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Tech Buzz at its best

A School in the Cloud

In a recent TED Talk, Educational researcher Dr. Sugata Mitra shared the idea behind his "Hole in the Wall" experiments which have shown that, in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other.

The investigation began simply enough, by installing a computer in a wall, three feet off the ground, in a slum in India. With nothing but a computer screen and mouse to assist them, and with no prior experience, a handful of local children—whose native language was not English, the only language available for use on the PC—learned to use the computer on their own, all within a few months. Based on this initial trial, Dr. Mitra hypothesized that: 

The acquisition of basic computing skills by any set of children can be achieved through incidental learning provided the learners are given access to a suitable computing facility, with entertaining and motivating content and some minimal (human) guidance. 

Mitra’s website touts an old adage, but one which is eternally true: Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. The research and work that ensued won Mitra’s organization the first-ever $1M TED Prize at TED2013, giving them the resources to develop their dream: to build a school in the cloud. More importantly, the organization hopes to break the traditional confines of a school, by making learning more like play, employing a unique collaborative learning approach and encouraging children to explore, learn and simply enjoy themselves. 

Similarly, at Kinetik I.T., we’ve developed a system of collaboration, using creativity and fun to reach excellence in all that we do. We make great things happen, and we know how to help you when your idea’s time has come. Whether it’s custom website design, web application development, custom software development, or mobile app development you’re looking for, we can help make your dream a reality. 

To learn more about our Kinetik I.T.’s Digital Superheroes, visit or follow Kinetik I.T. on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Calling All Digital Superheroes—We’re Hiring!

After nearly 25 years in the biz, we’ve developed a bit of a reputation—for excellence, a great company culture, for volunteer work and charitable giving. And now, we’re looking to expand our tribe! 

On September 24, we’re hosting a job fair in conjunction with By partnering with Dice—the leading career site for technology and engineering professionals—we’re connecting with you, the talented I.T. pro, on your own turf. 

Why work with us? So many reasons. We offer great perks:

  •  Personal days 
  •  Fifty percent-paid health- and dental-insurance premiums (employee, dependents)
  •  Section 125 plan (for pre-tax contributions to medical insurance premiums)
  •  401K
  •  Profit sharing
  •  Direct deposit

Our purpose statement, "Evolve with Passion," describes not only what we do, it encapsulates our attitude about the work we do, the clients we serve, and the custom-designed products and outcomes that result. Love to give back? So do we—our team strives to evolve to be their personal best through volunteer work and charity giving.

We’re looking for the pros who go above and beyond. Our president, Josette von Stiphout, sums it up this way: “It's not just coming to work because there’s work to do. We’re a team of amazing people, driven by creativity and fun to strive for excellence in all that we do. If we foster an environment that's passionate, that will be the differentiating factor for our clients.”

For the I.T. pro who is passionate about sales, web design, or programming; has experience in the full software development life cycle; and who isn’t timid about showing initiative, getting the job done, Kinetik I.T. will feel like home. 

Open positions include:

  • Web Designers,
  • .NET Developers,
  • Software Developers
  • Project Management
  • QA Tester/.Net Developer
  • Customer Service/Account Rep
  • IT Support 
  • Junior Systems Engineer

Visit our Job Fair page for all the details. 

Think you’ve got what it takes? Don't waste another minute—we want to hear from you! All digital superheroes can submit a resume to, or contact by phone at 602-957-0058.

Upcoming PC Technologies

The recently-released book by Canadian journalist and editor Michael Harris, The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection, goes in-depth about a topic many of us think about on a regular basis: our predilection for staying connected. Whether by social media, email, various apps, or texting, our days are filled—from the moment we wake up until we sleep—with information and communication.

In the book Harris writes, "Every revolution in communication technology -- from papyrus to the printing press to Twitter -- is as much an opportunity to be drawn away from something as it is to be drawn toward something. And yet, as we embrace a technology's gifts, we usually fail to consider what we're giving up in the process. Why would we bother to register the end of solitude, of ignorance, of lack? Why would we care that an absence had disappeared?" And, while the questions are valid ones, how much of the information we gather from our connectedness is valuable, or even useful?

Toward the end of the book, Harris takes a month-long media sabbatical. He doesn’t have any great epiphany, nor does he lament the current state of affairs. Rather, he simply names the thing that’s happening, and puts his own spin on it by calling attention to the generation that understands the Before and After Internet (a birth year of 1985 being the cutoff), and discussing their unique characteristics.

While there may be things we’ve lost in our world of constant connection, there’s also much to be gained. In the end, technology is simply a tool to be utilized to the best of our ability, but how we use it can make all the difference. By spreading information and raising awareness, our connectedness can change the world, or many lives—or even just one life.

At Kinetik I.T. we understand the importance of this “connectedness”.  Most of our clients rely on it to not only do business with their customers, but also to improve the quality of services they provide.  We know the information data era we live in will only grow larger as people become more dependent on the tools used to interact with each other.  Finding the value and usefulness in this technology to positively enhance the world we live in is the only way we want to do business. We strive to do inspiring work for the companies and individuals who entrust their own inspiring work to us.  

To learn more about web hosting, and a wide array of other services and products, visit or follow Kinetik I.T. on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

The Cost of Web Hosting

As reported on earlier this month, “when deciding whether Google should spend millions or even billions of dollars in acquiring a new company, its chief executive, Larry Page, asks whether the acquisition passes the toothbrush test: Is it something you will use once or twice a day, and does it make your life better?”


The author continues to say, “The esoteric criterion shuns traditional measures of valuing a company like earnings, discounted cash flow or even sales. Instead, Mr. Page is looking for usefulness above profitability, and long-term potential over near-term financial gain.”


While most businesses aren’t making decisions on the same scale as Google, the toothbrush test is an important way to gauge making improvements to your company’s own operation—whether it’s adding services to offer clients, or making changes in your I.T. space. It also translates to how you make improvements to your website.


In today’s economy, the website is often the first point of contact for your customer. In the name of cost-effectiveness, many organizations have begun to lease their website, utilizing a proprietary Content Management System (CMS). It may seem a good idea in the moment because the initial cost may be less and the site management is left to someone else.  If the company then doesn't like the hosting, or they want to go somewhere else, they can't take the website with them.


When using a proprietary CMS, the website is developed at a competitive price but the website will not run unless it can reference that specific CMS. Additionally, most proprietary CMS systems will have limitations to design and features that could prevent an online business from growing. Should a company want to move to another vendor, or make changes to the website, but prefer to have someone else do it, their hands are tied—it cannot be done unless the site is completely reinvented, creating more expense.


In the long run, leasing your website doesn’t pass the toothbrush test. Yes, it’s a useful, short-term decision; however, on the flip side, it doesn’t improve a company’s bottom line, instead it creates dependence on an outside vendor that will eventually get in the way of business growth.


Be sure to weigh all the options when considering upgrades to your website. To learn more about web hosting, and a wide array of other services and products, visit or follow Kinetik I.T. on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.


Are You Ready for Big Data?

Big data. While the term is thrown around a lot these days, the gist of the term is uncertain, often meaning different things to different people. In an MIT Technology Review article entitled, The Big Data Conundrum: How to Define It? the authors suggest, “there is unanimous agreement that big data is revolutionizing commerce in the 21st century. When it comes to business, big data offers unprecedented insight, improved decision-making, and untapped sources of profit.”

Big data is defined as “an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand data management tools or traditional data processing applications… The challenges of working with big data include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis and visualization; while the benefits include allowing correlations to be found to spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime, etc.”

Clearly, big data offers myriad avenues for problem solving and expansion, while giving those involved the competitive advantage needed in today’s ever tougher marketplace. Hallmarks of big data-related projects include:

·  Size: If you don’t have a petabyte of data, it doesn’t fit.
·  Data: Real time answers, and often requiring hours or days to calculate.
·  Investment: Often thousands of dollars are required to use these kinds of technologies.

But big data can also create problems when companies aren’t sure how to articulate exactly what they want, have trouble analyzing the information and putting it all together. Most small to mid-size organizations aren’t actually big data kinds of companies. The organizations that produce big data are very big companies or agencies. Creating data is just part of what they do, and they have massive amounts of web users that produce that information. They’re tracking volumes of information, and they use specialized equipment to create a new stream of data on an ongoing basis. Real time answers are critical to their success, and data sets are complicated. In addition, these companies have the capital to support big data projects.

Whether you think you’re in for a big data project or you’re just looking at something a bit smaller, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you do more with your business, no matter how big it is.

3 Industries Where Custom Software Development Is A Must

Many companies now look to custom software development as the ideal solution for organization and management. Some, however, avoid it completely, favoring off-the-shelf solutions instead. While the reality is that any company can utilize custom software development, Phoenix is full of industries that should ALWAYS consider it over any other solution for a variety of reasons. Here are the top three:

Financial Services

The world of finance is very different from any other industry today. Not only is understanding the data and math behind complex processes like securities valuations, risk and trading a must, there are also myriad compliance issues to consider. From portfolio managers to the traders themselves, those in the industry know that sacrifices in functionality can mean lost profits, and that’s not a choice you want to be up against. Custom software development here is a must. Because financial services companies are all different and they have a niche environment in which they must work, challenges abound, and only the right program can meet those. 


Patient care, insurance, HIPAA security, regulation, certification, billing and coding – the list of concerns when you’re dealing with any healthcare organizations is vast. While the list of vendors selling one-size-fits-all software programs is lengthy, for most healthcare entities, cookie-cutter software simply won’t make the grade. Each healthcare organization has its own angle, its own concerns, its own budgets, and choosing a software project that means meeting every aspect of an organizations needs is a necessity. You need a team that has expertise with medical software projects and knows enough about health interoperability standards to create the right solution to meet your needs.


Business is about being at the right place at the right time, and in the logistics business, you understand that you need a software solution that will allow you to process and move as quickly as possible. In an industry where the margins are slim, a half-second delay caused by software not specifically designed to suit your needs is either going to cost you time, money, or a customer. The only way is to go with something that has been specifically optimized to meet your exact needs. 

Even if your industry is not listed here, there’s a strong possibility that off-the-shelf software won’t address all your company’s needs. In the long run, customized software development is always going to be the only way to move forward for your company. Off-the-shelf software is developed to appeal to the mass markets of your specific industry. By using off-the-shelf software you disregard the fact that the needs and potential of your business are as unique as the business itself and locks you into using the same technology as your competitors.

Kinetik I.T. has vast experience in developing unique custom software applications for all types of industries. Whether your business simply needs a current application enhanced or you need us to develop a complete solution from the ground up to fit your business, contact us and we will show you how we can make a difference in your organization.

Social Media: A Force for Good! (Interactions with Customers, That Is)

As we pass the halfway mark in 2014, not much has changed this year in how social media affects our use of various outlets—perhaps with the exception of those taking part in the “99 Days of Freedom” experiment. The usual rules still apply, to post topics that are timely, emphasize the customer’s needs and building a relationship, make offers and information unique to the outlet, and, most importantly, use proper grammar!

While some companies fail to grasp these simplest of rules, others have not only embraced the use of social media to build their brand, they are taking innovative steps to connect with customers and offering unique incentives for those who interact. By integrating social media into their corporate structure and business plan, these companies are engaging with customers on a new level.

One such company is Whole Foods, who established a dedicated team responsible for monitoring social channels for customer questions, and concerns, as well as praise. After announcing in March that it would begin labeling GMOs, the company received a lot of customer questions and feedback, which it then used to create a initiative to educate customers and to answer the most frequently asked questions.

Hampton Hotels and Restaurants is another example of business getting to the heart of what matters to customers. The company employs a dedicated staff to listens to every single tweet, post, status update or comment about their hotels and restaurants—and for a chain of their size, that’s a lot of mentions.

Primarily, the staff members address the issues and complaints, but this company takes it a step further. In one example, a guest received a bowl of soup and a spot of tea. This may not seem terribly out of the ordinary. That is, until you consider that the guest, who was in a Maui hotel, had voiced her woes over social media that she was sick that day and couldn't go out. In addition to the thoughtful nourishment, the hotel included a get well card to her tray, for good measure.

Credit card behemoth American Express connects card members with merchant partners—millions of them—allowing a card member to load an offer directly onto their card via Twitter hash tags. Last March, the company launched a program with the functionality to tweet special hash tags to make purchases, allowing customers to buy products from companies like Sony, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Using social media in business is far from an exact science, and while the basic tenets may not change year to year, the inventive ways businesses engage with their customer base is evolving, creating its own niche.

Don’t Let Ecommerce Changes Damage Your SEO

Whether you’re migrating to a new platform, building a new store, or simply upgrading the one you have, shifting ecommerce platforms or making changes to your current system could actually do your company more harm than good. Unfortunately, the little things have the potential to kill your current optimization strategy, and a big shift in your site could mean a shift in your ranking. What can you do to implement your changes while preserving your rank? These tips can help.

Keep an eye on the information architecture during migration as well as the URL structure.

If you have an established site, the search engines know what to expect. The better your information architecture and URL structure, the stronger your SEO program. That could change as you work on your store, so be aware of the fact that you don’t want your pages competing against each other and you want everything you do to strengthen your site as a whole.

Look out for duplicate content!

There is no faster way to get your site in trouble from an SEO perspective than to have duplicate content on the site. Proper planning on the part of absolutely everyone involved can help you avoid this problem, though.

Don’t lose sight of traditional SEO tactics.

Ignoring standard SEO simply because you’re dealing with ecommerce isn’t necessarily a good idea. While there are some practices that may not be perfect for those with an ecommerce site, others, like solid text, are just the gold standard no matter what kind of site you happen to have.

When you’re looking for help optimizing your business’s ecommerce platform, call Kinetik I.T. We can develop a customized solution without compromising your overall SEO efforts, ensuring you get the services you need without losing any page rank in the process.

Email Best Practices

While the variety of social media outlets we use on a daily or weekly basis have changed how we communicate, email is still the method of choice in business. And it’s used a lot: according to the Radicati Group, email is still the predominant form of business communication, with over 100 billion business email messages sent and received each day in 2013.

For business, email is the primary way to communicate, and having a well‑formed email signature and maximizing its effectiveness is a boon to any type of business entity. When contacting clients via email, there are some best practices to construct an effective signature, keeping in mind the preferences of both the recipient and the email client.

Begin the email signature with an accepted signature delimiter: essentially two hyphens together, this element helps email clients recognize the separation of the body of the email from the proceeding signature lines. 

A good signature will include the individual’s name, company, position or title, and contact information. Lines of text in a signature are better kept to three lines, and 72 characters per line, which generally eliminates text wrapping to the next line. With so many ways to make contact, it’s best to choose one or two to use in the signature—having several options may feel overwhelming.

When using graphics, it's best to have an absolute URL graphic, meaning the graphic should be pulled from the server. For instance, the logo or any icons in a signature should be located on the company server, and then be linked in the signature using the actual URL to that.

It’s important to note that, for some email clients, more than one image for every 40 words can be flagged and end up in the spam or junk folder, so using an appropriate amount of images will ensure messages arrive in the client’s inbox intact.

Located in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, Kinetik IT is a full-service information technology and Internet services provider, offering a wide array of technology and internet strategy solutions, as well as sound advice.  To learn more about services and products, and to stay up to date with Kinetik IT, visit or follow Kinetik on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Bowling for Dollars, Giving Back to the Community

In her book, The Give-Back Solution: Create a Better World with Your Time, Talents and Travel, author Susan Skog outlines several ways that volunteering is beneficial not only to the recipients of the service, but also to those who perform it. The benefits include an overall boost in feelings of joy and happiness, a heightened clarity regarding one’s own calling, sharpened skills and improved job performance, an increased ability to maintain a hopeful and optimistic attitude, and gaining an appreciation for other people and places. As a company, and as individuals, Kinetik I.T. and its employees are dedicated to helping others in the community and around the world.

In addition to operating in an as eco-friendly manner as possible and regularly making charitable donations to hand-picked causes, Kinetik I.T.’s employees also volunteer on their own time—sometimes finding ways to involve co-workers and partners. Kinetik I.T. Web Designer & Content Specialist Vickie Florschuetz has been a Big Sister volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters since last year.

For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country, by developing positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

On June 7, 2014, Vickie, along with co-workers and partner organization IMP of Central Phoenix participated in a nation-wide fundraising event for BB/BS at the AMF Tempe Village Lanes, as part of a fundraiser for the national organization. With bowling tournaments happening simultaneously across the country, the annual event raises approximately $20 million a year, with 100% dedicated to benefiting program services. Kinetik I.T. with IMP owner, Jim McPhetres, and Manager, Tim Earick  supported the local division BB/BS of Arizona. With a bit of friendly competition between Team Kinetik I.T. and Team Sparks (named in honor of Vickie’s little sister), a total of 17 people attended and raised over $1000.

Kinetik I.T. is especially grateful for the support of IMP of Central Phoenix, who, when it comes to business communications services, can do it all. With a complete range of products and services available, IMP helps customers deliver their message to customers, employees and vendors alike. Using the latest printing and document management technology, IMP handles projects from start to finish, with an energetic and experienced staff, all dedicated to delivering the best products and services.


To learn more about services and products, and to stay up to date with Kinetik IT, visit or follow Kinetik on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.