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Tech Buzz at its best

3 Things to Keep In Mind As You Develop A New Ecommerce Website

Launching a new e-commerce website can be a bit daunting. There’s so much that can go into the planning and execution, and getting it wrong at launch could spell disaster for the entire enterprise. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to get it right, but the key lies in proper planning. Here are the three things you have to consider during those planning stages of your site.

  1. Think About the Boring Stuff: Sure, designing the storefront and how customers will interact with it is easily the best part of building an e-commerce store, but there’s so much more to it than that. You have to consider lots of other factors, particularly those that aren’t quite as much fun. There are big financial concerns behind an e-commerce site as well as security and legal matters that must be considered. Simple stuff like ensuring your merchant accounts are updated and ready to handle electronic transactions as well as more complex factors like PCI compliance and sales tax all have to factor into the planning phase at some point.

  2. The Shopping Cart Matters: There are lots of free shopping carts online these days, but they’re very basic. You’re only going to get an “Add to Cart” function and a total. You have to be able to have the functions customers are looking for like shipping cost estimates, product recommendations, and more, so look at your options carefully. Customers expect more thanks to big retailers like Amazon and Target, and if you can’t offer it, they’ll find someone who can.

  3. Think About Structure: Your design team will likely call this Information Architecture, and the more products you offer, the bigger concern this has to be. You need a good way for customers to find what they’re looking for, so feel free to browse competitor sites to see how they do it.

      E-commerce site planning can get a little complex, but we can help. The IT consulting firm Phoenix trusts most, we’re here to help every step of the way. To learn more, and to stay up to date contact us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Is Outsourcing IT A Good Idea?

Many small companies are concerned about the prospect of outsourcing anything. The reality, though, is that as you grow, you can’t handle everything anymore. Whether you shift responsibilities to those in your management team or you look for a company to handle some tasks, the idea of letting go is a bit difficult. That’s particularly true when it comes to outsourcing your IT needs. As your company grows, your IT needs become far more complex, and there’s simply no way that you can keep up with your own needs and still manage your company properly. Instead of building an IT department you can’t afford to keep, it may be time to look toward outsourcing your IT work.

IT consulting companies abound these days, and with good reason. There are many other businesses in the same spot you are, and outsourcing your IT work makes sense. Not sure there are any real benefits? Here are a few to consider.

  • Saving Money: Building an IT department from scratch is just out of reach for many people. You’ll find that you can control expenses far better by outsourcing than you ever could by hiring dedicated staffers. You won’t be paying for individuals when there aren’t problems, and you’ll know exactly how much to budget up front.
  • Better Resources: If you’re a small business, it would be tough to match the resources of bigger companies. There just isn’t the funding in the budget. By outsourcing, though, you get access to amazing resources without the amazingly large price tag. Big businesses maintain cutting edge systems, and you can have access to that same technology for a fraction of the cost.
  • Focus On Your Company: If you only need to pick up the phone when you need IT help, then you don’t have to take quite as much time away from your own goals and objectives. You focus on growing your business every single day, not dealing with this IT problem or that one.
  • Reduce Your Risk: Every business has to deal with risk at some point in time, but outsourcing means you have to deal with far fewer risks because you’ll have a partner in managing much of that risk for you. They’re going to be far better at deciding which risks to undertake when it comes to your technology and how to avoid the worst bits than you could ever be.

For many companies, outsourcing IT just makes good sense. The key is to find the right IT consulting partner to meet your needs, then you’ll start to level the playing field and help your company truly excel at what it does best every single day. Contact us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Keeping Security in Perspective

As we’ve learned from the recent attacks on major retailers Target and Nieman Marcus, and websites like LinkedIn and Kickstarter, cyber theft is a big business – and focused on big business.  When hearing stories about compromised security, it’s easy to become concerned about the level of safety on one’s own computer.  It’s also important to keep fears in check.

Discussing the topic, Kinetik I.T. President Josette van Stiphout had this to say:

security level

“I think we all get paranoid when these things happen, but we also need to keep it in perspective, because professional cyber hackers are out for massive information. They're most likely not going as much after the small individual business to capture data. They're going to go for the masses.  They want to get as much data in the least amount of time, and therefore they are targeting industries and sites that store a lot of personal data – for example the retail industry is now a huge target, with credit card numbers, personal information – that’s what they're going to go for.”

Josette advises not getting overly paranoid, suggesting that “if you are the small individual business, you want to make sure that your data is secured, that it's not easily accessible, and that you have a strong authentication process that has been tested. Furthermore, check for “back-doors” that could provide easy access for hackers to your network and servers.” Taking action that’s appropriate to your business should be a consideration.

Although cyber-security is about dealing with professional hackers and thieves who always seem to be a step ahead of technology, not having appropriate security levels in place can cause a company a great deal of issues and headaches.  

As a premier provider of internet and information technology solutions and resources, Kinetik I.T. has a mission to move clients forward, enabling them to reach their full business potential by providing products and services specially suited for their individual business needs.  To learn more, and to stay up to date with Kinetik I.T., visit or follow Kinetik on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Kinetik I.T. At a Glance

At Kinetik I.T., we love and take pride in what we do, specializing in web site design, internet marketing, branding, software design and programming, web application development, ecommerce and shopping cart applications, computers and networking, and disaster recovery planning.  While we work with a wide variety of clients, we guarantee the highest quality work in all areas to achieve the client’s goals and vision. 

To give an overview of our work, we maintain a CV, of sorts, although the projects listed are only a small representation of client projects in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area, and across the US.  We provide this resume on the Kinetik I.T. website, as a method of outlining our diversity in experience and skills. We want both our continuing clients, as well as potential ones to see the range of our expertise.  All of our software developers and analysts have participated in the projects listed in this resume and have various skills and expertise that will contribute to any project.


Skills Summary

  • Analysis (Functional Specification)
  • Database Design
  • Software Design (User Interface, External & Internal)
  • Implementation & Coding
  • Testing
  • Integration
  • Client/Server (n-Tier)
  • Project Management

Operating Systems

Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP,  Windows 95/98/2000, Windows NT, Windows Mobile, Windows PocketPC


Technical Expertise

Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, SQL Reporting Services, VB.NET, Visual Basic, C# (C-Sharp), VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), VB Script, ASP.NET, ASP (Active Server Pages), Silverlight, SharePoint, Microsoft Office Automation (Excel), Visual Studio.NET, Visual Studio, Visual InterDev, Expression Web, XHTML, HTML/DHTML, CSS Standards.


KINETIK I.T.’S PROGRAMMING STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & TECHNIQUES FOR: Windows Application Development, Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Access, Web Application Development.

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

Keeping Info Safe Online

When a major national retailer is the victim of cyber-attack, it’s headline news.  Late in 2013, Minneapolis-based Target Corporation and Neiman Marcus succumbed to cyber thieves.  It’s now estimated that between November 27 and December 15, 2013 – prime holiday shopping season – the payment card data of 40 million shoppers who bought merchandise in-store at U.S. stores, as well as the personal information of another 70 million customers, was compromised. 

According to available data, the Target mishap is one of the country’s largest recorded data security breaches. Considering the scope of this crime, it’s easy to assume a heist the planning and implementation of which would rival those of a modern-day thriller. To the contrary, the security breach is believed to have been the result of that most innocuous of daily trifles: phishing emails.

According to recent research, while the amount of phishing is decreasing, the methods employed are more targeted, with cyber criminals becoming more skillful. And harmless as it may seem when it appears in the inbox, one of the most effective subject lines, as determined by cyber-security experts at Websense of San Diego, is an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. And if the first and second emails don’t draw in the prospect, data indicates that the third email will finally get them to click a link or open an attachment – though these may not always prove malicious.  Phishing emails proved to be Target’s downfall, when an employee of third-party contractor Fazio Mechanical Services Inc. of Sharpsburg, PA clicked through from a “malware-laced e-mail phishing attack.” Unfortunately, the company’s detection software simply wasn’t capable of protecting the company’s network from the threat.

This kind of incident leaves a business owner to ask, "What can I do to make my company data more secure?"  The best place to start is with awareness.

Security is not a one‑size‑fits‑all approach, because each business is unique, with different network and data challenges. Security measures also depend on the size of the company, the amount of business, on what data is at risk.  

Employees can also be a threat to cyber‑securing the business. The data breaches can occur by simple human error – as with the Target breach, and more recently with Kickstarter, the popular online crowd-sourcing website. This type of error can be related to many factors, among them poor decision‑making, or the consequences of someone else's decision‑making, and not understanding security policies and procedures.

Understanding existing security policies and protocols is imperative, and assembling a security matrix to addresses internal organization risk is a great place to start.  Begin by assessing and assigning appropriate levels of access and security on email servers, employees' tablets or mobile phones. 

When cyber attacks are in the news, it’s important to maintain perspective. Small-to-medium-sized businesses will have less to worry about than a major like Target, or a site with the online reach of Kickstarter.  While keeping data safe should be of concern to every business, the level of security should be appropriate to the size and scope of the individual entity and specific data or intellectual property to safeguard. 

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

Organic Innovation in IT Services

What is innovation?  It can be a nebulous idea, hard to pin down, expressed differently depending on the person.  Simply defined, it is “the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods,” though in today’s vernacular, in an age when apps and electronics dominate our daily activities, innovation has taken on a loftier meaning.

When determining companies for their annual report on the world’s most innovative, Forbes measures the value of a company’s existing business, based on expectations of future innovative results, such as new products, services and markets. On a list like this one, the companies are big.  What about the smaller companies, the start-ups? 

On the smaller end of the spectrum is where – often out of necessity – true innovation happens. Innovation of this type takes shape organically, to address a need, to fill a gap, to provide a workaround without which progress cannot be made.  There are both pros and cons to this type of innovation, as catering to a specific niche or audience may neglect addressing pressing needs in another sector of the population, ignoring the diversity that exists within society.  In addition, in the current start-up culture which values near-immediate turnaround, companies may be too quick to create, without putting in the necessary amount of research and deliberation about which products are truly viable.  This devil-may-care type of innovation may lead to overall failure.  Finding a balance between the extremes, while still allowing natural advancement is the key to successful innovation. 

Innovation has always been paramount in our work at Kinetik IT.  We write software for clients based on how they do business, learning how a client interacts with software (usability), catering to their specific needs, and developing new systems to further their efficiency, productivity, and reach.  Our end goal is to make the important work our clients do easier, more intuitive. We do this through the development and implementation of:

  • custom software and web application development, database design and programming solutions
  • creative web site design and SEO online internet marketing solutions
  • professional online-web storefront, e-commerce and b2b commerce solutions
  • full range of IT and computer network services

We spend the time and acquire the resources to stay on the leading edge of information technology software, database, internet and network solutions, so our clients can focus on business and leadership. We implement software, web applications and database systems that work for the client, the way they do business, while providing the necessary resources to keep clients on top of their game. Our innovative ideas and solutions help simplify operations while increasing productivity and enhancing competitive edge.


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.



Choosing Custom Software and Web Design

There comes a time in every project when a critical question must be addressed, whether to follow a proven and well-trod course of action, or to strike off on one’s own, and develop something – whether product, service, or other – new. The same question must be asked when determining whether custom software is right for your organization.

There are several considerations to address before deciding to develop and implement custom software. At Kinetik IT, we carefully assess the client’s needs to determine whether custom software will be a good fit, placing the utmost importance on database architecture, database design, and usability.  Another primary consideration is functionality. Our goal is to provide our clients with systems that evolve and transform their organization, that address their specific needs in a way that off-the-shelf software cannot.  Designing and developing a custom software solution whether this is a desktop application, web application, ecommerce system, mobile app or a complete enterprise software application, is often times the best way to accomplish this. 

Because off-the-shelf software is developed to appeal to the mass markets of your specific industry, by using this software, you disregard that the needs and potential of your business are as unique as the business itself.  Standard or off-the-shelf software locks you into using the same technology as your competitors.

By developing and implementing custom software, Kinetik IT helps you tap your full potential and helps your company evolve with software that is:

  • Unique – just like you, your business, and your team.
  • Custom – to the way you do business, saving time and increasing efficiency in the process.
  • Flexible – capable of meeting your company’s specific needs now, and in the future.
  • Scalable – facilitating faster, easier, and better business growth.
  • Modifiable – suiting your business’ changing needs.

Tapping into your full potential and evolving your business is mission-critical to your organization’s success. 

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

How to Get Past a Major Security Breach or Cyber Hack

If there's one thing that retailing giant Target reminded us all of recently, it's that cyber security problems make for bad publicity. In one of the largest online thefts in history, hackers made off with hundreds of thousands of customers' credit card numbers, leaving the firm to awkwardly explain how the breach took place and what they could do to make up for it in the future.

Although we could fill dozens of web pages with Target's woes, we want to turn our attention today to your business – and specifically, steps you can take to overcome a security problem on your own website.

Here's what to do when you realize you've been hacked:

1. Act immediately. The last thing you want to do in a dire situation is stare at the problem. The moment you notice something odd is going on, place a call to your Website Hosting Company, Web Development Company or Computer Network Support/ IT company so you can minimize the damage.

 2. Take emergency steps. You should already have a set of written plans in place to deal with these kinds of attacks, particularly if you have a busy website or one that handles e-commerce transactions. These might include closing off firewalls, restricting administrator access, and backing up to previous versions of the site.

3. Assess the damage. Once you've "stopped the bleeding," so to speak, your next step is to assess the damage. It might not be easy to figure out what hackers have done or taken, but it's important to figure out what you're working with before you move on.

4. Don't hide from the problem. Last but not least, let customers know that they've been affected so they hear it from you, and not from their bank. It won't be an easy conversation, but it may just save the relationship.

Naturally, the best way to recover from a cyber security issue is to not have one in the first place. Aside from a few good online security habits (something we are going to cover in a post very soon), your best defense is to have the right web design and IT team on your side. Why not call the Kinetik team of experts today?

Feel like your company’s online security isn't what it should be? Talk to a member of the Kinetik IT Team today to see how we can help. 

Keeping Rates Competitive

When developing a website to focus on product and service offerings, custom design often comes into play.  For some businesses, a custom build can be not only appropriate but necessary, though not in all cases.  Along with custom design can come ongoing maintenance, specialized knowledge and training, and regular updates.  Besides raising the question of who will maintain the site, ongoing upkeep often equates to ongoing cost.  

According to President Josette van Stiphout, “At Kinetik IT, our philosophy is not to be in the business of holding clients hostage. We want them to come back to us because they want to, not because they have to.  It's a different approach. We want to make sure that our clients are happy with what products we deliver, the customer service and everything that's tied into that. We want to do that at a reasonable price. 

Kinetik IT’s rates have remained competitive for the duration of the company’s existence, with cuts coming not from laying off employees or cutting salaries, but by becoming more efficient and better-performing than the norm.  This client-centered philosophy stems from the understanding that clients may not be able to raise their own rates to accommodate the cost of necessary services, upgrades, and maintenance,

“Our rates are beyond competitive.  We haven't raised our rates in several years, because we want to make sure our prices are reasonable. In order to keep them reasonable, we have to become more efficient as a company rather than raising our rates every year for our clients,” van Stiphout said.  

It's not the easiest philosophy, but it's a philosophy that has been present since the beginning, and one which the company will strive to incorporate as much as possible. Says van Stiphout, “We've been pretty successful at following this business philosophy, but again, it's not mainstream corporate philosophy.”

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.

We Give – You Give

The idea of reducing your company’s carbon footprint is nothing new; in fact, “greening” started way back in the 1970s, and some would argue the movement began more than a century before that!  As the world becomes more connected and informed, we understand better than ever how important it is for each and every one of us to do our part in protecting the environment.  At Kinetik IT, we are passionate about our role as environmental stewards and making a difference in our environment. We want to help change the world, one client at a time.

We do this in big and small ways.  First, we take care with our everyday activities – by working with our staff to create a paperless work environment, by recycling, and by controlling our waste, energy and water usage. We also commit in bigger ways – by donating a percentage of our gross revenue to eco-friendly projects and eco-supporting organizations that our clients are passionate about.



It’s a partnership.  At Kinetik IT, we contribute a percentage of the gross amount paid by the client to eco-friendly projects or eco-supporting organizations chosen by the client.  Clients choose from the organization we regularly donate to, or provide us another of their choosing.  Organizations we’ve donated to include the following:


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.