London, United Kingdom, 20 July, 2004 - Akamai Technologies Limited, a subsidiary of Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the global leader of distributed computing solutions and services, today announced that UK-based Comet Group, one of the largest electrical goods retailers in Europe, has deployed the Akamai EdgeSuite and EdgeComputing services to enable top performance and reliability of Comet’s online commerce business, www.comet.co.uk.
Akamai’s services have helped Comet increase revenue opportunities through improved performance and reliability of its online operations, while enhancing the online shopping experience for its customers.
Leading electrical retailer Comet has over 245 stores nationwide and launched comet.co.uk in May 1999. The Comet website has become one of the UK's leading electrical goods properties, and Comet is one of the largest online retailers in the UK offering a range of over 2,800 electrical products available for online purchase. Comet is continually making enhancements to its site to simplify the online shopping experience for its customers, making improvements to product feature comparison capabilities, site navigation, and overall site performance and reliability.
Phil Smoker, eCommerce IS Controller at Comet, said: “With increasing numbers of our customers purchasing electrical goods online, our website has become a fundamental part of our business, generating significant sales as well as playing an important part of the purchase process for many customers who conduct research online whilst preferring to make their purchase in store. With conventional solutions, capacity planning was a continual guessing game and we found ourselves hoping that the allocated amount of infrastructure and software purchased was not exceeded at times of peak demand, such as Christmas, when site uptime is critical. With this backdrop, we realised a distributed solution was needed that would provide 24/7 availability and on-demand scalability, no matter the level or geographic location of end-user demand.”
“Since implementing EdgeSuite, our website performance and availability have significantly increased, and both Comet and its customers can have confidence in the Comet website as a secure and available environment to purchase goods online,” continued Smoker.
In addition to improved site performance and availability, the growing use of Internet applications, such as search and product comparisons, on the www.comet.co.uk site has grown in importance to Comet, as these applications improve the user’s shopping experience and help influence their purchasing decision. However, these applications demanded considerable processing power from Comet’s origin server, which affected the performance for end users as they worked their way through a product search and comparison process before making purchases online. Using Akamai’s EdgeComputing service – a utility-like computing service that provides optimal delivery of Internet applications from the Internet’s edge – Comet is now able to deploy its Web applications to Akamai’s EdgePlatform, thereby reducing its own server processing requirements, lowering its infrastructure and software licencing costs, and improving the speed and reliability of bus
iness-critical applications for customers.
“EdgeComputing was an obvious solution to address this issue,” says Smoker. “We currently receive 500,000 customer requests each week for the search and product comparison features and this will peak dramatically at various times during the year. Without EdgeComputing delivering the applications for us, the IT management costs and complex capacity planning and purchasing requirements to meet these levels of demand would be significant.”
Alex Gibbons, Director of Northern Europe at Akamai, said: “Comet’s use of Akamai’s services is a perfect example of how organisations and businesses can benefit from our EdgePlatform to provide superior website performance and availability, as well as on-demand capacity and global reach when deploying J2EE applications. We look forward to working with Comet as it makes further use of our solutions to maximise the potential of its online trading environment.”
Akamai® is the global leader of distributed computing solutions and services, making the Internet predictable, scalable, and secure for conducting profitable e-business. The Akamai on demand platform enables customers to easily extend their Web operations - with full control - anywhere, anytime, without the cost of building out infrastructure. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Akamai serves hundreds of today's most successful enterprises and government agencies around the globe. Akamai is The Business Internet. For more information, visit www.akamai.com.
Akamai Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
The release contains information about future expectations, plans and prospects of Akamai's management that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including, but not limited to, the effects of any attempts to intentionally disrupt our services or network by unauthorized users or others, failure to have available sufficient transmission capacity, a failure of Akamai's network infrastructure and other factors that are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other documents periodically filed with the SEC.
About Comet Group
Founded in 1933, Comet Group (www.comet.co.uk) is one of the UK’s leading electrical retailers with over 245 stores in the UK, 10,000 employees and sales in 2003/4 of GBP1.5 billion. The online retail operations of the company currently generates around GBP70m in revenue per annum, a figure that is growing steadily year on year, and is the third largest online site of its kind in Europe.
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Akamai Technologies, Inc.
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