DMC's Connection Stats:
Supplier: Virgin Media Business : 30Mb/100Mb bearer
Installation cost to server room: £3300 (plus VAT)
Length of Contract: 3 Years
Monthly Cost: £420 (plus VAT)
In fact, a visit to DMC on the Purley Way, Croydon, industrial park finds a bustling firm which, like its global namesake, International Business Machines (IBM), has morphed over the past 30 years from a product-led business selling stand-alone machines (in DMC’s case, printers, scanners, copiers) to a technology services company offering advice and high level customer service to growing, networked, customer base.
To Kevin, upgrading digital connections to the fastest speed practicable is essential to this. “We are a company with a national sales and customer services operation,” he says. “Many colleagues work from home. We offer fibre to the home as a first choice for them and ADSL where this is not available. Smartphone use has also exploded as people stay in touch and execute tasks that used to be done on a desktop, when they are on the road. Staying connected with us here in Croydon is an essential prerequisite for us all to be able to deliver great service to the enterprises that use our products. Fast Internet is a proven productivity booster.”
I ask Kevin about uptime and redundancy. Unsurprisingly, he has the key data points on the tip of his tongue: “We were, at some busy periods, using 98% of the 10 meg line. On average we’re using 25-30% of the new pipe throughout the day so far but its early days. Still, I sleep better at night knowing we are not bumping up against a capacity ceiling at any time. Also we can plan to grow knowing that if the directors agree to acquire more companies we can accommodate new people, upgrade our service offerings and introduce new features. What’s more, we are at the cutting edge of the ‘Internet of Things’. The business machines we install on client premises increasingly tell us about whether they need a service, have a fault or simply need some new toner. The DMC Mother ship needed more bandwidth in order cope with the smarter business machines on client premises.”
More surprisingly, when I ask about usage, Kevin says, “It’s all about uploads for us. The marketing guys might view videos on line and upload ours to YouTube but mostly it’s about our engineers, sales people and customer service reps uploading data to our enterprise systems. Having a symmetrical connection makes all the difference rather than an old ADSL one.”
In terms of getting the connection Kevin says that the Voucher was essential. “The £3,000 voucher made the investment case much easier for the directors to sign off. I don’t think we would have upgraded without it. Everyone can now see the real benefits of a fibre connection. Virgin had to bring fibre at least 500 meters from the main road to our location and amazingly we are the only ones using it at the moment on the Purley Way. Virgin Media Business was very good throughout – first class – which, frankly, was essential given the importance of the Internet, at whatever speed, to our business. We’re set for growth and I have a lot of happy Users!”
All of which must be music to the ears of the DCMS Mandarin and his colleagues at the Greater London authority and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) who are administering the CVS Scheme in Croydon. It’s not always the case that a dream becomes a faster reality!