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Connect Distribution simplifies hosting infrastructure

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Claranet Ltd - 21 Southampton Row - London WC1B 5HA - UK Email : - Web : Tel : +44 (0)845 145 7777 - Fax : +44 (0)845 145 1777 Case Study Connect Distribution Managed Application Hosting The challenge The Connect Distribution websites are accessed daily by a high number of customers who depend on the sites to order, track and manage various stock lines. Customers place high levels of trust in the company to ensure real-time visibility of stock and distribution, which is hugely dependent on the reliability and management of the hosted applications underpinning the websites' functionality. In the 2009 financial year, Connect Distribution experienced an exponential increase in consumer traffic to its websites, and recorded 27% growth in its online business. Following this success, the business began developing its consumer services and strengthening its repair care offering. However, this online expansion also raised significant challenges in terms of the management of the business' hosting platform and its increasingly complex applications. Andrew Button, Systems Designer at Connect Distribution, said: "Before our expansion into the consumer and service sectors, our business customers had intensive, yet relatively predictable, usage patterns. However, as the diversity and number of visitors to our range of sites increased, we were faced with unexpected capacity demands, and began to experience outages that could have negatively affected our entire customer base." "In addition, the skills and resources of the IT team at Connect Distribution were being sorely stretched," said Button. "When faced with large traffic spikes as a result of a customer's successful marketing campaign for instance, we'd have to manipulate and re-engineer the existing platform ourselves to achieve our required performance demands. This meant our system was increasingly complicated and difficult to support. So we urgently needed to simplify our hosting infrastructure, and find a way to improve our website support." Connect Distribution The Connect Distribution group specialises in component and accessory distribution for both white and brown goods. In addition to distribution, the group manages warranty and insurance repair contracts, by using a network of independent service providers linked via web-based software. The group currently handles over 1.4 million product lines, with a database of over 16,000 active customers. As well as providing ready-made websites for retailers, the business also processes over 180,000 stock lines per month online, runs over 100 spare parts' websites, and handles repair care for over 40 clients. The business started trading in 1969 and is currently set to exceed a turnover of £60 million annually. Connect Distribution simplifies hosting infrastructure The UK's largest brown and white goods distributor sees online business grow as it deploys Claranet's managed application hosting service

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