Category Archives: Zimana Clients

Client Spotlight: Smith and Donovan

SmithDonovan

Carly Smith and Thad Donovan lead a marketing services company that have aided businesses and non-profit organizations across Northwestern Indiana

Smith and Donovan have been providing photography and video services for a wide variety of businesses and non profit organizations in northwest Indiana and the Chicago area.  Carly Smith and Thad Donovan has created a number of corporate videos, including a video supporting the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission’s Comprehensive 2040 plan for Gary, Hammond, and the communities of northwest Indiana.

Smith Donovan NIRPC Pierre DeBois of Zimana

Carly and Thad record Zimana founder Pierre DeBois for the NIRPC CRP video

Their latest project is an original TV program called Alexis Ronan, a mystery which follows the journey of a mother finding her lost son Elijah. Produced by Thad and conceived by Carly, the program features South Bend native Lisa Varga in the title role, Tony Casale, Jeff Puckett, Kim DeJesus, and Joyce Porter.

The team recently ran an Indiegogo project. The campaign has exceeded its crowdfunding goal, so the program seems set to have a promising launch and an exciting future. You can learn about the program at alexisronan.com.

Zimana has had the distinct pleasure of offering SEO services for two Smith and Donovan clients, and looks forward to providing more analytics services in the future. “I loved that I had an opportunity to help improve website optimization,” says Zimana founder Pierre DeBois. “Carly and Thad are great professionals, and even moreso, great people.”

Client Spotlight: Benefit Management Associates @BMA_INC

Paul Dark Benefits Management Associates

Paul Dark (right) has been providing quality insurance and financial consultation to many firms in the Chicago area

One of Zimana’s favorite clients is the right company to turn to when it comes to planning the right health care coverage for your company.  Started by Paul Dark, Benefit Management Associates (BMA) provides guidance on health care coverage and insurance plans.

From small businesses to large corporations, the team offers quality consultation that saves organizations time and money.  United Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield calculators are available through the company site to aid important decisions in coverage plans.  Benefit Management Associates vets the impact of the latest issues in health care to provide guidance that work in the best interest of clients for the long term.

Zimana provided a social media strategy for the team that matched resources with content ideas.

For more on Benefit Management Associates, check out their website at www.benefitmngt.com. Also check out this video in which Paul outlines what goes into a health insurance program based on the number of employees.


Zimana spotlight: broadAngle

This interview with Garrison Atkisson, founder of broadAngle, was conducted via online in 2012.  Portions were used as part of a post for Business Agility.  I met Garrison during my grad school days at Georgia Tech. Later we crossed paths, and the result was Zimana providing SEO analysis for a broadAngle client, OverTime Magazine.

Garrison is a terrific person, and his insights – even better! So it’s great when he shares thoughts from which other entrepreneurs can learn.  Read a bit of what he shared with me few of his thoughts below.  I am always grateful for Garrison and his wife Aysem for their friendship, and happy for their  teams’ growth.

1.      You started broadAngle in 2007, originally with a video product.  What brought about change to services?

We started broadAngle in late 2007 with the intent to develop and market a product that helped corporate clients manage and deliver video content using a custom branded player.  The economic crisis of 2008 made this very difficult for us.  We found ourselves in a position where we needed to re-evaluate our strengths and the needs of the market to find a more viable business model.  We had assembled a great development team for our own product development, and pivoting the business to provide their development services to our clients was a natural fit.  It was much easier to demonstrate value with a services-based strategy that it was trying to create a new market for our product.

2.     Four years is a long enough time for technology changes to introduce new trends and behaviors.  What changes have you seen from customers recently that surprised you?

When we started offering software development services in late 2008, small and medium sized businesses seemed more reluctant to outsource to a company that was delivering its services using offshore resources.  I do not know if the market itself has changed, or if our responses to this reluctance have helped to combat their fears.  Generally, clients seemed to be concerned with their ability to manage and direct a team on the other side of the world, which is obviously a valid concern.  We put several things in place that made it easier to do business with us, and gave our offshore services a local feel.  First, we use VoIP technology to ensure that clients have a local US based phone number at which to reach us,  second, our development team works shifted hours so there is more overlap with clients in the US and in Western Europe.  Third, we only hire employees that are fluent in English.  Finally, senior staff members make regular trips to the US to visit clients, and occasionally will work on-site to put a face to our service.  Is short, we provide the benefits of offshore development services while retaining a local feel.

3.     Your business is unique in having served customers in Europe and the US.  Have you discovered unique differences in how businesses in each region approach business intelligence services?  How have those differences affected business process management or decision management from your experiences or observations?

I am more surprised by how similar our client interactions are regardless of their location.  I do not know if it is a symptom of the globalization of business in general, if the world is “getting smaller” due to technological changes, or if the function of our business and the service we provide is dictating the form of our interactions with customers.  The differences that we do see are more related to corporate culture than to any regional differences.
4.    How has broadAngle adopted the cloud for its clients and what lessons has the team learned along the way to implementation?

The popularity of different forms of “cloud” technologies, SaaS (Software as a service), PaaS(Platform as a service), and IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) has affected our clients in a lot of ways.  The most common seems to be that IaaS makes it easier to deploy software by simply rolling out a new virtual machine instance for development, test, or production use.  We’ve built solutions that integrate SaaS services to add customer relationship or salesforce management functionality to custom applications that otherwise would have been out of scope due to time or budget constraints.  We haven’t done much with PaaS outside of some internal research projects, but solutions like Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk show lots of promise as the services mature.

First Digital Marketing and Analytics Seminar a Success for #Chicago Incubator @Blue1647 and Zimana

Zimana has partnered with Blue 1647, a Chicago start up and entrepreneurship incubator in the Pilsen neighborhood. Founded by Emile Cambry, and co-managed with Antonio Rowry as Chief Operating Officer, Blue 1647 provides a working space for 32 companies and a number of workshops centered on web technology and app development.  The center is part of a burgeoning Chicago tech scene. The incubator offers programs such as Project Exploration, i c Stars, Code Chicago (a web & app development program for adult-learners), 21st Century Youth Project for young adults including our Girls in Fashion Tech program!), and data science courses.

The partnership consist of web analytics workshop presentations created by Zimana, with the workshops hosted at Blue1647.

The first session, held September 23rd, provided an overview of SEO, Paid Search, and Social Media, from a content marketing approach. Analytics concepts were then introduced to help answer questions about how digital marketing works for a small business. The sessions have brought in the highest response for Blue1647 workshop registrations to date.

Check out some pictures from the attendees as Zimana founder Pierre DeBois walks through the presentation. For more information on future sessions – a new session is being planned for November – contact Blue1647.

Blue 1647 Zimana Digital Marketing Seminar

Zimana founder Pierre DeBois explaining how analytics organizes the marketing choices for a business

Blue 1647 - Zimana - Digital Marketing and Analytics Course

Zimana founder Pierre DeBois explaining how digital marketing has impacted the choices facing small businesses.


Scientifically Speaking

Zimana Client Spotlight: Scientifically Speaking @business317 merges presentation skills with social media

Scientifically Speaking

Eric Anderson has been combining social media with a great presentation skills service for technical professionals who are not savvy at presentations

Eric Anderson has been a driving force with his company Scientifically Speaking (nicknamed SciSpeak).  Based in Indianapolis, Scientifically Speaking provides social media and presentations coaching to technology professionals and small businesses.  The end result for the client is an improved communication skill set to “tell their story.”

Zimana spotlights Scientifically Speaking as it expands its presentation training services with a special emphasis on social media usage among technical professionals. Scispeak is also presenting at several professional seminars throughout across the country, including: the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineer, Indiana Black Expo and the National Society of Black Engineers. Scispeak has also facilitated iPad education training seminars in the Washington Township and Carmel School Districts.

Eric believes Scientifically Speaking stands out to entrepreneurs and technical professionals through two aspects:

  • Capability to explain ideas – “The biggest benefit to start ups and entrepreneurs is experience and knowledge in communicating technical information to non-technical audiences.”
  • Charisma – “The passion that I bring to my training sessions and presentations sets the experience apart from any other. You can’t teach passion. This will make workshops and consultations memorable and enjoyable.

I have had the pleasure of working alongside Eric Anderson for one of his training courses at the Indiana University-Purdue University campus in Indianapolis. I am sure that many professions can rest easy with Eric on the job. To learn more on how Eric can build a presentation tailored to your organization, visit the Scientifically Speaking site (www.scispeak.com) or reach out at @business317.