Many online firms make do with one hosting server, but Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter (HANC) has over two dozen and counting. One site is HANC’S own, but its servers store (or, as is more commonly known, “host”) the Web sites of about 28 clients — sites that HANC set up and designed. HANC has expanded its venerable information technology consulting practice into a new niche creating and saving Web sites. Said Richard A. Hungerford, HANC shareholder in charge of computer services that are consulting “IT has long been a venue for value-added consulting. Our concept is that the Internet is the way business will be transacted in the century that is 21st. We’re looking to make webpage creation and storing a profit center.”
STARTING IT’S very own SITE…
After months of planning, Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter went live featuring its site that is own in 1996. The firm has a technology committee responsible for the content and design of this site, but just about everyone at the company is taking part in some way. The design and design are handsome and easy to use: your home page links to information regarding the company’s services, investors and supervisors; accounting and finance resources; a guest book; and a Tip regarding the Week, which staff members take turns writing. (a subject that is recent “Lower Capital Gains Rates beneath the brand new Tax Law.”) HANC is almost completely self-contained, along with its servers that are own. That is, the firm itself has computers that store its own Web site and those of its clients; it does not have to contract with an outside service to try this. Senior Network Analyst Sean Motherway, who acts as Webmaster for HANC, spends hours that are several week on general website maintenance for HANCS website. He also helps HANC clients put up their websites.
The site helps in delivery of services in addition to promoting the firm. Tax shareholder John Clark uses the site to send and receive client tax documents. He’s found the site is becoming a popular place for visitors to publish taxation questions: “I’d want to put up a billable service-answering tax concerns on the internet. And there are some other opportunities under discussion.”
… GUIDES TO INSTALLING OTHERS’
The company started its online saving and design solution to give services that are additional current clients; however, about half its Web site clients are new to the firm. “Because of the expertise we’ve developed by themselves,” said Hungerford in IT consulting, we’re able to market our Web services. Most of its site consumers have finalized because of the firm since 1997 january.
Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter offers a array that is wide of split into two plans:
* The basic plan: 500 kilobytes of host room (enough for a modest-size webpage), an email address, enrollment in over 400 search engines, a monthly report of access hits, an everyday back-up associated with client’s information and a target that is part of the firm’s (http:// www.hanc.com/yourcompany).
* The premium plan: The same as above, but with 10 megabytes of host space (for a really large site), 10 e-mail details (therefore 10 employees, or departments, can each have an original e-mail address) and a unique address (http://www.yourcompany.com).
Nevertheless, Hungerford stressed that every client gets a site that is tailor-made for its needs and its market. “For each Web that is prospective site, we perform a feasibility study. We study the sites of regional and national competitors. We can work with a client’s staff or its marketing that is outside consultant marketing agency.” HANC’s computer staff of 10 are designed for programming that is sophisticated Java, used for high-level enhancements not readily done with HTML; file transfer protocol, to help clients add files that their own customers can download; and guest books, so potential customers can leave information about themselves. HANC can register its clients’ pages not only with big search engines such as Yahoo and Altavista but also with lesser-known search that is industry-specific. If a client wants a design beyond the skills of HANC’s staff, the firm has a list of subcontracted designers it can bring in.
Setting up a countertop on a Web site is a quick and simple procedure, but in addition HANC can provide pages of exclusive data for each client, such as where hits are coming from and the days and the times when the site is most and least active. HANC posts this information on its site that is own customer has a password to view a unique information.
“Our Web service has led us into another niche that is billable training,” said Sandra Walraven, manager of information systems. Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter can train key people at a client’s office to perform easy uploads, to allow them to modify their website from their desks without relating to the company.
HANC’S site provides links to its consumers’ pages, such as a furniture manufacturer, automobile dealerships, some nonprofits and a golf clubs supplier. This not just encourages HANC’s solutions but also encourages more hits to its clients. HANC’s web page is getting 900 to 1,000 hits 30 days. All its kept websites, together, normal about 1,500 hits each and every day.
PULLING IT TOGETHER
Despite the firm’s technical sophistication, Motherway utilizes some of the same programs even novice Web designers use: Homesite (shareware), Hotdog Pro and Adobe Photoshop (for illustrations). The first two cost about $100 each; Photoshop is about $450. He also still uses Windows Notepad, a text that is simple that comes free with Windows. The company invested about $20,000 on its server equipment.
HANC’s IT staff trains other people within the firm so they understand the firm’s Web practice and can discuss it with current and potential clients in relation to other firm services. “As in many firms and companies, our skills that are technological homegrown,” said Hungerford. “The IT staff keeps up using the literary works so we’re considering certification on some Microsoft items. But most of our Internet knowledge is self-taught.” Hungerford, Walraven and Motherway have actually continued their technological education after college.
Later on, Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter intends to help its customers be much more advanced on the net. Hungerford said that even though the firm’s consumers had been satisfied with the marketing abilities associated with the internet, they would be looking beyond to utilizing the Web to provide services actually. HANC is working on solving security issues to make online stores and e-mail transactions workable. Eventually, the company plans to help clients create their servers that are own. “We see the Internet as a huge consulting area,” stated Hungerford.
Meanwhile the firm is expanding into other areas aswell, including litigation services and fraud investigations. Numerous traditional companies — HANC was founded in 1941 — got into IT consulting as a sideline to traditional services. But as traditional and new services meet at HANC, the company finds itself doing a 180″ turn. Said Walraven, “We now hope to seu more accounting that is traditional to our brand new website chients.”