Helping local business spread Christmas cheer

by Sally Sommers

Case Studies > Helping local business spread Christmas cheer

Business Profile

Virginia Hayward is a leader in the luxury wine and food hamper industry, supplying hampers for some of the UK’s most prestigious companies from its base in Shaftesbury, North Dorset.

Established in 1984, the family-owned business group now also includes Virginia Hayward Logistics, which provides transport, warehousing and fulfilment services, and Grand Illusions, a homeware and accessories business.

Business Challenge

As a market leader in the luxury hamper industry, Virginia Hayward’ business is very seasonal. The run up to Christmas is a critical trading period with thousands of online hamper orders placed daily and the company’s call centre expands to 6x more agents than normal on a VoIP based telephone system, to manage surging demand.

For the IT team, ensuring there’s no interruptions to connectivity and business critical systems in these key trading months is a top priority. Therefore, the quality of SLA’s and the shortest possible guaranteed fault fix time were important requirements in selecting a leased line provider.

In addition, as the wider business group grows and launches additional businesses, the company has found it difficult to find a provider able to provide high bandwidth connections to their rural locations.

The Solution

For the Shaftesbury headquarters of its hamper business the Virgina Hayward IT team wanted a 1Gbps leased line. By opting for an uncontended ethernet service, they could guarantee they would have the bandwidth they needed in the pre-Christmas busy period.

When reviewing suppliers, Wessex Internet’s guaranteed four-hour fix time for faults was the best available on the market, and this proved the deciding factor when choosing a supplier. Plus, with the added reassurance that the full Wessex Internet tech and engineering teams are based just a few miles up the road, Virginia Hayward were reassured that Wessex Internet was the best choice to ensure the shortest possible downtime in the rare event of a service issue.

With Wessex Internet’s unique approach to deploying full fibre networks in rural areas and additional superfast wireless broadband network, they have been able to support the group’s other businesses based in rural locations in Henstridge and Stour Row. Both locations are currently receiving a 50Mbps wireless connection while Wessex Internet builds full fibre to Henstridge with Virginia Hayward not paying any installation or excess construction charges.

The Results

Virginia Hayward’s Shaftesbury headquarters has a 1Gbps Ethernet Leased Line, delivered over full fibre. The financially backed guaranteed 99.9% uptime and 4 hour fix on faults means the team can be confident of an always on service in the busy run up to Christmas. Virginia Hayward is also working with Wessex Internet to connect all other group locations.

“When we get to this time of year, we can’t afford any downtime. Therefore the 4 hour SLA is really important to us. BT couldn’t offer us that.” Steve Wilkinson – Virginia Hayward

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