The way things are going now companies of all sizes needs an IT person, unit or department. Information technology has become pervasive and everyone uses some form of it. Information technology has also been fast evolving with many changes taking place; what was once new may already be old technology in no time at all.
Particularly for small companies, keeping up with the latest trend may be a difficult and a costly exercise. This kind of situation provides a window of opportunity for those who will know how to address it. People like Jim Wolford can help companies with their IT needs. In fact Jim through his firm Atomic Data can become a company’s own IT department.
Jim is a product of St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. For most of 15 years he helped companies based in Minneapolis with their strategic Internet plans and in the project management of their business systems. Jim has experience in virtually all facets of the new digital world having worked on projects that dealt with hardware architecture to supply chain management.
Jim who is the CEO founded Atomic Data in 2001. He started Atomic as a consumer product, offering IT solution applications to everyone. As is always the case change eventually happens and Jim adapted Atomic to the emerging needs of organizations. He transformed the firm into a multi-location, managed service data center. With cloud computing becoming more popular the move has proven to be the right one.
By offering management services to clients Atomic essentially functions as a company’s IT department. The firm also takes care of basic, general functions such as server maintenance and desktop support. Atomic has eight worldwide hosting “cloud” facilities that has been designed and built out inside large telecom data centers. Two if its data centers are located in Hong Kong and in Madrid, Spain.
Jim has built a company that is positioned in what it still new territory, the world of cloud computing and IT management service. Atomic Data based in Minneapolis looks to have a very bright future ahead of it.
Companies are mostly established to earn profits. In practically every activity a company does it should see to it that the activity will somehow improve the bottom line. This is particularly important in advertising where a company wants to see sales and ultimately profits to increase as a result of the money spent.
One of the more popular mediums of advertising today is through the Internet. Driving traffic to the website is one of the main concerns of web advertisers. That’s why companies like SEER Interactive have thrived. SEER has not only thrived it is actually one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. and has received a number of awards for its performance.
SEER is into search engine optimization, paid search marketing, and analytics. One of the things that separates SEER is it connects the activities it does for clients to the client’s bottom line. This company will not accept projects that it believes it cannot perform satisfactorily for its clients. SEER is not only concerned with rankings and clicks but puts a lot of emphasis on leads and actual sales that is generated.
The company was founded by Wil Reynolds who worked for a web marketing agency starting in 1999. There he used to lead the SEO strategies for firms like Disney, Debeers, and Mercedes Benz USA. Wil then ventured out in 2002 and put up SEER.
SEER is based in Philadelphia and also has offices in San Diego and Madrid, Spain.
A leading New York dealer of arts and antiquities since the early 1980s, Carlton Hobbs maintains an Upper East Side office with longtime partner Stefanie Rinza. Carlton Hobbs LLC, Antiques and Fine Art has a discerning catalogue of works of exceptional provenance and artistry from the 17th through 19th century. Intensive research is a focal point in every acquisition, with the firm maintaining a library of several thousand academic volumes and source materials. Research is frequently published, both in order to enrich the academic community, and to share with collectors the in-depth knowledge that informs each piece in the collection.
A unique item recently highlighted on the Carlton Hobbs weblog at www.facebook.com/CarltonHobbsAntiques is a pair of mid-18th century Pontypool lacquered tôle. Developed by Thomas Algood in the late 17th century, the tôle technique is named after the south Wales location in which manufacture originally took place. Through tôle craftsmanship, colorful decorative motifs such as flowers and plants are projected strikingly on a rich black background. The underlying technique in creating these pieces involves applying a linseed-based oil to the table surface. Added pigments are fired at high temperatures and for precise duration, creating brilliant colors and an overall lustrous appeal that does not diminish over time. The technique remained extremely popular throughout the early 18th century. Jappaned tôle-ware most likely gifted by Catherine the Great is now an integral part of the Hermitage Collection.
Carlton Hobbs and his business partner are situated in a former Vanderbilt mansion, where they display antiquities and cohabit with a number of rescued dogs. Ms. Rinza is particularly well known for her efforts in finding caring homes for abandoned cats and dogs trhoughout new York City.
It’s amazing how one activity can be viewed from different perspectives. Lawrence Closs seems to have hit it right on the head when he sees his business as selling happiness. At the end of the day whatever the product or service is being sold people want to be happy for having bought it. After all a person wouldn’t seem to be in his right frame of mind if he bought something so he could be sad.
What’s admirable about Closs is his own struggle in the business has not deterred him to bring happiness around. After being a marketing and advertising executive he went into the business of selling bathtub liners. Closs started his business in 2002 in New Orleans.
Locating his first warehouse in the inner city and accessible to cheap public transportation he felt his was in an advantageous position. Then Hurricane Katrina struck. His warehouse was flooded with seven and a half feet of water and his entire stock was destroyed.
Undeterred he opened a new warehouse just 50 yards from his original location. Dealing with insurance companies, a low labor supply, and very little economic activity in New Orleans, he faced an enormous challenge. He revaluated the business model of his company, NewBath and decided to offer a broader range of products and services. It now offers a wide range bath remodeling service. To lessen geographic risk he is also doing business in Houston, Texas.
Business has since been doing very well so much so that NewBath has now been recognized as one of the fasted growing inner city companies in the U.S. What is also worth noting is the line of business that Closs is in is not something novel or part of the sunrise industries like information technology or biotechnology. The remodeling business has been around for a quite some time already.
What Closs through NewBath offers is a one point of service where customers can have their project done from start to finish dealing with only one entity instead of having to buy items, deal with a contractor and so on.
Closs continues to work in order to provide products and services that make customers happy.
Companies like Apple, Google, Samsung and more have become very successful catering to individuals and the general public market. There are companies although not as large as Google or Apple that have managed to prosper by focusing on having the U.S. government as its client.
It’s not that easy, there are certain rules and regulations to follow in dealing with the government. Things may not move as quickly as dealing with the private sector. You can be sure though that if there has been a budget allocation there is funding for such a government spending and you’ll get paid. This client will not likely go bankrupt as the U.S. government does print the money.
Daniel Turner has been very successful catering to the U.S. government. He founded TCG (Turner Consulting Group) in 1994. As company president he brought his experience in government computing services and state networking agencies in founding the company. Having previously worked with the government has been a key advantage in the success of the company.
TCG started working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and still does business with it. From a one employee company helping NIH solve legislative requirements it now provides a complete range of IT and management consulting services. The company’s services and solutions includes IT solutions, grant management, collaboration environments, and budget formulation and execution.
Knowing the needs of the Federal government and agencies Daniel Turner has over the years guided the growth of the company which is now one of the fastest growing firms in the U.S.
An entrepreneur who wanted to take things a bit easy winds up having a hit product.
Giuliana Maravelle was an entrepreneurial veteran who had owned and managed several businesses. After 30 years she sold her last business which was a hairdressing academy. More of a hobby Giuliana decided to open a true little Italian café where the panini, gelato and espresso would be just as she wanted.
Café Bottega opened in New Haven, Connecticut in 2004. She then ran into a problem with the gelato part as she couldn’t find any that was as good as the ones she tasted while growing up in Italy. She then took gelato-making lessons from an Italian gelato company. Having learned how to do it Giuliana then proceeded to make her own gelato and sorbet at the café.
Soon enough the home-made gelato became a hit at the café. With her business partner Deborah Cairo they eventually decided to expand and transferred their gelato-making venture from Giuliana’s kitchen to a 1,200 square-foot warehouse in Wallingford in 2007.
With the ever growing popularity of Gelato Giuliana they soon outgrew the small warehouse in Wallingford. In 2010 they transferred their operations to New Haven’s Long Wharf section. They also relocated the café which was now a nightclub called Keys to the City in the same location so both businesses could be managed under one roof. At the end of 2012 the production facility was expanded.
Gelato Giuliana now produces 50 flavors along with seasonal favorites and fruit sorbets; previously they only produced a dozen. The same equipments and methods are used as those in Italy; the only difference is in the packaging which is done in various sizes. Everything is still made by hand.
The “retired” Giuliana does not want to expand too fast. Originally they only wanted 10 to 20 accounts. Now Gelato Giuliana is offered in five states and serves more than 400 businesses.
One never knows what lies ahead which may turn out to be a wonderful entrepreneurial success story.
Cathy Edwards co-founded Chomp, Inc. in 2009. It was the only company to enable app search based on what an app actually does. The current scenario is there are one billion apps being downloaded every month. As the number of apps greatly increases it has become difficult for users to find the perfect app for what they want to do.
The company’s patent-pending algorithm is able to understand what an app does and what a users wants and then make the best match. Chomp allows developers to effectively integrate app search in their content. The company was based in San Francisco, California.
It was able to get a couple of millions in funding and got the attention of Apple which acquired the company in February 2012. While the price of acquisition was not divulged industry insiders say it went for $50 million.
While it was a proof of validation for Cathy and company it came with a twist. For reasons not fully explained, Apple completely shut down Chomp including its website less than a year after acquisition. If one goes to Chomp.com one gets redirected to Apple’s site. As a very large company Apple has its own priorities.
Given the fact that Cathy and company were able to sell it to Apple for a considerable amount, it can already be considered a rare achievement.
Not too long ago the Internet was non-existent. Then slowly overtime it became a relevant technology. Today there is an explosion of commerce happening in the Internet and quite a number of people have become billionaires because of it.
There are many people making a good living because of the Internet. One such person who has had a great amount of success is Shama Kabani. She is known as a technology entrepreneur, a public speaker, a best-selling author, as well as a web and TV personality.
Shama was born in Goa, India in 1985 as Shama Ryder. She and her family immigrated to the U.S. when she was 9 years of age. Her family settled in Carrollton, Texas. Shama graduated from high school in Carrollton in 2003 and proceeded to the University of Texas at Austin. She earned a master’s degree in organizational communications in 2008.
In 2009 she founded The Marketing Zen Group with $1,500. It is a web marketing firm with an emphasis on social media marketing based in Dallas, Texas. It has since experienced annual growth at an average of 400%. Shama leads her team of 25 full-time employees who all work virtually. The company provides social media and digital public relations services for a diverse set of clients such publicly traded Fortune 1000 companies to private small businesses as well as non-profit organizations. Marketing Zen has a global client base serving companies in the U.S., Europe, Central and South America, and Asia.
Shama is also an accomplished author. Her best-selling book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, was released last January 2013. While not directly engaged with Marketing Zen Shama does shooting for her show or is travelling around the world speaking on business, technology, and entrepreneurship.
She has over the years received numerous awards. Her company was honored at the White House in 2012 for being named to the Empact100 list of the top 100 U.S. companies to be run by a young entrepreneur.
Shama has made a successful living off the digital world.
If there’s one thing about travel it will most likely include having luggage. You have to check them in, wait for them in the airport carousel, and then carry them over a certain distance. Having luggage, especially heavy ones can be a pain. Even more painful and stressful is if you lose your luggage. It could mean having to buy new clothes, or having to rent a set of skis.
Ezekiel Adkins and a partner wanted to change all of that and founded a company in 2004 called Luggage Forward. This firm is based in Boston, Massachusetts. It provides door-to-door delivery of your luggage and sports equipment such as golf bags and skis. The company offers a set of online tools that lets clients to generate pricing, securely book online and track luggage real-time.
It initially delivered luggage domestically in the U.S. for two years then expanded to provide international service. The company works with various carriers such as DHL Express to enable the luggage to reach its destination on time. Luggage Forward can now send luggage directly to more than 220 countries and territories. This includes a traveler’s hotel, golf courses, vacation homes as well as a cruise ship’s port of call.
With its success Adkins and company have gone on an expansion mode which included acquiring 7 similar companies in the U.S.
Sandra Walls was born and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. She earned her high school diploma at Manassas High School and then graduated from LeMoyne-Owen College. During that time she couldn’t get a job because she was black, a woman and had no experience.
To get ahead in life she decided to join the military and get a master’s degree and make herself marketable in 4 years time. She joined the U.S. Air Force and enjoyed it and she would up spending 22 years in service. Walls retired as a Lt. Colonel.
She was a logistic officer and her expertise included depot management, warehouse solutions, logistics, advisory services and program management. She retired in 1995. Walls then joined a company called AVPOL (Aviation, Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants) as a partner in 2001. AVPOL was originally incorporated in Texas by retired military logistician. The company worked primarily in the petroleum business within the Department of Defense and offered services in ground fuels.
When Walls joined the company it employed 30 people and had $1.2 million in revenues. Her experience during her military career involved more than just petroleum. It was a broader logistical affair including providing services or moving products or commodities from point A to point B. With her work experience background she started to move the company in a different direction.
As things turned out her partner and mentor, a company known as Trajen, moved out of the business. It owned 49 percent of AVPOL. They sold the company to Walls for $350,000 which was structured as a loan. What was once a small petroleum company is now a million-dollar logistics business based in Memphis, Tennessee. It generated revenues of $12 million in 2011. Walls has also put in place a 5 year $ 100 million strategic growth plan.
The company services federal and commercial contracts. Walls is also letting her son Timothy Walls who graduated from Tennessee State University join the business. He will have to work his way up the ladder before reaching the top position.
Banking on her previous work experience Walls took AVPOL International to a new direction and has come out a winner.