COLUMBIA, SC — Having an Internet presence is about as important a tool to a business in the 21st century as having a marketable good or service and solid financing.
But it can be costly and frustrating – especially for small businesses – to establish a website and keep that worldwide impression fresh and easy to use by potential customers.
A new international information technology company based in Columbia, Comaxiam IT Solutions, aims to make creating and maintaining websites easier for entrepreneurs through a formatted template that can be updated easily by business owners.
Bankrolled by a private, married couple in Columbia, the local company also has production and creative units both in India and Maldives.
Comaxiam’s chief technology consultant, Ajeesh Thomas, a native of Southern India has IT experience in several countries and said he believes there is a need for the web design concept his company has developed.
Comaxiam’s bread and butter is in creating custom-designed websites. That may not sound like such a novel idea, but it is Comaxiam’s approach that is different.
“We put a content management system over the top of that website,” said Nancy Foster, Comaxiam’s operations and creative information technology director, “so that we don’t have to maintain it for you - you can change anything in that website you want.”
Website prices start at $599 for a custom-designed page, on which the owner can simply plug in the information, prompts and functions that suit their needs – business, personal or charitable.
“It comes already programmed to interface with all the social media, so that you don’t pay extra to get that,” Foster explained. Another money-saving feature built into Comaxiam’s websites is that they also come pre-programmed to conform to smartphones and tablets.
“A lot of folks who do websites will charge you an additional fee for converting it to something that will be seen on a mobile handset,” Foster said. “Well, it’s already there.”
There are no monthly fees or maintenance fees with the Comaxiam websites, the company said, and users can be easily trained to update and change the content on their website, as well as publish photo galleries, calendars and newsletters.
In addition, the company provides website purchasers 24-hour-a-day support, seven days a week.
“Everything is built into our framework design,” said Jill Gibson, Comaxiam marketing director, “and that’s why it’s a lot less expensive than some (others), because they’re going and creating the design.
“We’ve already got the frameworks developed. We show the people the different frameworks, say, ‘which one do you like the looks of,’ and just plug their information in.”
The predesigned frameworks allow Comaxiam to charge a third less than typical web designers, Foster said. And the end product is a dynamic – rather than static – website.
Every framework comes with the ability to have whatever kind of application the customer wants, Foster said, so that the designers simply “turn-on” whatever service is desired, whether it’s e-commerce, customer relations, procurement and purchase management or other services.
“So the framework means not only is it a website, (but) you can control your operations, or your company or your home applications (because) you can switch (them) on or off from the back end,” Thomas said.
Comaxiam, which has three dozen employees oversees and is headquartered at Benedict College’s business incubator on Read Street, said it chose the U.S. as its headquarters because the United States is the recognized worldwide leader in technology. Comaxiam chose Columbia specifically to anchor in because it said the city and the state offers it the most opportunity to grow and grow jobs based on the strength of the universities and colleges here.
Comaxiam, which has three employees in Columbia now, said it plans to have 10 by the end of the year and 50 by 2017, including accountants, graphics designers, sales people and others.