Mindscape at Hanon McKendry LLC, the interactive division of the Grand Rapids brand consulting and advertising firm Hanon McKendry Inc., Wednesday announced the acquisition of Venux.net, a custom Web and business applications development.

The acquisition integrates Venux.net’s software development expertise with Mindscape’s broad range of Web marketing services, search engine optimization and marketing, social media management, and its proprietary Web platform, WebTrain.

“We’ve been growing by about 30 percent each year for the past five
years,” said Mindscape co-founder Pete Brand. “In early 2010, we determined the time was right to bring custom programming in-house, and there was no question who we wanted to bring on board. Venux has been our go-to firm for all complex custom work. They’re innovative; they’re problem solvers; and they’re always thinking three steps ahead.”

Venux has served as a custom Web and business app provider nationwide since 1998, and has recently added mobile app development to its portfolio. The team has served clients in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, service, healthcare and retail.

“We’ve been very strong in our niche,” said Venux founder and new Mindscape vice president of operations Mike Simon. “This move allows us to integrate with a company with tremendous growth potential in the full range of digital services. We’ll complement that growth because, as companies require more transactional Web sites, there is a huge need to connect what’s happening in the back office– accounting, inventory control, regulatory compliance and customer service — with what’s happening on the Web. We’re looking to the future. Sharing data across common frameworks, security and transactional-based web sites will be the big issues in Web 3.0.”

The Mindscape team includes marketers, product developers, advanced
programmers and technicians, designers, content creators, SEO/SEM experts, social media strategists and customer support professionals.

“It’s not just about adding capabilities,” added Brand. “We’re modeling Mindscape in a way that can be scaled up to meet all of our clients’ needs for full digital engagement and back office integration.”

With this acquisition, Mindscape forms a new Custom Solutions Group and will now run two development teams — one dedicated to continuous upgrade of the packaged WebTrain platform and the other dedicated to individualized and responsive custom web and application development.

In addition to Simon, the acquisition includes the transition of a team of three custom programmers. Programmer John Leitch brings a unique combination of experience in .Net, Silverlight and WPF development, making Mindscape one of only a handful of companies, statewide, to offer this expertise. Programmers Josh Fremer and Mark Lane are PHP proficient. The Venux team brings deep business systems analysis expertise to the firm, critical in the development of accounting
systems, inventory control and logistics applications.

The acquisition brings Mindscape up to 23 employees, Brand said, with seven employees added in the past few weeks.

Mindscape serves as the interactive division for Hanon McKendry, a national brand consulting and advertising firm that excels at helping clients shift perceptions beyond what their brands offer to what their brands mean. Nearly 80 percent of the firm’s annual revenues are derived from initiatives to launch, re-launch or restage brands. Hanon McKendry has worked extensively with leading corporate clients including Furniture Row Shopping Centers, Rayovac Batteries, Rubbermaid Home Products, Wilsonart and Zondervan (a division of Harper/Collins Publishing). The firm has also earned national recognition for its
issue-based campaigns and brand development for clients such as the Alliance Defense Fund, National Arbor Day Foundation, World Vision and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

More at www.mindscape-hm.com or www.hanon-mckendry.com.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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