With 18 employees hired in the past 10 months and 35 new clients since January, Madison-based marketing technology company Widen Enterprises continues to grow its software design services, while “holding steady” in its more challenged, print-related, pre-press services division, the company said Thursday.
“At the core, we solve marketing problems,” said Widen spokesman Jake Athey. “We ... help (our clients’) creative teams ... connect their marketing content to their customers.”
The company specializes in software development, managed software services and color production services.
Its major growth has been on the software side of the business, while its pre-press work — involving color retouching and file management for printed catalogs — has been contracted in recent years.
Widen’s cloud-based software products and services are designed to help clients better search, store and share their digital content, such as photos, videos, logos and audio clips, making it overall “more scalable and sophisticated and easier to maintain,” Athey said.
A recent example of Widen’s work for customers can be seen at ThisIsMichigan.com, a recruiting site for University of Michigan athletics. Widen hosts and feeds the site’s video content, Athey said.
Widen expects to hire three to five additional employees before the end of this year, Athey said. It now employs 82, basically unchanged from January 2014, when the company reported four layoffs in the pre-press division, after a 15 percent total workforce reduction in July 2009 linked to the same market forces.
Human resources manager Heather Kleist said the total number of company employees is roughly the same now as it was in January 2014, despite the new hires since then, because Widen has seen several retirements and voluntary departures.
Founded in 1948 as a photo-engraving company, the Madison business at 6911 Mangrove Lane started shifting from printing services to software products in the 1990s.
Currently serving more than 200,000 users across 500-some organizations around the world, Widen’s software products — known as Media Collective and Smartimage — are used by local customers including Sub-Zero and Wolf, Trek, Pacific Cycle and Promega.
New clients include SAE International, a global association of engineers and related experts in the aerospace and automotive industries, and online dating service Zoosk.