February 2, 2009

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The Big Squeeze

Utah’s economy has long been The Little Engine That Could—merrily puffing alo...Read More

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A Rose By Any Other Name

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Celebrating Innovation

Sarah Ryther-Francom and Linda T. Kennedy

February 2, 2009


Though Utah’s fast-growing economy has hit a speed bump, companies throughout the Beehive State remain on the road to success, creating one-of-a-kind innovations that are making business—and life—a bit easier, safer and greener for the rest of us. Join Utah Business as we celebrate 30 of Utah’s most innovative companies and their groundbreaking creations. Software Omniture Orem-based Omniture is helping companies around the world tap into their “green gold,” says CEO Josh James. Omniture’s software SiteCatalyst enables customers to capture, store and analyze information generated by their Websites—information James calls “green gold.” “Instead of black gold or oil that’s sitting in reserve, our customers have this data and they can use all that data to make their initiatives work better. For example, they can say to their customers, if you like Product A you’re going to like Product B. So, we take that data or ‘green gold’ and make it available so companies can provide all of us—the users of the Internet—with a personalized experience.” And companies are taking note: Omniture’s approximately 5,000 customers include eBay, AOL, Wal-Mart, Gannett, Microsoft, Neiman Marcus, Oracle, General Motors, Sony and HP. AtTask AtTask’s award-winning soft-ware @task isn’t a crystal ball, but it might be the next best thing. According to CEO Scott Johnson, @task helps executives make the best decisions for their companies by giving them complete visibility into how acting on specific initiatives will affect their organization. “@task gives executives the tools so they can actually model out what it would be like if they did certain initiatives. So, if they make changes or reorganize, @task helps them see how doing so will affect the company,” Johnson says. “It gives them the ability to put that initiative out into the organization and see in real time all throughout the entire plan how [the initiative] is performing, whether there are any issues or risks associated with it and how likely it is to perform against the original plan.” InsideSales.com In today’s shaky economic climate, the traditional sales representative could likely use a helping hand. They’re in luck: InsideSales.com has the tools to make any sales rep more efficient. The company’s software ResponseSwami enables sales reps to call back Web-based leads in seconds rather than the typical hours or even days companies usually take to respond. This solution can triple, sometimes even quadruple, the production of a professional sales rep. “With our solution, an inside sales rep knows which lead to call, which voice message to leave, which email to leave or what piece of direct mail or fax to send depending where they’re at in the response,” says David Elkington, CEO of InsideSales.com. “So, we facilitate an immediate response strategy for the sales rep and the rep doesn’t have to coordinate everything that he or she is doing.” Hardware inthinc When NASCAR racers or commercial fleet drivers rev-up their engines, inthinc is there to alert them if their speeds are excessive. The company’s waySmart technology is the most comprehensive real-time, onboard safety system. Also, inthinc’s Witness Incident Data Recorder has been used in all NASCAR racing series since 2002 to record crash data and improve car and driver safety. So, after securing commercial fleet drivers and NASCAR racers, what’s next? “Using the same technology from the commercial fleet and NASCAR solutions, inthinc’s teen driver mentoring solution is in an early pilot phase,” says Jeff Harvey, executive vice president of inthinc. “Technology has been introduced to monitor driving behavior, but they don’t help teach and mentor teens to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.” ATK When the country’s current space shuttle retires, Utah technology will be a part of space exploration’s future. ATK Space System’s Launch Systems division is supporting NASA by designing, building and testing new flight hardware for Ares I, a launcher scheduled to fly in 2015. “ATK is the only supplier in the country with solid rocket motors that are certified for human space flight,” says Mike Kahn, ATK executive vice president. “That made ATK a leading candidate for the next generation of space launch vehicles.” In addition to being the prime contractor for the launch vehicle’s first stage, ATK is building the vehicle’s Launch Abort Motor which would pull the entire astronaut crew to safety should there be an anomaly during launch that would threaten the crew. Celio Corp. Imagine a day with no large computer terminals, keyboards and hard drive boxes. Celio Corp. not only expects that day to become a reality, but also plans to be a part of it. Believing that someday your smartphone will be your only computer, Celio Corp. developed the REDFLY Smartphone Terminal, a large screen and keyboard for smartphones. Since it has no CPU, OS, syncing or storage, it operates as an extension to the smartphone and not as a separate device that syncs with the phone. “The lack of a CPU, OS or storage translates into zero configuration, minimal management, lower total cost of ownership and lower security risk through data loss protection,” says Kirt Bailey, president and CEO of Celio Corp. Online Interbank FX (IBFX) Weary of trading in today’s volatile economy? Interbank FX (IBFX) has turned the complicated and risky trading process—once only suitable for experienced money managers—into an attractive market for investors of all skills levels. Salt Lake City-based IBFX, an online provider of Forex trading services, provides updated information about the market and how it works, as well as education on margined currency training. All in all, IBFX makes the Forex market unintimidating for traders of all abilities. Started in 2001, IBFX today has clients in nearly 150 countries and a trading volume in excess of $70 billion per month. Despite such growth and a global presence, IBFX remains a locally owned company and continues to employ, almost exclusively, local Utah talent. MediConnect Many say personal health care is a large part of the solution to today’s looming health care troubles. Up to the challenge to help individuals take charge of their health is MediConnect—a company that gives people access to their health information via the Web. “In the world today, it’s especially hard for people to drive their own health care decisions because they don’t have any idea what is written in their health care records by their doctors,” says MediConnect CEO Amy Rees Anderson. MediConnect’s ground-breaking technology promises consumers personalized health care access and control. In seconds, consumers are able to access their vital health care records and can update their information, such as adding allergy information. Overstock.com Overstock.com is hoping to make a world of difference, one artisan at a time. In 2001, the Salt Lake-based company launched Worldstock.com, a division of Overstock.com that sells handcrafted products—like jewelry, apparel and household wares—created by artisans from developing countries. Unlike traditional importing companies, Worldstock.com works directly with artisans and cuts out the many layers of middlemen that usually drive up the retail price of goods. The artisans are paid an average of more than 60 percent of the sales price; since the site was launched, artisans spanning the globe have sold their merchandise and have been paid more than $30 million. And, the organization is making differences in other ways, too: in 2004, Worldstock.com was named the largest employer of women in Afghanistan. Business Services Twelve Horses Long lines, antiquated will call systems, high prices and additional fees have long big the characteristics of the digital ticketing industry, says Twelve Horses CEO Steve Spencer. But Twelve Horses is not traditional. With an effective digital ticketing and event management platform, the company aims to put an end to the systems created by companies who they say, recoup the investments in their platforms by putting the expense back onto businesses and their customers. “It is all achieved with the use of 2-D barcode technology, pin codes, as well as regular barcodes and magnetic strips,” says Spencer. “Electronic delivery allows the customer to print the ticket at home, send it to their mobile device or redeem them in a number of other digital formats.” ProPay PayPal, ProPay sound very similar, but don’t get them confused because ProPay has just moved in as eBay’s alternative electronic payment solution to PayPal. “ProPay was selected because they offer simple, safe, affordable and convenient services that allow merchants to create an account and accept credit cards without buying special equipment or making long term commitments or investments,” says ProPay’s Chief Financial Officer Chris Jensen. This past fall, ProPay launched its eAuction Account for eBay sellers and plans to launch the eAuction ProAccount this year. With the eAuction Account, sellers can now accept several credit and debit card processing options, and buyers do not have to sign up for a payment account. U.S. Translation Company U.S. Translation Company President and Founder David Utrilla says many companies can produce an acceptable product if they use qualified linguists, do proper quality assurance and deliver on time. “However, it takes much more than ‘acceptable’ in our industry to be successful,” he says, explaining that after 13 years in business, the company knew excellent customer service would put them above the rest. In August 2005, U.S. Translation Company became the first SBA 8 (a) language service provider to become ISO 9001:2000 certified. “Achieving this certification was extremely difficult,” says Utrilla. “But we did it. Helping us achieve the ISO certification was the development of our proprietary tracking and management system, OnTarget, which allows us to respond to requests immediately.” Human resources/Business Training Wi5Connect Can’t get your employees off of social networks like Facebook during office hours? Wi5Connect may have your answer. The Provo-based company recently launched Social Learning Communities—a product that combines the company’s Learning Management System with a social network. These communities allow employees and their managers to engage in useful dialogue about topics ranging from performance to new hire instruction. Beyond engaging and creating community among employees, the product has proven to be an effective training tool, especially among younger employees. “The architecture uniquely intertwines formal learning with informal learning in an online environment preferred by Gen Y and Millenials,” says CEO Matthew Bowman. “The combination of formal and informal learning allows users to gain deep insights into subject matter at hand and to continually receive training and instruction the younger generations expect.” VitalSmarts Was your company’s last training session not as effective as it could have been? Provo-based VitalSmarts is revamping the traditional training session that could beef up your company’s training. “We have identified core skills that help provide leverage to get the training results needed,” says Al Switzler, co-chairman. One such innovation doing just that is VitalSmarts’ Participant Response System (PRS), an interactive testing technology that quizzes participants and instantly displays results for the instructor. Using a hand-held clicker and an automated response system, trainers and participants receive instant feedback through classroom polls, quizzes and group competitions. This instant feedback helps trainers quickly analyze the effectiveness of the training and make on-the-spot adjustments. PRS also aids skill transference by ensuring training participants engage with and correctly process new concepts in real time. EnticeLabs No luck finding the perfect employee for your company’s hard-to-fill position? EnticeLabs’ TalentSeekr is re-volutionizing the traditional job hunt and pretty soon, top-notch employees may be knocking down your door. TalentSeekr harnesses the power of niche Websites and uses patent-pending technology to find the perfect candidates for specific jobs—all on the Web. Here’s how it works: Companies can place an online ad on Websites that are proven watering holes for talented professionals. Those companies are immediately placed in front of thousands of qualified candidates. The innovative technology used to create and coordinate ads on these sites eliminates hours of work by seamlessly integrating with applicant tracking systems, letting you say goodbye to swarms of resumes from unqualified applicants. Green Business Hydro-Rain Toxic glue and the environment don’t quite fit together, and Hydro-Rain’s CEO Stuart Eyring says the company’s Blu-Lock pipe and fittings illustrate that in a very literal sense. “Traditional methods for underground lawn irrigation systems require toxic glue, clamps and frustrating fittings and parts that often complicate the job and make it difficult and time-consuming.” Eyring says that most flexible tubing systems are joined together by barbed compression fittings installed inside the pipe, whereas Blu-Lock uses a stainless steel retaining ring that grips the flexible pipe from the outside. This is designed to provide a savings of up to 80 percent in irrigation assembly time, less damage to the environment and an increase flow rate up to 25 percent. I-O Corporation Going green is a new concept to many, but not I-O Corporation, a company that has provided thin client, host connectivity and security solutions to the SMB and enterprise markets for more than 30 years. “I-O is a leader innovator of green computing,” says Matt Brady, President and CEO of I-O Corporation. “By design, ProEdge thin clients consume a 16th the power necessary to operate a standard desktop PC.” Brady also says thin clients allow companies to reduce the electrical demands placed on company’s infrastructures, consequently reducing organization’s CO2 emissions. Now the company is providing solutions to a variety of industries, with recent findings that school computer labs and libraries benefit from the standardized nature of thin clients and savings in electricity consumption. Willowstick Technologies According to the United Nations, more than one billion people cannot find enough clean water to meet their most basic needs. But Willowstick hopes to reverse that with its AquaTrack technology. The water mapping system uses the magnetic fields created from electrical current flow to characterize water systems deep beneath the earth’s surface. It then generates maps of those systems, providing information about local hydrogeology or problems associated with reservoir. It also has the capacity to delineate pollution plume of contaminated groundwater, locate geothermal resources and other imaging tasks. Marketing OrangeSoda OrangeSoda is adding a little fizz to the online marketing world. The American Fork-based company is an online search marketing company that specializes in geo-targeted search results for small- to medium-sized businesses. “We’ve developed a series of solutions to help small businesses advertise more effectively online,” says CEO Jay Bean. “Smaller businesses often don’t have the technical resources to market online effectively. Our solutions and our support staff provide the help and technology that larger businesses have at a much smaller price—some businesses spend only a few hundred dollars a month.” While the company works to effectively market its customers online, it works hard to make sure its own services and solutions are becoming a household name. How does it do so? The company gives away countless bottles of orange soda. Rain (formerly mediaRAIN) Looking for advanced Web development, but don’t have a tech team on board? Rain’s got you covered. The American Fork-based company is dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions for clients looking for advanced Web application development, interactive media, creative and marketing. The company prides itself in creating interactive sites that attract visitors and keep them coming back for more. Established in 1999, Rain has received numerous accolades, including Flash Forward’s Flash Application Winner and the Webby’s Technical Achievement Award. Rain has provided solutions for top local, national and international clients including Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Ancestry.com, Novell and FranklinCovey, to name a few. Blendtec After allocating only $50 to its marketing budget, Blendtec has since become a household name with its “Will it Blend” series. “We plowed all of our money into research and development, nothing into marketing. My feeling always was that if we built the best equipment that people would beat a path to our door—not so. Therefore, we had the best equipment but nobody knew the Blendtec name,” CEO Tom Dickson says. All that changed when, with a $50 budget, the company started filming the “Will it Blend” series—blending everything from food to rakes to marbles. Those videos were shown on YouTube and within a few days, the company had six million views. Since then, the blender has been featured on “The Tonight Show,” “The Today Show,” as well as The History Channel and Discovery Channel. Today, the “Will it Blend” series is ranked as YouTube’s 10th most subscribed to video. IT Security ContractPal After Congress signed the act recognizing electronic signatures as legal as those signed with ink on paper, the trick for many companies was moving them through quickly and securely. Brad Curtis, chief marketing officer and vice president of ContractPal Sales, says the company’s new answer to that is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. “We take the different functionalities and features needed to address any company and built that in the platform,” he says. “So, instead of having to start from scratch taking months and using thousands of dollars, ContractPal allows them to assemble their solution in a matter of weeks, be online and up and running.” Spearstone If your small- or medium-sized business faced lost or stolen data, computers or smartphones, Spearstone’s DiskAgent could be the product that comes to the rescue—but without the need for IT support and costly infrastructure. Launched last year, DiskAgent is Spearstone’s online backup, remote wipe and PC recovery line of products that are designed to continuously secure data and make restoration easy. After creating successful enterprise applications for companies such as Wells Fargo, iTV and Mountain America Credit Union, Spearstone recognized its opportunity to make enterprise level data protection available to small businesses and consumers. “The Spearstone team is personally vested in all of our projects and committed to ensuring all aspects are working efficiently and exceed expectations,” says Spearstone President and CEO Hayden Hartland. Sendside Networks If you think about a secure application delivery platform that meets e-mail 2.0 that meets a managed network, then you’ve discovered Sendside, a customer communication platform and managed network that allows organizations to communicate securely and interact with their customers in ways not possible with mail, email, secure e-mail or client portals. “Sendside was founded to address one of the largest unsolved problems on the Internet: the ability for an organization to send confidential and important information to their customers in a secure, cost-effective, interactive and convenient manner,” says William Borghetti, Sendside Networks founder and CEO. He also says Sendside’s “special sauce” is using its own protocol and network architecture as the transport mechanism for message, document and application delivery. Data Management eFileCabinet With today’s myriad technology, you might not think paper is a hurdle to businesses with reducing costs, improving service and increasing productivity. But eFileCabinet CEO Matt Peterson says companies of all sizes are realizing that manual and paper-based processes for managing documents are costly. And for small businesses, Electronic Document Management (EDM) systems can be costly, too. That’s what Peterson says eFileCabinet v4.0 was created for—to meet the needs of both large and small businesses. “It is designed to effectively address the most stringent demands for business security protocols and regulatory compliance, while at the same time bringing to the table a short learning curve thanks to a very straightforward interface.” Cemaphore Where disaster lurks in the e-mail industry stands MailShadowG, the first software-as-a-service (SaaS) e-mail continuity and disaster recovery solution utilizing the Google Apps cloud-based services. “In real-time, the software synchronizes email, calendars and contacts between Outlook, Exchange and Gmail,” says Tyrone Pike, CEO of Cemaphore. “It provides email continuity for end users, SMBs and enterprises in case of any failure.” Originally, Cemaphore planned to launch the beta program with 500 participants, but the demand for the program exceeded the company’s expectations. From the time it was announced in March of 2008 to 3 months later, the number of applicants approached more than 2,500. Today, more than 3,300 organizations from 98 countries are registered for MailShadowG. Digital Gateway When Digital Gateway set out to produce e-automate, an all-in-one management resource that assists independent imaging and business equipment dealers with common business processes, industry critics said they wouldn’t make it. “When we first began, we were ridiculed by many for our strategy and primary focus on the dealers,” says Jim Phillips, CEO of Digital Gateway. But listening to the dealers brought Phillips’ company success, taking their feedback and releasing new features to their products in minimal turnaround time. Now Digital Gateway is focusing on providing another complete solution in print management, explaining that it will be crucial to the survival of independent dealers in the future. “It’s a trend—if you don’t do print management, your competitors will,” says Phillips. Consumer products/Gadgets Control4 Imagine sitting down for your favorite movie. You push “play” and the lights automatically dim and the surround sound kicks on. The movie-watching conditions are perfect—all with only one push of a button, thanks to Control4. The Salt Lake-based company’s technology lets electronic products and home systems work together, making whole-home automation a real option for any residence. Control4 provides effortless entertainment, comfort, convenience and peace of mind to owners everywhere. The company’s easy-to-use products enable home theater and television control, multi-room music, temperature control, security integration and smart lighting, through a range of on-site and over-the-Web remote control technology. And, Control4’s whole-home automation technology is spreading across the nation: the company has experienced 107 percent compound annual growth rate for the past 3 years. Amber Alert GPS After losing his three-year-old son for an hour, Russell Thornton turned a near tragedy into a solution that has parents breathing easy: the Amber Alert GPS 2G. This compact, wearable device gives parents 24/7 access to their child, regardless of where he or she is. Here’s how it works: When a parent wants to know their child’s location, they simply call the device. In less than a minute, the parent receives a text message on his or her cell phone with the child’s exact location. Not clear enough? The text message also contains the street address along with a link to a map. The device will also alert parents if their child is too hot or cold, if the child leaves a set “safe zone” and even if their teenager is driving too fast. Provo Craft Provo Craft’s Cricut Expression machine has hobbyists across the globe smiling. The Cricut is an innovative personal electronic cutting system that can perfectly cut just about any shape up to 24 inches. Users can customize letters, shapes and phrases from cartridges and cut them from a variety of materials, such as paper, vinyl, poster board and thin plastic all with the touch of a button. But it isn’t just hobbyists who are using the Cricut Expression machine; professionals spanning job titles have found the cutting device useful. Teachers, for example, can cut alphabet designs and more for their classrooms. This cutting system is ideal for use in the home, office, classroom or small business.
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