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Clockwork Active Media Systems

With a combination of design, products, and communication, Clockwork Active Media Systems does it all.

With a combination of design, products, and communication, Minneapolis-based Clockwork Active Media Systems does it all, from spiffing up Web sites to bringing projects together. Nancy Lyons, co-founder, chats about understanding, content management, and not letting hierarchy get in the way of good ideas.

How did Clockwork get started?

My partners and I were the team behind the success and subsequent acquisition of Bitstream Underground, a Twin Cities-based Internet Service Provider and Web development shop.

After BSU was acquired in 2000, we continued to work on Web-based projects for their clients. We found that we were essentially solving the same problems over and over again. At the end of 2001 we decided it was time to start over. We often joke that Clockwork was not a “start-up,” but a “start-over.” Our goal was to develop a platform from which we could continue to solve these business problems or communication/marketing tasks cost effectively, with shorter development cycles and greater flexibility.

What does the company provide?

Clockwork Active Media Systems has our Active Media Manager, the content management system at the core of our Active Media Tool Suite–which now includes modules for email marketing, opinion research, surveys, tests, quizzes, polls, event management, sweepstakes, games, and contests.

Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?

The industry made some mistakes a few years ago, but the technology has proven to be so valuable that it clearly isn’t going away. We’ve got a better understanding around how to value and apply that technology. Clearly, there’s a need to continue to simplify and streamline business process and communication. This is the ideal space in which to address those needs. And, as our global consciousness continues to evolve, this technology seems to be the key to that evolution. Businesses must move in this direction in order to compete. That seems to be the most compelling reason for us to develop our solutions–to empower our clients to compete in this global marketplace.

What makes your company unique?

Our company is unique on so many levels. We are purely collaborative–we never let hierarchy get in the way of good ideas. We feel we’ve harnessed a unique blend of strategy, creative, and technology expertise to deliver feature-rich solutions that address areas of pain for our clients. Our tool suite makes us unique, more than anything. Most of our competitors represent third-party products for content management, email marketing, surveys, etc. That makes them a middleman in an already complicated relationship. We want to be our clients’ trusted technology partner–a single point of contact for all of their Web technology needs. Our tool set insures that we come in with the most efficient, flexible, cost-effective platform from which to launch any project. Our clients don’t pay to reinvent the wheel. Instead we address their unique requirements by customizing our own products to suit them very specifically.

What do you like best about what you do?

I love the adventure of what we do. I love exploring technology as a way of addressing areas of pain in business. I love empowering clients and enabling them to embrace the true power and fluidity of the web. I love demystifying technology for our clients and helping them to see just how accessible and useful it is. Mostly, I love working with the team at Clockwork. We enjoy working together and its obvious in our culture, in our work product and in the relationships we foster with our clients.

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