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03/31/2003 - InfoAxis Designs Web---Database Applications

At InfoAxis, the database applications under the surface cosmetics are the truly important parts of a Web site. They write, design, develop and build database applications that run on Internet Technology. They specifically do Web applications using Apache, PHP, MySQL --- all open source tools. The clients benefit because they don't have to pay expensive licensing fees, which keeps ongoing life-cycle costs lower than by using proprietary equivalents.

InfoAxis applications are wide ranging in their complexity. They run from simple photo gallery sites, like those used by real estate firms, to database driven project management sites, which are used by many collaborators. InfoAxis maintains their own Sun web servers for the benefit of their small business clients. Although InfoAxis provides hosting for their small business clients, it does not provide public hosting, thus affording a greater degree of security for their hosted clients. InfoAxis rarely hosts applications for their Fortune 500 clients. InfoAxis servers are co-located at One Eighty Networks to take advantage of their redundant Internet connections and power backup facilities.

Technology Principal, Kim Bjork founded InfoAxis nine years ago, and for the past four years the company has occupied space in the Hutton Building at 9 S Washington. Now, after a period of unprecedented growth, they have moved to a larger Suite 510. Senior Internet Consultant Tim Byers joined the firm in 2002. Their team includes business development and marketing specialists and the technical staff that keeps their servers humming 24/7, 365 days a year.

Bjork says that he is mostly self-educated as far as computers are concerned and works hard to stay current. (He has a degree in Journalism.) But his training was so good that he spent years as a traveling “code slinger” for Fortune 500 companies. Byers brings a lot of experience in business processes and interface design to the mix.

In addition to development of custom designed Web applications and Web sites, InfoAxis has developed a product called IA Commerce (for InfoAxis Commerce) that is a turnkey, storefront application that they sell at a fixed price. “It is a world class store front,” says Bjork. The system accepts credit cards, has a shopping cart, and can be used to expand a store and sales. IA Commerce comes with many options including tie ins with point-of-sale, inventory, accounting programs, e-mail marketing outreach, and other customized possibilities as needed by the client. The end user doesn’t need any technical expertise to use IA Commerce. The price of IA Commerce includes onsite training, set up, and maintenance.

A second, recently developed product, IA HelpDesk, is a flexible Online Help Desk package that offers a wide range of out-of-the-box features. IA HelpDesk handles tasks ranging from project management to bug tracking to technical support --- all through a browser. As with IA Commerce, IA HelpDesk can be installed on a clients' server or hosted on InfoAxis servers and includes installation, onsite training, and life-cycle maintenance.

When InfoAxis develops a Web site, they start by determining what goals the client wants to achieve. Bjork and the team spend a lot of time up front determining how best to portray the client, and what balance the client needs between the Interface and the backend database. They then identify what technology mix would work to accomplish the goals. InfoAxis works within the client’s budget and time frame. The solution time is phased to be affordable and beneficial within the budget. “Good project management, and communications are essential during a project,” says Bjork. “The Web site then comes in on time and on budget.”

This year’s sales-to-date are triple those of the same period last year according to Bjork. “We at InfoAxis are very excited about prospects for technological businesses here in Spokane,” says Bjork. “We are living proof that there is opportunity here.” “We’re constantly fighting the attitude that ‘it can’t happen here’.” “Not only can it happen, it is happening through a combination of successful businesses co-operating and partnering with other businesses,” asserts Bjork.

For more information about InfoAxis, go to http://www.infoaxis.com/index.html.

Billie Moreland
 
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