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RACKSPACE CASE STUDY: FIRST B2B 1 OF 2 CASE STUDY First B2B Global EDI specialist relies on Rackspace First B2B Limited is a Global Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) specialist with clients all around the world. They match, integrate and exchange data in real time between retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and customers. The time critical nature of the business requires absolute reliability and guaranteed network uptime for the web based business. Their integrated supply chain technology and Just In Time (JIT) ordering and delivery processing has revolutionised cash flow and warehouse management. New IT Infrastructure Ian Ford is the Managing Director at First B2B, “When we first set up the business we opted to manage all our data in-house and look after our own servers, taking on board all the patching, updates and 24-hour management that the task entails. However, the success of the business and the critical time nature of much of the data, which was being processed 24/7 meant we had to invest hugely in a brand new IT infrastructure or look for an external hosting partner with the security and uptime guarantees we needed.” Ian said, “I happened to see an article in the computing press that talked about Rackspace® Hosting and its claim to provide Fanatical Support®. This certainly struck a chord with us and we contacted Rackspace to see how they could help.” Millions of transactions Ian revealed, “The decision to transfer all our web hosting to be managed by Rackspace is one for which we are thankful now, but at the time was a very significant commercial investment that equated to spending nearly 7% of our turnover. Today, we are a major provider in the EDI sector and the group’s technology is utilised across the globe processing millions of transactions each year, with invoices to the value of well over £1 Billion being exchanged each year.” Reputation, Reliability and Security Ian went on to say, “Rackspace has been a key partner in our success. Their reputation, reliability and security are critical to the business and the 100% network uptime guarantee absolutely essential for our business. The Fanatical Support® team is remarkably proactive and will report on potential problems before they happen. It is a totally meticulous approach from people who genuinely care about our business. The Rackspace team does things that people simply don’t think of. It is the reason why we can claim a 100% server uptime for the last year with an average document processing time of just 2.68secs. Rackspace also maintains a full backup service and firewall protection. RACKSPACE CASE STUDY: FIRST B2B PAGE 2 OF 2 Massive data processing task Ian summarised, “Our enterprise is designed to assist business leaders, senior project members, supply chain executives and managers with supply chain and EDI initiatives including, business process evaluation, system optimisation, best practice, business process re-engineering, supplier rationalisation, promotional management programs and inventory management. It all adds up to being a massive data processing task requiring extreme reliability and immense power. Millions of documents are successfully processed and delivered in seconds. The partnership with Rackspace has been instrumental in our reputation and remains a very significant factor in the success of the business. I would have no hesitation in recommending Rackspace as a commercial hoisting partner.” Cloud technology Finally, Ian said, “We have now started to make use of cloud technology for areas of the business that require extreme flexibility and scalability as opposed to the stringent security and protection demanded of the document processing servers. Cloud servers have been deployed for traffic management and corporate websites, as well as other non-core business activities. The ability to simply run up a server in minutes for test and development is absolutely ideal and the fact that we only pay for what we use is another very significant benefit. We are now looking at linking managed servers and cloud technology and incorporating data warehousing. Fully managed solutions If your business relies on documentation, First B2B’s fully managed solutions will allow any size of organisation to trade electronically with their customers and suppliers, whether they are a family-run business supplying a major retailer, or a manufacturer wanting to integrate an entire supply chain. For more detailed information and advice please visit the website at http://www.firstb2b.net/ or call the expert sales team on +44 (0) 1246 350000. Critical sites If your website is critical to your business and you need a hosting partner that offers security, reliability and guaranteed network uptime, then take a look at www.rackspace.co.uk or call the business hosting specialists on 0800 988 0100 for a FREE friendly and informative chat.
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