largest privately owned solar farms at its North Carolina data center, working with its utility in Nevada to power its upcoming data center there with solar and geothermal energy, and purchasing wind energy for its Oregon and California data centers.

Apple’s commitment to renewable energy has helped set a new bar for the industry, illustrating in very concrete terms that a 100% renewable internet is within its reach, and providing several models of intervention for other companies that want to build a sustainable Internet. Download the full report. (Full disclosure: I have a relative that works at Apple.)


Apple Energy Source 2013

Apple Energy Source 2013


How Facebook Uses Energy  

Facebook continues to grow and dominate the global social media landscape with 1.23 billion monthly active users. Facebook has made huge strides forward since 2012 to become one of the clear green internet leaders.

Radical improvements in transparency and efforts to deliver significant wind energy investment in Iowa have helped drive Facebook into the top tier of companies creating the green internet. By building on the advocacy it has started with energy utilities to drive more clean energy investment, and continuing to find ways to bring renewable energy to scale to power its data centers in North Carolina and Iowa, Facebook is setting a clear bar for other major social media networks and internet companies to follow.

How Facebook Uses Energy

How Facebook Uses Energy

How Google Uses Energy Google has continued to lead the major internet brands in purchasing renewable energy at scale to power its massive online ecosystem. The company is now reporting electricity consumption of 3,315 GWh, with 34% of its operations powered by clean energy.

Google’s use of power purchase agreements to procure clean energy has been adopted by others in the sector, like Microsoft, and it has successfully influenced utilities in Oklahoma and North Carolina to offer new renewable energy options by using its immense business clout. As Google expands its footprint to Latin America and Asia, it will need to maintain its innovative edge to make sure that it continues to source clean energy even in countries that feature dirty electric grids.

Google Energy Sources 2013

Google Energy Sources 2013

Twitter falls between the types of companies that are clearly innovating in their use of energy sources and those that fall into the dirty energy collection. Twitter’s has changed the way people around the world communicate.

Twitter does not yet own any data centers of its own, instead renting data center space from others. The microblogging platform has remained silent about the type and amount of electricity that is powering those data centers. Twitter remains at the bottom of the industry for energy transparency, disclosing no information about its energy footprint. Twitter lags behind its competitors in social media, Facebook, which took significant steps to increase transparency and increase its use of clean energy soon after it went public.

Twitter Energy Sources 2013

And on the side of the spectrum are copies that fall into the Stuck in dirty energy past ways of providing and using energy. One example is Digital Realty Trust (DRT)  which is the largest digital landlord in the world, with 131 data centers worldwide, roughly three-fourths of which are located in the US. Digital Realty operates on the wholesale end of the colocation spectrum, providing both entire data center properties to large customers like Equinix and Amazon Web Services, and also renting portions of facilities to meet the needs of large online properties such as Facebook, Rackspace, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

Digital Realtiy Energy Use 2013

So the question really is – as we build all this technology, are we really making the world a better place? We need / want technology to scale. But at what cost? CEO’s need to consider not only their new innovations in products and services, but also how they are leaving the environment. Are they leaving it in a better or worse state and at the end of the day, what’s the cost in the long run to these decisions.

Hungry for Chinese Food? Salem, Oregon’s Best is Kwan’s

September 13, 2012 by  


I was just in Salem Oregon celebrating my aunt’s 90th birthday. We asked her what she wanted to do for dinner. Her choice? Kwan’s!

The roots of Kwan’s accolades as the “Best Asian” restaurant in Salem — five years in a row –go back to the dedicated work ethic of Master Chef and Owner Kam Sang Kwan. At age 11, he got his first restaurant experience in a cafe. By 12 or 13, he learned English so he could communicate with foreign customers. He quickly became the number one waiter and at age 16 he was booking banquets. At age 17 he was transferred to Hong Kong and learned to speak Japanese, which helped him rise further in the restaurant business. 

When a job offer to work in San Francisco fell through, he was offered another opportunity to move to the U.S. and work as a chef in an affluent household. “The requirement was a little bit of cooking, but also knowing how to make drinks,” Kwan recalls. Both he and his wife Bo carefully thought about the opportunity and he decided to accept the two year position working for Oregon businessman and author Gerry Frank. Kwan performed his job so well that he was asked to stay for another two years.

Kwan then went on and started his first restaurant in 1976, known as “Kwan’s Kitchen” in Salem’s City Hall. The current restaurant building was opened in 1982, has the architecture of a pagoda, and is a landmark just south of downtown Salem.

Besides Kwan’s excellent menu and healthy choices, his strong reputation in Salem is also due to his diligent attention to customer care and his community service. For instance, he gets the attention of children in a classroom visit by de-boning a chicken blindfolded with a meat cleaver, then delivering an amazing message of ethics and work values to the students.

Special entrees include dishes such as Stuffed Crab Claw with Minced Crab meat, Sizzling Rice Seafood soup, items pictured below including Strawberry Chicken, Mandarin Pressed Duck, Pecan Shrimp, Steamed Asparagus Spears and over thirty different gourmet choices.

Kwan’s is well known for accommodating customer’s special needs such as food allergies and other health restrictions. They also offer a wide variety of vegetarian dishes including mock meats. You can choose from the diverse menu of Macrobiotic, wheat and gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian, or any special dietary needs. Healthy foods are their specialty: 26 vegetables, 1o vegetable oils, 6 organic rices, 5 organic meats (Emu, Ostrich, Lamb, Buffalo, and Venison).

Kwan’s also offers an extensive menu of entree choices, from traditional Chinese cuisine to alternative options including Emu, Ostrich, mock meats, vegetarian, whole grain rice, special diets, and creative dishes. They provide several varieties of whole grain rice are available including 8 grain, black, brown, red , or a mix of wild and brown rice.  Included in the full vegetarian menu, they offer Mock Meat, a meat substitute, consisting of wheat gluten or a combination of gluten, beans, and roots. “Mock” meats do not contain any meat, dairy, or seafood by-products. These meats look similar to but do not taste like meat, while still including protein in your diet.

As an additional option for those of you who are on a special restrictive diet, they can prepare their dishes according to special needs such as: No Salt, Sugar, Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Sherry, Sesame Oil, Starch, Wheat or Gluten derivatives. They also have a variety of oils you can request to use for an additional, small charge: Grape Seed, Olive, Corn, Pam, Peanut, Safflower, or Sunflower oils. And the delicious dishes are made with fresh ingredients with no MSG added and pure filtered water in all preparations – “from rice to ice” in your drinks.

And the banquet rooms can accommodate from 10 to 175 people. Special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, wedding rehearsals and receptions can be reserved in advance.  And Kwan’s caters both large and small – events. For example, they have catered everything from at the Governor’s mansion to an informal office luncheon. They will assist you in customizing your menu and creating a presentation for a successful event.

Master Chef, Kam Sang Kwan, continues to receive rave reviews in magazines and newspapers both locally and regionally.

Kwan’s Chinese Restaurant

Their gift shop is unique, even for a gourmet Chinese restaurant. Arrive early so that you can enjoy viewing the porcelain vases, carved buddhas, and other art objects. In the front of the store they have a hand-painted and designed porcelain Kwan Yin and a Hand-Carved Wooden Kwan Yin. This unique piece shows a Kwan Yin conquering a dragon and representing the triumph of compassion over violence. Both the Ying and Yang elements are carefully balanced along with beautiful hand-carved details.

A magnificent carved Buddha greets you at the door, and is a famous landmark in Salem, Oregon. The larger- than- life-size, 14 ft Buddha in the Gift Shop is known as “Po Tai” — the Buddha of prosperity and abundance. According to Chinese traditions, he gave up all his possessions but then suddenly became so wealthy that he shared his prosperity with everyone.

A necklace carved with the Chinese character for prosperity rests over his abundant stomach area. He stands on a base stand that is also hand carved from Northwest redwood and displays gold coins in the grass beneath his feet.

Buddha at Kwan’s

MetroMarks: New Travel App to Discover Everything About Your Travel Destination

September 3, 2012 by  


You’ll want to bookmark this site: MetroMarks.com, the best online travel companion! MetroMarks is the place to go when traveling to, or arriving in a city.

You can find a city’s weather, local news, movie times, events, blogs, maps of every kind, attractions, restaurants, hotels and shopping deals and much more literally in seconds – without even touching your keyboard!

The superb design gives all this to you at your fingertips with a few simple clicks, especially when you are mobile or using your tablet or iPad.

They provide:

1) Much more comprehensive city information

2) Much better quality information and

3) They serve it up way faster.

MetroMark’s even profiles all the social media streams in each city. This means you have– all in one place— a city’s videos, pictures and tweets. And you can ask a local for advice!

On the site, for each city, you can find out about hidden gems, interesting travel experiences or see great pictures of city skylines… And if you go there and see they are missing your city or an important resource or website in your area – You can make your mark because they want to know! And the team is very interested in feedback. Let’s say you are using MetroMarks as your homepage when traveling and find that you’d like to see something added to it, let them know!


On the MetroMarks blog, they aggregate the content for each city from their user base as well as the travel community.

You’ll be in the know and know where to go!

Katz’s Delicatessen: Where Harry Met Sally And Corn Beef Rules!

August 28, 2012 by  


I was touring around NYC with my aunt — I got in a few days early for the conference I’ll be speaking at and we landed at the one, the only Katz’s Delicatessen

  They say it would not have been possible for Katz’s Delicatessen to survive three depressions, numerous recessions and two World Wars if Katz’s wasn’t the best deli in NYC. So we had to check it out.

Actually its not the first time I’ve eaten there — but it had been a good 10 years ago. Here’s the corn beef sandwich… just as I remembered it and the chicken soul was definitely made for the soul!

Opened in 1888, Katz’s Deli has been a beloved deli among the immigrants who crowded into the Lower East Side one hundred years ago. Since then, generations have stood before the carver as they skillfully carve a pile of pastrami, turkey or corned beef.

It’s the exceptional taste that has carried Katz’s name far beyond NYC. Over the last century, a lot has come and gone, but Katz’s Delicatessen is still where it was in 1888.

In 1888 what is now known as Katz’s Delicatessen was established on Ludlow Street in New York’s Lower East Side by the Iceland brothers. Upon the arrival of Willy Katz in 1903, the name of the store was changed from Iceland Brothers to Iceland & Katz.

Willy’s cousin Benny joined him in 1910, buying out the Iceland brothers to officially form Katz’s delicatessen. Their landsman Harry Tarowsky bought into the partnership in April 1917. A move to the present side of the street was necessitated during this time by the construction of the subway system, although the entry remained on Ludlow street. The vacant lot on Houston (named after a Dutch emigrant of the same name) Street was home to barrels of meat and pickles until the present storefront facade was added in 1946-49.

Photo Source: Katz Delicatessen

In the early part of the twentieth century, the Lower East Side was home to millions of newly immigrated families. This, along with the lack of public and private transportation, forged a solid community where Katz’s became a focal point for congregating.  On Fridays the neighborhood turned out for franks and beans, a long time Katz tradition.

During World War II, the three sons of the owners were all serving their country in the armed forces, and the family tradition of sending food to their sons became sealed as the company slogan “Send A Salami To Your Boy In The Army.” Tm

Photo Source: Katz Delicatessen & Natalie Petouhoff

During the peak of the Yiddish theater, the restaurant was forever filled with actors, singers and comedians from the many theaters on Second Avenue as well as the National Theater on Houston Street. Although the Yiddish theater has passed, Katz’s is still witness to newer generations of successes and scoundrels as the pictures of current and past celebrities line the walls.

Katz’s was the site of the famous scene in the movie, When Harry Met Sally…  Here’s to a beer and good cheer to Katz’s – may you continue in your long held tradition of serving New York and the rest of the world…

Uber Swim Goggles

August 27, 2012 by  


Want to dive in, but hate getting Chorine or salt water in your eyes? You know how it can burn! These swim goggles provide superior suction and leak resistance.

Photo Source: Hammacher Schlemmer

They are designed to contours your face like a glove. And they are easy to slip on and off, so you don’t feel like you are tearing your skin or hair when you remove them. They’ve also made it easy to adjust with a button that quickly loosens or tightens the strap. The goggles have tinted polycarbonate lenses that block UV rays and filter 100% of blue light. That way when you are trying to see, there’s less distortion, improved depth perception and contrast.

The Travel Video Surveillance Clock

August 24, 2012 by  


Ever wonder what is happening in your hotel room when you are not there? This video surveillance device may be one answer. The analog clock disguises the camera. It has a built-in, motion-activated video surveillance camera. It’s sensitive microphone picks up sound from 16 feet away. The video camera captures what’s happening nine feet away, on a 62º angle from the camera. The video resolution is 720 x 480. It can also take photographs at 1,280 x 960 resolution.

Photo Source: Hammacher Schlemmer

What comes standard? A 4 GB microSD card. SD card stores up to six hours of AVI video or 52,000 JPG images. If you need more room, it can take up to 8 GB microSD cards. Once you are done shooting, you can take your content and download it to computer. And you can recharge its lithium battery via a USB 2.0 port (cable included.) There 18 months of stand-by time and you can shoot up to 1 1/2 hours of video recording. And it works with Windows 7, Vista, and XP, and Mac.

Smartphone Home Monitor Lets You View Your Home From the Road

August 22, 2012 by  


If you travel a lot you probably have a pet sitter. Have you ever wondered what that person who is dropping by to feed your cats or dogs is doing in your house? Enter the smartphone home monitor. This security camera enables you to monitor your home from a smartphone.


Photo Source: Hammacher Schlemmer

How does it work? You set up the camera any where in your home. The camera transmits a real-time video (via the Internet) to an iPhone or Android-driven smartphone. The camera’s motion detector automatically sends you email when it detects movement. And it saves a 30-second video recording to an SD card (2 GB card included.)

You can adjust the angle of the camera by logging onto a website and pan the camera up to 270º. The video resolution is 640 x 480 30 fps. The 15 infrared LEDs around the lens support night-vision surveillance. The device connects to a computer via Ethernet cable (included) or WiFi. And its compatible with computers running Windows 7, Vista, XP or Mac OS X 10.5 or later.

Travelers Find Your Way Back: The GPS Homing Device

August 22, 2012 by  


If you are afraid you might not find your way back to your hotel, or the birds will eat the breadcrumbs you left, don’t fear. There’s a GPS device that can help you get back to home base. This electronic bread crumb device is the simplest portable GPS locating device available. It only has two buttons: one for switching on your compass mode and another for setting up to three starting points.

How does it work? You simply push a button as you leave your car or a hotel. The device marks the location. And when you are ready to go home, it points the way back.  The advanced GPS receiver chipset provides a high degree of accuracy—within five yards—in urban canyons or heavily forested environments.

Photo Source: Hammacher Schlemmer

The device counts down the distance (in yards, miles, meters, or kilometers) as you approach your starting point. And the self-calibrating digital compass displays your heading in degrees to indicate what direction to go with an easy-to-read arrow.

It’s not much extra to carry, at half the size of a cell phone. The compact receiver fits easily on a keychain, in a pocket, or in a purse. The backlight button illuminates the display for easy reading in low light conditions. It also remembers your waypoints when powered off. Weather resistant. Requires two AAA batteries. 3 1/4″ L x 2″ W x 3/4″ D. (2 oz.) I know that when I get out of my car and park it at the airport- I won’t have to worry that I won’t be able to find it when I get back – because I have my electronic bread crumbs to help!

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