Archive for the ‘Beacon News’ Category
in Beacon News, Beacon Team
With Beacon’s customer base spanning the U.S into 40+ states, into 30+ universities and now, into the Virgin Islands and the U.K., credit must go to Beacon’s Sales Team.
Rick Boccard, Beacon’s Director of Sales, joined the company a couple of years ago after working as a territory sales executive for Bronto Software. He has quietly and effectively changed the direction in establishing new sales and marketing tactics within Beacon under his leadership. Of course, there’s a great technical team assembled behind the front line that delivers quality products and services. The growth in sales has not only been cause to hire new development and digital marketing employees, but also for expansion into additional office space.
Three (3) new members were added to the Sales team recently…
- Justin Terrell: Account Manager
- Emily Ledbetter: Account Executive
- Ryan Bowles: Account Executive (starts June 1).
Beacon continues to grow an impressive list of clients with recent signings by:
- University of the Virgin Islands (37 companies competed for this project)
- Emory Healthcare (GA)
- Syracuse University (NY)
- Harvard University (MA)
- Bassett – HGTV (VA)
- 17 Bassett Store Locations
- Lees-McRae College (NC)
- Southern Illinois University (IL)
- eVacuum Store (MA)
…while signing new major projects for existing clients like:
- Bassett Furniture (VA)
- Burton+Burton (GA)
- NewBridge Bank (NC)
- Princeton Review (MA)
- Business Supply (NC)
- Honey-Baked Ham (OH)
- Basin Electric Power (ND)
- Robert Ham (NC)
- NC Technology Association (NC)
…while hitting an expanded trade show circuit (recent & upcoming)
- HighEdWeb – New England (Mar 18) – Silver Sponsor
- HighEdWeb – Florida (Apr 22-23) – Silver Sponsor
- NCTA State of Technology (Apr 25) – Gold
- Piedmont Triad Business Showcase (May 16)
- HighEdWeb – Michigan (May 20-21) – Silver Sponsor
- NCTA Emerging Technology & Trends (May 23) – Series Sponsor
- HighEdWeb – West in Orange CA (Jun 2-3) – Silver Sponsor
- Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition – Chicago (Jun 4-7)
- Lots more events – See our Events Schedule for the rest of 2013.
Hope to see you at one of the upcoming events. Let us know how we can help with any of your web initiatives whether its web development, website design, digital marketing or web hosting. Even if you want to bounce a question off us or need confirmation about a particular strategy, we would be glad to help.
Tags: beacon technologies, becons clients, digital marketing, web design, web development for higher education, web hosting
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in Beacon News, Mobile / Responsive Design, Web Development
Beacon Technologies is excited to announce the launch of NCTA’s responsive site redesign at http://nctechnology.org! The site was already in Cascade, but Beacon’s team helped to redesign the existing site with slight graphic changes and adopt a fluid grid layout. Our development team helped implement a new “rounded” look and highlight key areas of the site to improve site navigation and ease-of-use for the end user. View another one of our projects for more information on responsive design.
- Implemented a responsive design for desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
- The client wanted How to Sponsor an Event, Become a Member, Event Calendar and their Membership Directory given a prominent presence. Beacon helped make it easy for their members or prospective members to find this information.
- They thought their last site was too “boxy”; however, they liked the rounded corners that Apple has, so we provided them with rounded corners
- They wanted to highlight their main sponsors on the homepage, which we’ve done via a scrolling carousel right above the footer
- Changed the layout of the Events pages to highlight What, When and Where higher up on the page. On their old site, these features were getting lost in all of the content.
- Provided them with bigger and more prominent calls to action such as buttons in the left-hand navigation of the events pages for Register Online and Print Form buttons in the left-hand navigation.
- Made the News ticker more prominent on homepage – ticker at top of page
- Upgraded the search feature from Perlfect to Google Custom Search
The following folks had major role in the success of this project:
- Jennifer did a great job of coming up with a responsive design that addressed all of their requirements, but was still functional in a mobile capacity.
- Keana did virtually all of the development and Cascade implementation with great results.
- Tiffany was always available for technical support. She was there to answer any questions the developers had and helped out from a development/testing perspective when we were down to the wire.
- John Vine jumped in towards the end and helped set up Google Custom Search so we could migrate NCTA off of Perlfect.
- Justin provided analysis, development, and launch assistance as needed.
If you are building a new website or redesigning your old one, it’s time to consider a responsive design. Mobile and tablet usage has increased significantly and will continue to do so. In addition, there are SEO and maintenance benefits with responsive design versus having standalone mobile, tablet and desktop websites.
Tags: beacon web development, ncta, ncta responsive design site launch, north carolina technology association, reponsive web design, responsive design, Web Development
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in Beacon News, Beacon Team, Google Analytics, Not Really Computer Related
If the 2013 version of March Madness has taught us anything, it’s that the best ‘team’ usually wins. It’s not necessarily the best individual players that get the glory, but the five most talented guys that work together that get to cut down the nets. As an Account Manager at Beacon, I’m lucky enough to be a part of a collaborative effort instead of an ‘every person for their self’ mantra.
It would be ultimately time consuming to explain to you what everyone at Beacon does on a day to day basis, so let’s utilize the March Madness theme to try and breakdown what our clients get when they choose Beacon as their web services solution:
Beacon Team Breakdown:
Head Coach—The Client; without our clients direction and goal setting, we’d just be a bunch of Digital gurus sitting around playing on Google+.
Assistant Coaches—When you sign on with Beacon, you get a Senior Level Member of each of our Departments (Digital Marketing, Software Development, and Sales) assigned to your account, ensuring that the goals laid out by our Head Coach are being achieved.
Players– Executing the game plan and ensuring victory is left in the hands of our more than capable ‘players’ They range from Digital Marketing Specialists, to Account Managers, to Desktop Administrators, Web Developers, and SEO experts. While they could all be the ‘Most Outstanding Player’ in their niche, we’ve combined all this talent into a powerhouse Web Solutions team.
Fans— Customers. The most important part of March Madness, and your website, are the fans. Without customers, businesses don’t exist, so they make up the most important part of this whole equation. Our ‘players’ know that our job is to help your business get the most information to, and get the most out of, your fans.
Like any good team, we enjoy getting feedback from our ‘fans.’ Recently we got the following feedback from our client, HRD Strategies:
“We have always received consistent and white-gloved service from everyone at Beacon. William Nichols, Caleb Pruitt, Stephanie Baubie, Rick Boccard, and Justin Klingman have all been responsive and provided exactly what needed, when we need it. William is “a Saint” and has been indispensable to us over the years; particularly with the nightmares we’ve put him through!” -Nina Lovett, President, SPHR, HRD Strategies.
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in Beacon Events, Beacon News, Beacon Team
The Sales Team at Beacon, along with more than 100 volunteers, helped make Downtown Greensboro a little greener this Arbor Day. On March 22, 2013, 45 trees were planted to honor the 45th anniversary of Greensboro Beautiful. A variety of trees were planted including: Chinese Pistache, Crape Myrtle, Holly and Littleleaf Linded. Not only are we improving the tree canopy for downtown Greensboro, but the trees also help improve the environment. Each tree was tagged to show the positive financial impact it has on the environment over the next 15 years. In addition, the event helped Greensboro, NC maintain its designation as a Tree City USA for the 22nd consecutive year.
Greensboro Mayor, Robbie Perkins, delivered the Arbor Day Proclamation during the post tree planting celebration held at Hamburger Square. A big Thank You goes out to Action Greensboro for including Beacon Technologies in this project. “Beacon is committed to being an active part of the Greensboro community. We saw this as a great chance to get outdoors and help encourage environmental awareness” said Rick Boccard, Director of Sales at Beacon.
To View More Photos of the Event Click Here
Tags: Action Greensboro, Arbor Day, Arbor Day Greensboro, beacon technologies, beacon technologies volunteer, Greensboro Beautiful, volunteer
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in Beacon News
Greensboro, NC, March 1, 2013
According to CEO Mark Dirks, Beacon Technologies was nothing more than “an idea – a plan to form a web development company” when he joined forces with John Scaramuzzo (COO) 15 years ago. Today Beacon has turned a small web technology team with a local focus into one with a national reach.
“I still remember our first client like it was yesterday. It was invigorating to work closely with a small business to help give them visibility to the world through the internet, but also to feel the work had an impact. It was quite different within AT&T for the previous 13 years where we never dealt with outside customers” says Dirks.
In January 2013, Beacon Technologies reached a milestone with its 15th year in business; a feat rarely seen today. Starting out as a group of computer information professionals in 1998, Beacon now offers web development, web hosting and digital marketing services to a diverse set of clients in 43 states.
This past year saw unprecedented growth, with Beacon Technologies adding 54 new clients including Hanes Brands, Harvard University, Syracuse University, Honey Baked Ham and Shelba D. Johnson Trucking. The company now lists over 30 universities and colleges as clients. It is also one of the longest standing Google Analytics Partners in the country.
Dirks goes on about Beacon’s future, “We navigated through highs and lows over the years. We were excited by the fast growth and partnerships with Accenture and Lockheed Martin in the early days to develop FAFSA for the Dept of Education and web-based applications for the EPA. We toughened up following the dot-com fallout, the 9/11 tragedy and more recently, the stock market crash. My partner and Beacon’s COO, John Scaramuzzo, was instrumental in working through those difficult days and deserves a ton of credit in setting the financial foundation for success over the last 5 years and the future. I still greatly enjoy Beacon and its people. This year, we made another big step by growing our sales staff which will subsequently increase demand for additional development and digital marketing staff to support the widened sales funnel. We are traveling to many more national trade shows and continue to establish Beacon as a leader in Higher Ed and Retail web solutions as well. Plus we have several other cool initiatives that will be announced later in the year. It’s certainly an exciting time for Beacon.”
Beacon continues to give back to the local Greensboro community with both time and financial gifts. As a community partner of the United Way of Greater Greensboro, Beacon technologies increased its collective annual contributions in 2012. The company invites you to help celebrate their 15th by making a contribution of your own at www.unitedwaygso.org.
Founded in 1998, Beacon provides custom web solutions that help its customers fully utilize digital technology to grow their business. Beacon’s customers gain a competitive advantage through its unique, in-house ability to marry creative web design, quality web development, data-driven digital marketing and dependable hosting services to produce measurable results. In addition, Beacon’s long standing relationship with Google as a certified partner and premiere partnerships with best-in-class eCommerce content management, site search, email and other software vendors, allows it to deliver dependable, well-integrated web solutions to its customers throughout the U.S.
Rob Darst, Mark Dirks and John Scaramuzzo at the Anniversary Party
Tags: beacon news, beacon technologies, digital marketing, press release, united way, Web Development, web hosting
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in Beacon News, eCommerce / ASPDNSF, Web Development
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new AspDotNetStorefront site today – Artsy Abode. More accurately, this is actually a new “MoreStore” for the base site we launched last year for Flirties Earrings. Both sites are now administered in the same AspDotNetStorefront Admin, with one additional store being added later this year.
Points of interest on this site:
- Brand-based graphics in site header that link to topic pages maintainable by client in Admin
- Background color is an appconfig that can be changed by client via Admin simply by adding a new HEX color code!
- Home page
- Flash home page slide show from original site replaced by a custom Beacon module that is administered in the Admin site
- Customer favorites section on home page populated by mapping products to the “Favorites” category
- Promotional graphics (under rotating banner) editable via topic page
- Thumbnail images displayed on search results page (nonstandard functionality for AspDotNetStorefront)
- Enabled product option to display ring sizes: http://artsyabode.com/p-3623-kr01.aspx
- Enhanced store locations page with links to Google maps and maintainable by client in Admin: http://www.artsyabode.com/t-locations.aspx
- Direct integration with Constant Contact for newsletter registration
- We also updated the design a bit and made it more modern and fresh:
Tags: aspdnsf, aspdotnetstorefront, morestore, multistore
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in Beacon Events, Beacon News, Beacon Team, Google Analytics
NCTA Outlook For IT
Even though it seems as if 2013 is barely underway, Beacon is already several events into its event schedule. Beacon got things kicked off at NCTA’s 2013 Outlook for IT Annual Meeting & Tech Expo in Charlotte, NC. Beacon was lucky to represent itself with a booth at this years event and be a Gold Sponsor. Once setup at the event, we ran into Marc Montoro, Sr. Director of Programs & Communications for NCTA and gave us a warm welcome.
— NC Technology Assn (@NCTA) February 1, 2013
After meeting many of the other exhibitors, Beacon participated in a luncheon and saw several presentations from Michael Smith, VP of Research for Gartner, Michael Manos, CTO of AOL Services and Tom Becker, Vice President, Recruiting at Experis.
We would like to thank NCTA for the amazing time at Outlook for IT this year! From the big crowds, to the amazing speakers and information, this is an event we are surely looking forward to participate in again next year.
Coming Up Next: IRWD
Coming up on Monday, February 11-13 is the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference in sunny Orlando, Fl. The stage is set at the Omni Orlando Resort for over 50 exhibitors, 53 expert speakers and 34 conference sessions over the three day event. IRWD will draw a diverse crowd of top e-commerce executives, web designers and developers, and marketers from web-only merchants to e-commerce operations of the top chains. This conference is geared to people who want to roll up their sleeves and engage with pros and peers to learn how to enhance the design and functionality of their web sites to better serve their best customers and shopping prospects.
You can follow the happenings of the conference by following Beacon Technologies and Internet Retailer on Twitter. Check back frequently on both Twitter and Facebook to see photos, giveaways and updates from the event. You can tweet with #IRWD2013 or tweet at either one of us with @beacontec and @IR_Conferences. Connect with both accounts below.
Tags: beacon events, Beacon Expos, Internet Retailer, irwd, ncta, Outlook For IT
Posted in Beacon Events, Beacon News, Beacon Team, Google Analytics | 1 Comment »
in Beacon Events, Beacon News, Beacon Team
On Friday, February 1st, a team of Beacon Employees, including myself, will head down to Charlotte for the North Carolina Technology Association Annual Meeting and Tech Expo. Beacon has a longstanding history with NCTA, an association whose purpose is to promote our state’s fast-growing technology industry. They put on numerous events throughout the year, including everything from monthly NCTA 101 sessions, to a Golf tournament and leadership conference in July, as well as the annual NCTA 21 awards.
Friday’s event is entitled “Outlook for IT: 2013 & Beyond” and is being held at the Hilton Charlotte Center City Hotel. I’m personally thrilled to be in attendance at this conference, because it kicks off the start of Beacon’s event schedule, which will take us to Charlotte, Atlanta, and Boston, just to name a few. You can find out more about what we’re in for this Friday, here:
As an IT enthusiast, and a lifelong North Carolina resident, I’m excited to meet with other residents from across North Carolina that are involved in our IT sector, and discover how they are utilizing technology to drive their businesses forward. From everything I’ve read on the speakers, as well as the other companies that will be in attendance, this event will not be short on very talented IT professionals. I look forward to the opportunity to be in Charlotte this Friday; what events are you planning on attending this year?
Tags: beacon events, beacon tradeshows, beacon web development, ncta, ncta outlook for it
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in Beacon News, Cascade Server, Mobile / Responsive Design, Web Development
This afternoon, we launched a fully responsive Cascade server site at http://www.gcccd.edu – Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District! This site was already in Cascade and the original graphical design was by another firm, but Beacon was entirely responsible for the new responsive design and the implementation into Cascade.
Big thanks to all those involved:
Jennifer did a lovely job of coming up with a responsive design that wasn’t too big a departure from their existing site, but still functional in a mobile capacity.
Tiffany did virtually all of the development and Cascade implementation herself, including her first solo site launch today! The client was able to work and publish in Cascade for the entire duration of the project while Tiffany developed and was only frozen out of Cascade for two days while the final implementation was completed, and that the implementation was completed a full day ahead of schedule!
Justin provided analysis assistance and a bit of as needed development.
In case you aren’t familiar with the term “responsive design”, it is defined as:
A responsive design meets the following criteria:
- Valid and tested HTML 5 using media queries to query the browser for information and display content accordingly (supported by all modern desktop browsers, including IE9, and nearly all mobile browsers)
- Clean, sensible CSS3
- HTML coded to use a flexible/fluid grid– Fluid layouts are flexible and resize with the browser window because width, margin and padding elements (even fonts and images) and are defined in percentages and ems. As the resolution changes, the layout adjusts to fit. For example: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/fluidgrids/.
- Displays flexible images and media, like the site http://unstoppablerobotninja.com/entry/fluid-images/, for example
- No left/right scroll bars when content area is reduced in width and gracefully displays each break point without jumping or reloading
More information about responsive design from other Beacon blog posts:
Tags: cascade, cascade server, responsive design
Posted in Beacon News, Cascade Server, Mobile / Responsive Design, Web Development | 1 Comment »
in Beacon News
This striking new Cascade site was launched on January 4, 2013: http://whitman.syr.edu/. Beacon completed a lot of excellent custom development on this site including the following:
- Develop a new website for the school using design templates provided by a third party design firm
- “Extended” top nav menu system that displays sub-level pages in a formatted and user-friendly manner and controlled by an include file “behind the scenes”:
- Customized home page banner rotation with extensive summary text area that can be maintained within Cascade
- Right column area (on lower level pages) that inherits the section page’s default content (or can be overridden at the page level) to minimize site maintenance
- Widgets to display specialized content (like news, testimonials, events, blog entries, etc.) as well as customizable call to action buttons
- Option to display standardized video player on any content page
- Customized testimonials template
- Cascade Workflow process for page-level approval
- Specialized navigation “pods” (like on this page: http://whitman.syr.edu/whitman-experience/index.aspx) that allow the admin to select which sub-pages to link to and display content about those sub-pages within the body of a page:
The client is really pleased with the new site and kudos to everyone involved!
- Justin—For extensive assistance in requirements gathering and software engineering, content import from the old site, Cascade training as well as “as needed” development assistance
- Tiffany—Responsible for the majority of the site development, including several pre-launch issues that were resolved in record time!
- Zed—For content updates and “as needed” site development
- John W—For assistance with a RSS feed issue
Another impressive Cascade site!
Tags: cascade, cascade server, content management, Managing Web Content, Web Development
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