From Central Iowa Business, August 2007 Cover Story.
by Micholyn Fajen
Frankly, online visitors are some of the best test drivers of website user-friendliness, and businesses are recognizing it because today’s websites play a critical role in reaching customers and marketing ideas.
The dynamic look, succinct copy, and ease of use scores high every time for local and international companies that turn to Global Reach for their website development and web-based strategies.
Chances are, if you like the website of one of Iowa’s companies or associations, it grew from the talented minds at the Ames-based company which produces many of Iowa’s award-winning sites.
Tapping Local Talent
The 12-year-old company’s placement in Ames isn’t only because Global Reach President and CEO, Iacovos Zachariades calls Iowa State University alma mater, but because it gives the company access to the freshest and most innovative IT talent.
“We offer internships for ISU students at Global Reach, and only the best of the best are hired full time when they graduate. It is mutually beneficial; they gain the experience, while we are able to acquaint and train them in our philosophy and language,” says Zachariades, who started his company from small beginnings after earning his Masters in 1995 at ISU.
Unlike many web development firms hungering for clients with big budgets and checkbooks, Global Reach is delivering high-quality products and big-budget services without the big bill.
The misconception, Zachariades says, is that to build an award-winning, high-impact site with all the bells and whistles, you should seek high-priced web development firms in larger cities like Des Moines, Chicago or Kansas City.
But the fact is, Global Reach -- known as one of the most respected and largest web development firms in Iowa -- can deliver and conquer expectations, catapulting a company’s marketing campaign to extraordinary levels right from Ames.
“We build websites with advanced functionality for less. A lot of clients think they can’t afford that scope of functionality, that it is too expensive to build, but we’ve built a huge library of web applications and code already, so we don’t have to work from scratch,” Zachariades says. “Our clients can get a $100,000 web site for $5,000.”
The difference is how Global Reach listens.
Building to Your Need
It’s obvious when you look at the Content Management Solutions Global Reach has developed for clients, like Reiman Gardens, Blank Park Zoo, Treasurer for the State of Iowa, or ISU’s Alumni Association, that Global Reach hits the mark.
Jeff Johnson, President of the ISU Alumni Association wanted to provide a resource for the Association’s legislative advocacy program.
“The best thing about working with Global Reach, is that you’re working with people that understand the web, but want to listen to your needs. They came up with a solution that didn’t break our budget, and at the same time, delivered the outcomes we were looking for,” said Johnson.
Global Reach provides websites, intranets and extranets, e-commerce applications, content management solutions, and also provides services including search engine optimization and marketing managed web hosting and graphic design.
But before that, it begins with understanding their clients’ business processes and showing them how the internet can help them run their company, provide savings, and improve communication with their customers. Adding more automation to some websites enables clients to generate more sales and save time by automatically processing the order online, rather than over the phone.
Efficiency drives Zachariades and his team of 20 employees comprised of top-notch computer programmers and creative designers.
More than web development, Global Reach’s award-winning design teams go beyond for their clients, providing a one-stop-shop for a marketing campaign’s entire package.
Using marketing tools, from brochures and direct-mail pieces to company logos and Flash animations, Global Reach pulls together a unified appeal to brand marketing.
“We serve all sizes of clients; some already have established brands and just need a website that can do more; others are small businesses just starting out who come to us with a vision and we create their corporate identity, website and the pieces they need to go to business,” he says of the 550 companies in their client base, which stretch across nearly 20 industries.
Designing a killer website is one thing, but knowing how to keep it current is an entirely different beast. After all, it may be a sixth sense to the Global Reach team, but the rest of us happily live outside the IT bubble.
Global Reach understands, and Zachariades laughs a little, when he says he’ll never leave a client hanging. Aside from providing extended service to a client after the website goes live, his teams will create training manuals for the client when employee attrition requires the hiring and training of a new web maintenance employee.
“We’ll even come in and train their staff. We want them to feel comfortable managing and maintaining their own site, so we do whatever it takes to make sure they know how to get it done. We make it user-friendly; if you can use Microsoft Word, you can manage the websites we build,” Zachariades says, whose biggest clue that a client is happy, is when they refer their friends. “That’s an enormous compliment!”
His company may embody small-town values, but it stretches with global reach to offices in Seoul, South Korea and Nicosia, Cyprus.
Many talented computer programmers have moved to those locations and continue to serve the mission of Global Reach abroad.