Many firms that are online 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 storing internet sites. Said Richard A. Hungerford, HANC shareholder in control 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 21st century. We’re trying to make site creation and storing a revenue center.”
CREATING IT’S OWN SITE…
After months of preparation, Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter went real time featuring its site that is own in 1996. The firm has a technology committee responsible for the content and design associated with website, but almost everyone during the company is involved in some way. The design and design are handsome and simple to make use of: your home web page links to information associated with firm’s solutions, shareholders and managers; accounting and finance resources; a guest guide; and a Tip associated with the which staff members take turns writing week. (a subject that is recent “Lower Capital Gains Rates beneath the New Tax Law.”) HANC is nearly entirely self-contained, having its own servers. 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 do this. Senior Network Analyst Sean Motherway, whom acts as Webmaster for HANC, spends several hours a week on general site maintenance for HANCS site. He also assists HANC clients set up their internet sites.
In addition to promoting the firm, the site helps in delivery of services. 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 upload income tax questions: “I’d prefer to create a billable service-answering tax questions on the internet. And there are other possibilities under conversation.”
… LEADS TO STARTING OTHERS’
The company started its online storing 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. The majority of its site consumers have signed because of the firm since January 1997.
Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter provides a array that is wide of divided in to two plans:
* The basic plan: 500 kilobytes of server room (enough for a modest-size website), an email target, registration in over 400 se’s, a month-to-month report of access hits, an everyday backup associated with customer’s data and a target that’s an element of the company’s (http:// www.hanc.com/yourcompany).
* The premium plan: exactly like above, but with 10 megabytes of server area (for an extremely site that is large, 10 e-mail addresses (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 all customer gets a tailor-made site suitable for its needs and its market. “For each prospective Web site client, we perform a feasibility research. We research the websites of neighborhood and competitors that are national. We can work with a client’s staff or its marketing that is outside consultant marketing agency.” HANC’s computer staff of 10 can handle 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.
Installing a counter on a Web site is a fast and procedure that is simple 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 client has a password to see unique information.
“Our Web service has led us into another billable niche: training,” said Sandra Walraven, manager of information systems. Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter can train people that are key a client’s office to execute easy uploads, so they can change their site from their desks without relating to the company.
HANC’S site provides links to its clients’ pages, including a furniture manufacturer, car dealerships, some nonprofits and a golf clubs distributor. This not only promotes HANC’s solutions but additionally encourages more hits to its clients. HANC’s own site gets 900 to 1,000 hits 30 days. All its kept websites, together, typical about 1,500 hits per day.
PULLING IT TOGETHER
Inspite of the firm’s technological elegance, Motherway makes use of a few of the programs that are same 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 host hardware.
HANC’s IT staff trains other people into the company with current and potential clients in relation to other firm services so they understand the firm’s Web practice and can discuss it. “As in many firms and companies, our technological skills are homegrown,” stated Hungerford. “The IT staff keeps up using the literature so we’re considering official certification on some Microsoft items. But the majority of our Web knowledge is self-taught.” Hungerford, Walraven and Motherway have proceeded their education that is technological after.
In the future, Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter plans to assist its consumers be more advanced on the internet. Hungerford stated that although the company’s customers had been satisfied with the marketing abilities of the internet, they would be searching beyond to utilizing the internet to provide services actually. HANC is working on solving security issues to make stores that are online email transactions practical. Ultimately, the firm plans to assist consumers setup their servers that are own. “We see the Internet as a consulting that is huge,” said Hungerford.
Meanwhile the company is expanding into other areas also, including litigation services and fraudulence investigations. Many traditional firms — HANC was launched in 1941 — found myself in IT consulting as a sideline to services that are traditional. But as traditional and new services meet at HANC, the firm finds it self doing a 180″ turn. Said Walraven, “We now aspire to seu more accounting that is traditional to the new webpage chients.”