Firm Develops Web Site For Transmitting Big Files

December 11, 2007
| By Pete Daly |
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GRAND RAPIDS — Pelco Solutions, a local software developer, is now marketing Share, a way to send and receive any size file through a Web browser.

“We believe this new product will eclipse File Transfer Protocol, which is highly technical, cumbersome and difficult for many users to understand,” said Dave Valko, Pelco Solutions vice president of sales and marketing.

He added that many employees do not even have access to FTP.

An alternative to FTP is simply using e-mail to transfer files, but many e-mail servers strictly limit the size of attached files, usually ruling out the transfer of high resolution photography. According to Valko, Share enables users to create and manage numerous projects, upload multiple files at once, give access to unlimited users, and automatically notify assigned team members when files are uploaded and ready for retrieval.

“We knew a better product needed to be developed. … With the creation of Share, we have streamlined the process of file sharing," said Valko. "There is nothing in the market like Share, and we are extremely proud it was developed here in West Michigan."

Pelco Solutions creates custom Web-based applications for clients, in addition to providing a series of Web-based software tools under the brand Command Box.

According to the Pelco Web site, Command Box Share "is an easy way for small businesses, large businesses, nonprofit organizations and other associations to share large files internally or with clients through a Web browser."

"We have been providing a lot of technical support to the creative industry," said Valko. Clients include creative agencies in Boston and Los Angeles; Access Business Group, a division of Alticor; and Mark Thomas, a commercial photographer whose studio is on Fulton Street in Grand Rapids.

Thomas, who has been in business as Mark Thomas Productions for about 10 years, shoots stylized food photography for clients such as the Michigan Apple Commission. He often needs to deliver dozens of high-resolution images to clients, files that are "way too large" for e-mail, he said. Thomas uploads his images to Pelco’s Share Web site where his clients can easily access them.

Compared to the FTP process, Share is "more user-friendly" and "much simpler," said Thomas. "I explain it once to clients and they have it right away. Some FTPs are complicated."

Pelco Solutions, which has five full-time employees, is headquartered in Kentwood on 40th Street off Patterson Avenue. It is a division of Digital Services Inc.

Pelco Solutions was initially formed in 2001 by Paul La Vigne and Rob Shea by acquiring Gravity Designs LLC, which had been in business since the mid-1990s. The Pelco Web site lists Proctor & Gamble, Steelcase, Whirlpool, The Palace of Auburn Hills and McGraw-Hill among companies that have used Pelco Solutions to build Web sites, e-commerce sites, incentive management applications, intranet portals, Web training systems, and other multimedia applications.

In 2002 Pelco's hosting data center moved into a new facility with a heightened security, bandwidth and hosting infrastructure. The company created pelcohost.net (now called Bargain Box Hosting) to host Web sites.

Command Box Share works in all major Web browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Apple Safari. Share comes in four plans, from 500 MB of online storage up to 25 GB of storage, and the option for a custom interface to match corporate branding.

"The core business of Pelco is solution-based Web development," said Valko. "Many companies can set up a Web site. Pelco builds Web sites that do things, like the Share product."

He said the company also is developing business management software "more for the small businesses, that helps tie sales, marketing, production and accounting all together, but using a Web interface."

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