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Kingston Communications helps Girl Guides to ‘change the world’

Girlguiding UK is enhancing its internet presence with a virtual hosting solution from Kingston Communications (KC).

The organisation, which runs the famous Brownies and Guides as well as Rainbows and Senior Section, has teamed up with KC to enable its 550,000 members to make the most of its 2009-2010 centenary celebrations.

Part of the KCOM Group, KC has deployed virtual machines (VM) to cope with increased demand expected for Girlguiding UK’s “Change the World” initiative, a special project leading into its 100th year.

The year-long online project sees the organisation collaborating with 19 charities to give its young members the opportunity to take part in specially designed activities that raise awareness, raise money and result in direct action. Partners include Friends of the Earth, World Wildlife Fund, British Red Cross and UNICEF.

KC, one of the largest VM hosting ISPs in the UK, has provided the hosting service for their website using innovative VMware software, in parallel with Girlguiding UK’s existing dedicated managed server at London’s Global Switch 2, Europe’s largest purpose built data centre.

Eddie Thomas, IT services manager at Girlguiding UK, said that the internet had been a key tool in allowing the charity to promote itself in a modern way.

“Since first having a web presence in 1998, its popularity has mushroomed. We now experience an average of 10,000 visits every day, with a very high proportion of our members using the facility and over 30,000 of our adult volunteers registered to use the Members’ Area on the site.

“Virtual hosting appealed to us because it can be set up very quickly and it has a high degree of flexibility. This was important because we could not accurately forecast the take-up and therefore how much bandwidth would be required.”

Daniel Westgate, account manger at KC, said that an increasing amount of companies were seeing the benefits of virtual managed hosting as a flexible, secure and easily scalable IT alternative.

“When hosting capacity needs to increase, VMware infrastructure enables the customer to achieve this without the time and expense required to provision new hardware. Capacity can be easily added and removed, based on fluctuating needs which is practical and cost-effective for customers that experience seasonal increases in demand.

“The solution also offers a good level of security. The multiple virtual machines are hosted and managed on the same server but are fully isolated, so if one crashes others remain available.”

Eddie Thomas said that Girlguiding UK’s website had become hugely important to the charity.

“The website is now integral to the charity’s provision of a unique, girl only space for members to grow in self-confidence, learn new skills and gain new experiences. It also helps give our young members across the UK a collective voice, for example by hosting online opinion polls and surveys, which generate media interest.

“Virtual hosting will assist us in raising the profile of Girlguiding in the 21st century and in recruiting new volunteers to lead the 50,000 girls currently on our waiting list.”

Earlier this year, KC invested in further data centre capacity at Global Switch 2, taking the Group’s total leased capacity to 14,700 square feet across Global Switch and Global Switch 2.

ENDS

For more information, please contact
Cathy Phillips
T. 01482 602400
E. cathy.phillips@kcom.com

About the KCOM Group

KCOM Group PLC provides a range of integrated IT and communications services to businesses, and internet and telecommunications services to selected consumer markets, within the UK.

The Group's portfolio of businesses works with both leading private enterprise customers and public sector organisations. Through its Affiniti, Smart421 and JAM IP brands, the Group delivers solutions covering unified communications, contact centre solutions, data management, applications integration and managed services.

The KCOM Group also includes a regionally-focused business, Kingston Communications, which supports small to medium-sized businesses. Through its KC and Eclipse brands, the business offers a wide range of internet-based and telecommunications services. The regional business also provides telephony and internet services to targeted consumers through its KC, Eclipse and Karoo brands.
The Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and employs over 2,500 people across the UK.

Kingston Communications

Kingston Communications, part of the KCOM Group PLC, is a regionally-focused communications provider. Through its KC and Eclipse Internet brands, it delivers a wide range of internet-based and telecommunications services to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the UK.
Kingston Communications also provides telephony and internet services to targeted consumers through its KC Talk, Karoo and Eclipse brands.
For more information about Kingston Communications go to www.kingstoncommunications.com

About VM Hosting

KC’s virtual hosting solution provides businesses with scalability, according to differing levels of demand. As the "virtual" solution spans a number of physical servers, it offers customers resilience for server availability, backup and storage, in case of component failure. This allows KC to provide a 100 per cent uptime service level agreement to all customers.

Located at Global Switch, KC provides 24/7 onsite technical support and an offsite data backup and recovery process. Our virtual but dedicated server approach uses best of breed components provided by IBM, VMWare and Dell and customers receive a professional design and build service as part of a complex hosting package.

KC has achieved a number of accreditations including ISO27001 (data security).