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Technology Services Group set to launch SmartSite

WHEELING — After 34 years in business in the Friendly City, Technology Services Group Inc. announced Wednesday that it is launching a new service — the SmartSite, which combines numerous networking tools into one.

While many websites offer a mobile site for browsing on mobile devices, TSG President P. Michael Bizanovich said the key component of the SmartSite is its integration with its app, which allows simultaneous updating of the website while also updating several other platforms, including social media and text notifications.

“A benefit that will have a huge impact for your staff is streamlining communications,” said Wes Ebeling, director of web/app services. “How much time would it take to say, “We’ve got to post something to our website. To Facebook. To Twitter. To send out email alerts. … All the different items and ways to address that same thing, you can do that in one shot, and with that, you save staff time.

“That’s only a small part of their job, is social media communications, and they’re all wearing different hats. They have other work to do,” Ebeling added.

Ebeling gave a 20-minute presentation to a group of several dozen attendees at the Highlands Event Center on Wednesday morning, outlining numerous features of the SmartSite app, such as customizable options for moving individual components of the website to the app and allowing quicker dissemination of information to employees and customers.

“You create user accounts for the website … and when they sign in — company news. Training. Job schedules. That sort of information you need to distribute to your employees,” he said.

A SmartSite already has been launched for West Virginia Northern Community College, with more coming for the Wheeling-Ohio County Public Library, Covenant Community Church and Greensburg, Pennsylvania-based Achieving True Self.

Bizanovich said web development entered full force in the last decade, with Ebeling working to grow the firm’s web services aspect.

“Ten years ago, we really jumped full force into web development,” Bizanovich said. “I hired (Ebeling), who really grew that part of what we’re doing. He leads a team of … six people, plus himself. … We wanted to create a platform that could be used more widespread for a much larger client base.

“Everybody that has a website has a mobile site, but not everyone has an app,” he added. “It would be a great idea for us to put together a suite product that would combine web, mobile web and a mobile app for both iOS and Android. … We launched our first SmartSite web presence last Friday, with West Virginia Northern, and the Android and iOS versions are going out next week.”

Bizanovich said the company began in 1985, originally doing hardware, software and business applications, focusing on service and operational systems. The following year, computer networking became commonplace.

“We saw that as the future of the industry, so we jumped on that right away,” Bizanovich said. “We got into networking, then soon, in the ’90s the internet raised its head, so we had to start being able to communicate through the Internet — mainly just data. Local area networking became wide area networking as well. We could have not only a local office be networked, but branch offices could be connected.”

As time went on and websites started taking off in the late 1990s and into the 2000s, TSG turned to developing web applications and websites, he said.

“We were primarily building websites for existing IT customers,” he said. “They wanted a web presence, and they looked to us to provide that to them because we were their web experts. … In the middle of the 2000s, we got into more system-related web apps for larger organizations and customers, building web-based systems for everything from back-end systems for companies and their employees, to front-end systems for customers.”

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