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Advantage West Midlands enables web presence for regional organisations

Amaze and Tridion to provide Regional Development Agency with enhanced service and hosting facilities

Advantage West Midlands, one of the UK’s nine Regional Developments Agencies (RDA), is to overhaul its Web presence in a significant drive to provide an even greater service to the businesses and communities it supports. Working with Amaze, a web technology solutions company and Tridion, Advantage West Midlands will revamp its corporate Website and at the same time establish a Website framework to helps its customers maximise their online presence.

Under the terms of the agreement, Advantage West Midlands, which invests around £300 million each year into activity that helps foster and develop the West Midlands’ economy, will give customers access to a template-based website development package. The updated Advantage West Midlands site will also be able to host Websites for the organisations and projects it funds, providing companies in the region with a vital web presence.

“An online presence is key to the success of any company today,” says Sian Jamieson, e-Communications Team Leader, Advantage West Midlands. “Not only are we updating our own website to set best practice we are going one stage further by enabling the organisations that we support to easily create their own professional web presence. Our new Web hosting facility will allow multiple authors from different companies to update their Web pages whilst ensuring that content is displayed in a consistent, user-friendly and fully accessible format.”

Amaze will provide a 24/7 support helpline to deal with any technical issues should they arise. This is crucial as the majority of the organisations that Advantage West Midlands funds do not have in-house IT staff to deal with website downtime or technical problems.

“Often, small companies cannot afford IT support, nor do they have money to invest in Websites, despite the fact that these are essential to their business” commented Stuart Melhuish, CEO, Amaze. “Advantage West Midlands realises this and by partnering with Amaze will ensure that organisations in the West Midlands have the best possible chance for success.”

Advantage West Midlands’ new Website will be the first to be added to the new infrastructure. It will boast enhanced functionality including interactive contact and navigation wizards that enable visitors to find relevant information quickly and easily; online subscription facilities and adherence to UK accessibility guidelines .

Advantage West Midlands chose Tridion to provide Web Content Management software for the new Websites, which will include bringing six key partner websites, including the new regional stock exchange - InvestBX - together onto one integrated platform.

“Tridion’s software will dramatically improve the efficiency of the Websites - activities such as update will be quick and simple to perform,” said Terry Hall, Sales Director UK & Ireland, Tridion. “More importantly software will enable the marketing department to own the handling of the all Web content, rather than having to rely on the technology department.”

Advantage West Midlands’ new website is planned for launch in May 2007. The RDA aims to roll out its web framework to partner and project organisations from thereon.