OREB Trade Show 2013

30 Oct 2013  •  Comments

Tomorrow is October 31st and the all day Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) annual trade show.  It's a pretty big event and hosts over a thousand visitors annually, so we're excited to be there with our booth dressed and ready to be seen.

We'll have a few demo stations of THICKbrick - our beautiful real estate agent websites designed with a fantastic content management system that hides behind the scenes and simplifies all the website upkeep that distract agents from just doing their job.  We'll have leaflets and an incredible on-the-spot discount ready for everyone interested in signing up.

We'll also have a unique "Ask a GEEK" mini-booth - your chance to rub elbows and get some free advice and feedback on anything percolating in your brain.  Since we also do desktop support, we're proud of being a bunch of clever nerds, so we're happy to give back our time to help other people out.

We even have a cool toy that we're giving away - a charging system for your cell phone that fits in your pocket!  Stop by and say hi if you're there!

Offering: IT Help

18 Jul 2013  •  Comments

Good customer service is built around saying "yes" and taking someone else's priorities as your own.

We get called to help customers with their web design initiatives and build web applications for them that save money and time while allowing them to get back to doing their jobs better.  With great attitudes, great timing and great pricing, there's no doubt why we have so many happy clients.  The conversations we have with people and their relationship with technology, though, often leads to unexpected places. What starts with a website often ends up with IT support and system administration.

As a result, we've grown our relationships, our depth of experience, and our service offering by developing three ways to help people: tactical technical call answer and remote troubleshooting services, project-based or incident response and dispatch for complex and critical issues, and a virtual CTO service to provide strategic guidance along your technology roadmap.  As a whole, this provides a complete solution to the puzzle that many companies face: can we avoid hiring another expensive body to deal with IT and still meet our needs at a fraction of the cost?  Our answer is a simple "yes".

Over the years, we've gotten comfortable with our place in the world.  Nerds, geeks, hipsters, either way, it's ok - knowing the difference between a Mac Cube and a Rubix Cube is our job, not yours.  Leave the technology challenges to us and free yourself to go back to growing your business.

Web Design Standards and Trust

4 Jun 2013  •  Comments

Lets face it: we're in a period of time where your web presence defines you.  When consumers base decisions on trust, that presence, or lack thereof, can be a sign of legitimacy and credibility, or not.

Think about that for a moment.

It leads to one of the most common pitfalls in web design: designing a website for one user, the business owner, instead of designing it for the many masses of users that the business owner customers hopes to convert into customers.  Designing a site for the wrong audience is not only a poor investment, it can negatively affect how your public views you.

Don't make the background your favourite colour; statistically speaking, you're outnumbered.

Don't use your favourite image; in isolation it may look great but may impact the look and feel of the whole layout.

Don't go in with a mindset that dictates what a site must be; provide guidance, direction and feedback, and listen to your experts.

We guarantee we don't know more about the intricacies of running your business than you do.  We know design, layouts, search engine efficiency, and server stuff.  It's our job to know that better than you and work with you to leverage our experience to help your business.

That's what we do best.

Build vs Buy

27 Mar 2013  •  Comments

It seems like there has always been conversation between custom development and off-the-shelf software.  It also clearly seems to be an area where there is no clear answer other than "it depends".

We try to help in the discussion by looking at software as a bridge with the real goal being the business objectives.  The right answer needs to look at a few different questions:

  • Is there existing software that does what you want?
  • How much of your objective is met by the software as is?
  • How can you address those gaps?

More than one smart business leader has stumbled delivering what is reported to be an easy existing platform that "just needs a few tweaks" only to see the project extend deadlines by months and tens of thousands of dollars.  Large organizations are not immune to that same issue, and while they may have the funds to insulate themselves from the impact of a delay, shareholders inevitably start losing patience when cost overruns occur.

An entrepreneurial eye and a clear set of objectives and openly reviewed timeline can develop something that is both standards-compliant for easy data portability, and also finely tuned to do exactly what the business needs without the waste of time or feature.  You literally pay only for what you need and get exactly what you pay for.

By keeping costs down with a experienced delivery team, particularly for the business automation space and for entrepreneurs trying to bring a concept to light, custom development can not only be the right answer but also an economical one.

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