Tag Archives: itsynergy


ASU honors top ASU-bred entrepreneurs

Arizona State University has been gaining a nationwide reputation as a breeding ground for entrepreneurs. Accordingly, next week, the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU is holding its first-ever Sun Devil Select event, to honor some of the country’s top ASU alum-owned and alum-run businesses. Seventeen firms from a variety of industries will be recognized for their achievements.

“We’re honoring organizations that demonstrate innovation, growth and entrepreneurial spirit,” explains Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business, which is hosting the event. “The inaugural Sun Devil Select class includes firms from Chicago, the Los Angeles area, Kansas City, Dallas and the Phoenix area.”

The winning firms and alums are:

  • Betablox – Weston Bergmann is an angel investor and the founder and chief executive officer of this Kansas City-based group that helps select startups navigate through their first stages of business.
  • Dunn Transportation – Margaret Dunn is founder and president of this transportation company, which owns Scottsdale’s popular Ollie the Trolley and an executive coach service.
  • Fan Interactive Marketing – Joel McFadden serves as chief operating officer for this California firm specializing in customer relationship management, interactive marketing, database knowledge and email deployment.
  • FSW Funding – Robyn Barrett is the managing member of Factors Southwest, LLC, an independently owned factoring firm in Phoenix that helps small to mid-size businesses to secure funding.
  • Higher Ed Growth – Frank Healy is president and chief executive officer of this Tempe company that helps schools reach enrollment goals by using proprietary technology.
  • Homeowners Financial Group USA – William Rogers is chief executive officer of this family-oriented, award-winning mortgage company based in Scottsdale.
  • Infusionsoft – Marc Chesley serves as chief technology officer for this Chandler-based sales-and-marketing software firm recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States eight years in a row.
  • itSynergy – Michael Cocanower is founder and president of this Phoenix IT consulting firm with more than 200 clients.
  • Off Madison Ave – David Anderson is co-founder and chief executive officer of this Phoenix-based marketing and advertising firm with clients that include Nike and LifeLock. 
  • Print.Save.Repeat. – Errol Berry is co-founder and chief executive officer of this Chandler toner-cartridge manufacturer that focuses on recycling and saving businesses money on printing.
  • RedShelf – Tim Haitaian is co-founder and chief financial officer of this Chicago-based company that partners with publishers and college bookstores to more easily and affordably deliver eTextbooks.
  • Signature Technology Group – Charles Layne serves as president and chief executive officer of Phoenix-based STG, which provides data-center services that support more than 300,000 devices across North America.
  • Skin Script Skin Care – Lisa VanBockern is the owner of this Tempe skin care company that makes natural clinical products designed to address anti-aging, sun damage, acne and other issues.
  • Skyhook – Dallin Harris is founder and chief executive officer of this Mesa-based Internet marketing firm that has worked with clients including AT&T, Subway and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • Tiempo Development – Cliff Schertz is president and chief executive officer of this Tempe company that provides software firms with an integrated platform of services to accelerate how they develop, deploy and support their products.
  • Vetscience/Fruitables Pet Food – David DeLorenzo serves as president of this Dallas company that makes natural dog treats.
  • Western Window Systems – Scott Gates is president and chief operating officer of this Phoenix-based window and door manufacturer that has been making energy-efficient products for more than 50 years.

The Sun Devil Select Class of 2015 will be recognized at a special invitation-only luncheon on ASU’s Tempe campus on March 20. They will reconnect with their alma mater and spend time networking with each other and current ASU students, including some budding entrepreneurs. They will also meet Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business; Christine Wilkinson, head of the ASU Alumni Association and ASU senior vice president and secretary; and Mitzi Montoya, vice president and university dean for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Sun Devil Select is just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business-creation experience. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships to sustain its activities. For more information, visit wpcarey.asu.edu/entrepreneurship.

Custom apps

itSynergy Creates Custom Applications For Companies

Local Arizona businesses are jumping on the tech wagon when it comes to commissioning a custom app, and this is where itSynergy, a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, comes in.

itSynergy: Why Businesses Desire Custom Apps

Businesses look to streamline certain tasks and increase the productivity of their employees. The majority of custom apps created for companies are utilized by internal resources and employees, according to President and founder of itSynergy, Michael Cocanower.

Cocanower knows that decisions need to be made in time frames, and a custom app is the tool to help facilitate that. More often than not, the way information is presented comes in an off-the-shelf application and is not conducive to enhancing productivity and efficiency, Cocanower says.

“The comment we commonly hear from clients is ‘we know it’s in there somewhere, we just don’t know how to get it out,’ ” Cocanower says. “This relates to the ability, or lack thereof, to access important information that is crucial to decision making from existing systems.”

A secondary need when it comes to businesses needing custom applications is integrating more than one type of data source. The example Cocanower uses is the time that is needed when a business does something as simplistic as changing addresses.

itSynergy, custom apps

“Ask most companies, and they will tell you there are at least three or four places where they have to make that change — ordering system, vendor database, accounting system, etc.,” Cocanower says. “By putting a small piece of custom software in place, that can happen automatically, which increases efficiency, is more environmentally friendly and eliminates errors.”

Companies approach itSynergy for custom applications when they cannot find one to meet the business needs. The needs of a company include accessing important information and moving data into different formats, such as the Web or mobile devices, to allow new audiences to access efficient and timely information, Cocanower says.

Businesses Applying a Custom Application

Two Valley construction companies and a law firm have requested itSynergy to create a custom application. The custom applications are tailored to meet the individual company’s operational and network needs.  The result has been the development of applications that streamline safety issues and training, as well as project costs and timelines.

Glendale-based Levelline Framing works on custom and commercial building projects. A custom application developed for Levelline Framing by itSynergy tracks project timelines between the field and the home office. This custom app allows communication from a job site directly to the office server, and the transfer of real-time data now enhances the company’s communication and productivity on various projects.

Tempe’s FNF Construction is a leader in heavy highway and general construction. The company required a safety application to supplement the company’s top-rated safety and health program. itSynergy implemented Microsoft SharePoint to support safety training programs, accident reports and more, such as a direct impact on insurance and medical expenditures.

The Law Offices of Scott M. Clark, needed an app that streamlined billing and bookkeeping, while also tracking important data for clients. The firm focuses on residential property management Arizona, and so the application was created specifically to track and maintain the firm’s eviction notices, handling 2,000 cases a month and aiding the company in the terms of speed and efficiency. The application also includes a client portal where the firm’s clients can log in and review case statuses.

itSynergy is working on creating custom applications for other local companies (as well as those out of state) that will help them increase employee productivity and customer satisfaction. Cocanower recommends companies investigate custom applications when they have multiple data sources in their organization that could be better integrated and an off-the-shelf application isn’t conducive to enhancing productivity and efficiency.

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Phoenix, AZ 85020
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