Most 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 practice that is consulting a new niche creating and keeping websites. 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 century that is 21st. We are looking to make Web site creation and storing a revenue center.”
STARTING IT’S 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 associated with website, but almost everyone during the company is associated with a way. The layout and design are handsome and simple to utilize: the house page links to descriptions associated with company’s solutions, investors and managers; accounting and finance resources; a guest guide; and a Tip regarding the which staff members take turns writing week. (A recent subject was “Lower Capital Gains Rates Under the New Tax Law.”) HANC is almost totally self-contained, with 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 repeat this. Senior Network Analyst Sean Motherway, who will act as Webmaster for HANC, spends hours that are several week on general site upkeep for HANCS site. He additionally assists HANC clients setup their web sites.
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 place that is popular individuals to publish income tax concerns: “I’d prefer to put up a billable service-answering tax concerns over the Internet. And there are various other opportunities under conversation.”
… LEADS TO CREATING OTHERS’
The firm began its Web saving and design solution to provide additional services to 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. Nearly all of its site clients have actually finalized utilizing the company since 1997 january.
Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter offers a wide array of services divided into two plans:
* The basic plan: 500 kilobytes of server area (enough for a modest-size Web site), an email address, registration in over 400 se’s, a monthly report of access hits, a daily back-up regarding the customer’s information and a target that is part of the firm’s (http:// www.hanc.com/yourcompany).
* The premium plan: exactly like above, but with 10 megabytes of server area (for a tremendously site that is large, 10 email addresses (therefore 10 employees, or divisions, can each have an original email address) and a distinctive address (http://www.yourcompany.com).
Nonetheless, Hungerford stressed that every customer 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 websites of neighborhood 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 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. The firm has a list of subcontracted designers it can bring in if a client wants a design beyond the skills of HANC’s staff.
Installing a countertop on an internet site is a quick 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 own site; each customer has a password to see a unique information.
“Our online solution 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 do simple uploads, so they can modify their site from their desks without concerning the firm.
HANC’S site provides links to its consumers’ pages, including a furniture manufacturer, automobile dealerships, some nonprofits and a golf equipment distributor. This not only promotes HANC’s solutions but additionally encourages more hits to its customers. HANC’s website gets 900 to 1,000 hits a month. All its kept internet sites, together, typical about 1,500 hits on a daily basis.
PULLING IT TOGETHER
Regardless of the firm’s technical elegance, Motherway uses a number 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 firm spent about $20,000 on its server hardware.
HANC’s IT staff trains others in 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 skills that are technological homegrown,” said Hungerford. “The IT staff keeps up with the literary works and now we’re looking into certification on some Microsoft items. But most of our Internet knowledge is self-taught.” Hungerford, Walraven and Motherway have continued their education that is technological after.
In the foreseeable future, Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter intends to help its consumers be a little more sophisticated on the internet. Hungerford said that even though the company’s customers had been happy with the marketing abilities regarding the Web, they would be looking beyond to utilizing the Web to actually provide services. HANC is working on solving security issues to make online stores and e-mail transactions practical. Eventually, the firm intends to help clients put up 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 solutions and fraud investigations. Numerous old-fashioned companies — HANC was started in 1941 — found myself in IT consulting as a sideline to services that are traditional. But as traditional and services that are new at HANC, the firm finds itself doing a 180″ turn. Said Walraven, “We now hope to seu more traditional accounting services to your new website chients.”