Archive for October, 2008

Brattle Creates Hot New Site for 900 Degrees

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Brattle came to the rescue for 900 Degrees – a pizzeria in Manchester, NH – when we took over development of their website from another developer whose progress was disappointing the restaurant.  We were able to deploy our proprietary content management system (CMS) that gave them the ability to modify their web site without going through us every time something needed to be changed. We also created a photo gallery with unique effects and the ability to easily upload photos to that page. 900 Degrees’ site is a great example of the customization and uniqueness we provide to our clients, but if you see something you like, bear in mind that we are also able to adapt many of the features seen there to other projects.

Brattle Creates Site for Tethys Petroleum

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Brattle Consulting Group has gone global once again! Tethys petroleum is focused on oil and gas exploration and production activities in Central Asia with activities currently in the republic of Kazakhstan and more recently the republic of Tajikistan. For Tethys we developed a website that serves as a communication hub for the board members, members, and affiliated committees of ATBDC (American-Tajik Business Development Council).

Mobile Websites

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Technology is constantly evolving. At Brattle we are well aware of this fact, but we embrace it. We want to help you transition from last month’s high-tech to next month’s revolutionary innovation smoothly. Currently, many companies are pleased to simply have a functioning, attractive, easy-to-navigate website. Since that happens to be our specialty here at Brattle, we are happy to help you accomplish that, but we encourage you to take one more step to stay in synch with evolving technologies.

As you may have already heard from us, cell phones continue to be the biggest technological tool we have. We use them for email, texts, phone calls, calendars, and now the Internet. So with more phones being designed to access the web, you need to make your site mobile-ready. Can it be viewed on a BlackBerry? Or on one of the 1.5 million G1 Google Android phones that have already been pre-ordered? 3 million iPhone 3Gs were sold in the first month they were available. If that isn’t a testament to the increasing popularity and use of smartphones, I’m not sure what is.

Another reason why we at Brattle see mobile websites as the way of the future is because we understand the growing prevalence of text-message marketing, and the need to include links to websites. Imagine being a member of your favorite restaurant’s text listserv, and they send you a link to view their new menu choices. But unfortunately, their website is not mobile phone compatible. You can’t see it properly or at all (even on your new G1). Thus, that restaurant loses a potential dinner customer that evening. We want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

With mobile Internet use on the rise, it is simply a good business move to be prepared for this next technological shift. Brattle’s skilled developers and consultants are happy to work with you and your business’ needs to bring your company to the next level. Email sales@brattleconsultinggroup.com, or call us at (617) 229-7210.

Customized Email Hosting Solutions for your Business

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Does your company’s email increase productivity or cause needless headaches?

Maybe it’s time to consider an email managing solution. Managed email is specially designed for businesses – it is scalable, dependable, and designed to eliminate any email worries you may have. No more hardware or software issues, virus and spam problems, or system downtime.

Here are just a few of the benefits of managed email:

  • Frees up internal IT resources
  • 99.99% application uptime and 100% network uptime guaranteed
  • Individual and shared calendars, contact lists, and task lists
  • Fully configurable and upgradeable with Direct Attached Storage (DAS)
  • Multiple backups of all mailbox data for disaster recovery (every 30 minutes)
  • 30 days of deleted data immediately recoverable.
  • Wide range of connectivity options: Outlook Web Access, MAPI (including RPC over HTTPS), IMAP, POP and Outlook Mobile Access
  • Mobile wireless support for GoodLink, Blackberry, Pocket PC and Treo/MotQ

Brattle currently offers managed email solutions perfect for your business, and we’d love to tell you about them. Send us an email or call us at (617) 229-7210 and we’ll tell you why upgrading from standard email options could be a money saving, headache eliminating, productive move for your business.

The Future of Mobile Connectivity

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

For the last decade there has been a convergence of all kinds of technologies, especially those involving communication.  VOIP, PDA’s, Wi-Fi cell phones, camera phones, touch screens, accelerometers, the list goes on. In many aspects, the features available on a cell phone eclipse those available on either a laptop or a desktop. And as far as anyone can tell this trend is only going to be magnified as the gap between cell phone and laptop continues to narrow. For example, the G1 due out this month and the iPhone (along with all of the copycat phones that have cropped up since its release), are the most recent step towards closing that gap. They both feature full web browsers as well as many other features previously only seen on personal computers.

From the other side, the emergence of “Netbooks” (small underpowered laptops that are very portable and mostly used for internet connectivity) mark the computer’s most recent step towards the cell phone’s portability.

One of the main things limiting the progress of both of these technologies is the lack of an acceptable network for them to tie into. Wi-Fi networks are far too restrictive because by nature they have a small range and are “clunky” to move between (as opposed to cell phones which can transfer between towers without the callers ever knowing).  The phone carrier’s infrastructure, even 3G, is far too slow for “real” web browsing and many of the more bandwidth intensive apps that you find online. This 3G network may be suitable for the current crop of phones, but that is only because they are still very immature when it comes to data connectivity. The highest data rate possible with 3G is 14.4 Mbit/sec (1.8 Mbps). This data rate is becoming unacceptably slow for computers, and phones are on the verge of blowing past that transfer rate in their capabilities as well (at this point the data standard is probably what is holding back better phone development).

Enter 4G. 4G is the successor to 3G (as 3G was the successor to 2G) and boasts data speeds between 150 Mbit/s (18.75Mbps) and 1 Gbit/s (125 Mbps).  4G technology will purportedly be widely available between 2012 and 2015. While this may seem like a long time from now, it also represents a huge step in our infrastructure as a country.  However, first a little clarification: the 1 Gbit/s rate will only be attainable while a device is relatively stationary.  The faster the device is moving (think car, train, plane?) the closer to the 150 Mbit/s rate it will achieve. Now keep in mind 150 Mbit/s is still almost 10 times the average connection speed in the United States (1.9 Mbps). I believe that once this type of service becomes available it is only a matter of time until the idea of a “home internet connection” is completely obsolete. Laptops will come with built in 4G cards like they now come with built in WiFi. This will be the first time a wide ranging technology will be fast enough to seriously upstage local WiFi networks. This will mean connection anywhere you have cell reception at a speed several levels of magnitude faster than anyone is currently offering in the United States. 4G will be capable of offering live streaming full HD broadcasts on mobile devices. The ability to download an entire HD movie in a matter of minutes, stream anything, and who knows what other innovations, both hardware and software, will come from this new found bandwidth.

While this technology may be years from being mainstream, at Brattle we have our eye on this as well as many other technologies in the mobile and web world so that when they do become available, we will be able to hit the ground running and be among the first to offer services that take advantage of the increased capabilities.

For more from us regarding this and subjects like it, subscribe to our newsletter and blog. Brattle is committed to keeping you one step ahead of developments in the web world.

Brattle Creates Homework Helper for Cheverus School

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Much like some of their students, no doubt, Cheverus Centennial School of Sacred Hearts Parish wanted a new look for back-to-school this year. So Brattle stepped in to completely redesign and redevelop their website, making it cleaner and adding some useful applications. We built a full content management solution, and an online homework tool to keep both parents and students informed about upcoming homework and assignments.

As part of the website design for the school we included a special Homework Helper application. Because Cheverus was having difficulty maintaining a similar program they had in effect, Brattle included this feature pro bono to reduce the school’s monthly costs. This Homework Helper application allows administrators to permit teachers, students, and parents access to the program. Teachers log in with their credentials and create assignments for their courses that students and parents may easily access from home. The ability to review and download homework assignments up to a year in advance provides students more opportunity to stay on top of schoolwork.

This new application is working well at Cheverus and Brattle is looking forward to providing it to other schools in New England and across the country. Homework Helper will be available to all our clients, included in their hosting package. To find out more, contact us at support@brattleconsultinggroup.com or call us at (617) 229-7210.

Brattle Consulting Group Launches Text Message Marketing Company SignalSMS™

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

In keeping with our commitment to remain at the forefront of technological advances in our field, Brattle Consulting Group recently launched a new text message marketing business called SignalSMS™.  The new site, www.SignalSMS.com, will allow any business to create and launch an active text message marketing campaign in as little as ten minutes.

Although it is a fairly new concept in the world of business and marketing, text message marketing is growing quickly. SMS (text message) marketing technology can be used to promote brand awareness, build customer contact lists, and provide additional information to consumers. The process begins with a customer texting a keyword (a seven digit message) to a five digit number. In return, they receive a response text containing a coupon, promotional information, link to a photo, or whatever else the sponsoring business has chosen to be included in said response. As they see fit, the purchaser may update and adjust the response text that mobile phone users receive. They may also offer mobile phone users opportunities to “opt in” for future communications such as text alerts. Businesses may place “codes” in their store, on their website, on fliers, in ads, or wherever they choose.

The most prominent difference between SignalSMS™ and other SMS marketing businesses is our usability. Firstly, SignalSMS.com offers the straightforwardness of a short phone call during which any business may register and prepay for a promotional text keyword and shared short code to send the keyword to. This program, SignalNOW™, allows the buyer to designate a maximum amount of text responses they wish to purchase per month, priced per text. SignalNOW™ can take as little as ten minutes and upon completion the user is left with an active keyword and short code, ready to be distributed. (For our enterprise-level clients, we offer the more wide-ranging and customized SignalPRISE™ — visit SignalSMS.com to learn more.)  Beyond the initial ease of getting started, SignalSMS provides comprehensive assistance throughout your entire text message campaign. As we hope you have already experienced through Brattle, we are proud to offer you both outstanding customer service and qualified technical assistance.

And when we say qualified, we mean it. Bob Cote, president of Brattle, independently developed the technology and system behind SignalSMS™, which means his complete expertise is at your service. Keeping in mind that more people are now connected via their cell phones than through a home internet provider, it is safe to say that SMS marketing is the next step for promotions, mass-communications, and advertising. For more information about SignalSMS™ and how it can work for your business, visit www.SignalSMS.com or call us at 617.401.8733.

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