AIO Technology Services
I recently had the chance to chat with AIO Technology Consultant, James Hall.
Question 1First of all, tell us a bit about AIO & how the company got started?
James: It all started out of frustration, we were normal, everyday, hardworking men. Pretty typical, 40+ hours a week working for companies, dealing with frustrated customers etc... It was the typical grinding jobs that most Americans have to deal with on a daily basis. We knew how much the customers hated dealing with vendors that have no local reputation or presence. The level of customer service has dropped, at best when you call a company you are greeted with a monotone, digital receptionist followed by a series of either voice prompts or menu selections. We simply knew that we could offer more than that, we knew that we could support the local businesses with IT services and provide a very local and friendly relationship with those businesses. Really our employees are the key to our business. If any of our employees go home not happy with their job, then in 6 months we will have a problem. Our customers are going to be affected by the atmosphere that we set for our employees, good bad or indifferent. So we start at home with our employees.
Question 2What kind of services do you offer at AIO?
James: We have two areas actually. We have the hosting and web section and then we have the consulting section. We use a mix of open-source and Microsoft technologies to serve our customers needs at an affordable cost.
These are the services we offer:
- Web hosting,
- Drupal/Wordpress/Joomla Hosting
- Web design especially with CMS systems such as Drupal
- Email hosting pop or IMAP and Exchange
- SugarCRM hosting and consulting
- 3CX Voip consulting
- Network consulting and Microsoft Small Business consulting
As you can see we offer a wide variety of services. We specialize in a few select technologies.
We picked these carefully as most businesses can use them separately or together to run their business.
Question 3What’s a typical day at AIO offices/data centre?
James: A typical day at Aio is busy, exciting and exhausting. With all the new technology that is coming out, it has and will continue to be a challenge. Continual growth, new technology, it all takes time and effort. I don't know any IT professionals that sleep more than 5-6 hours a night at best.
Question 4You offer Drupal development & hosting services, but when did you first find out about Drupal and what made you start using it?
James: We had clients that needed a web site that was easy for them to update and some clients that needed data driven websites and Drupal was perfect for both of these needs. The need and demand grew from there and continues to grow more even to this day.
Question 5AIO also offers Joomla development, how do you feel Drupal compares to Joomla?
James: Drupal has better performance over Joomla.
- Drupal is geared more towards developers and Joomla is easier for the end user to pick up. The learning curve on Joomla is far easier.
- In my opinion Drupal is more powerful. A developer can do more customization that will extend Drupal over Joomla. Also there are far more good developers out there for Drupal then Joomla. A good developer for Joomla is rare but we have a few on our team.
- You have things like content types, CCK, views and blocks in Drupal and you don’t have this in Joomla.
- Joomla has far more templates on the market over Drupal's available themes.
- Joomla handles media better then Drupal such as photo galleries and video galleries.
- Drupal’s taxonomy is superior to that of Joomla.
- Drupal is better for data driven websites. Joomla is better for websites that need to be updated but are not data driven.
Overall Drupal is better for someone that needs better performance, lots of development flexibility, data driven content and superior configuration. Use Joomla if you can deal with slightly slower performance and you simply need a site that looks good and is easy to update.
Question 6Roughly how many Drupal sites do you host?
James: 100 hosted and 75 of them are designed by AIO.
Question 7What excites you about the imminent release on Drupal 7?
James: We are looking forward to Drupal being able to take advantage of PHP 5's features and better support for PostgreSQL databases. The WYSIWYG that will make Drupal all the more easy to update for end users that are not so computer savvy. Also the new Administration theme looks to be easier to navigate and better organized. The automatic upgrades are a nice much needed feature that we are looking forward to. We are also excited to see what improvements will be made as far as media on Drupal sites.
Question 8AIO offers a number of hosting plans but which would you recommend for someone starting out with Drupal?
James: We don’t have a recommended plan. It really depends on the client’s budget and needs for their particular website. Clients can always upgrade the services they need such as traffic bandwidth, space and more at anytime. We also offer 1-click install of Drupal and other CMS systems with all of our hosting plans. This makes it very easy even for a novice to get a CMS website up and going.
Question 9What are your hopes for AIO in the New Year?
James: To really expand in the content management system market specifically Drupal.
Here are some current client projects they have going right now:
www.backinguproberto.com (Designed and hosting. This is still in the works but almost done.)
www.cvmdcc.com (Design and Hosted)
www.catersource.com (Extended functionality with modules and Web maintenance)
www.scahd.com (Design and Hosted)
www.afp-gsfv.org (Design and Hosted)
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