To meet the huge volume of orders received from 50,000 consultants in the last few days of each month, the Australian arm of cosmetics firm Nutrimetics has extended an agreement with Hostworks to manage its critical business systems.
Hostworks is an online demand specialist and an early adopter of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model.
Nutrimetics first became a Hostworks customer in 2003 outsourcing its Web site and its Nutrisoft Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
Nutrimetics IT director, Charles Young, said Nutrisoft was "an incredibly critical system".
"Now that 80 to 90 per cent of our business is online, every minute of downtime can cost us a lot of money," he said.
"Our 50,000 consultants use the Web to place orders, view their reports and learn how to be better, more effective consultants.
"They've given us feedback that they now spend much less time doing their administration and more time actually building their business."
Hostworks provides managed services for the full Nutrisoft enterprise management application, which is part of a global system that controls product ordering, contact centre and warehousing.
To ensure the availability of the Nutrisoft system, Hostworks manages four HP servers running Red Hat Linux, the IBM UniData database, the Apache Web server and Tomcat application server.
Young said never underestimate the flexibility that can be acquired by getting a specialist to take care of non-core activities.
"Hostworks allows us to concentrate on the pieces we are good at, which is adding value for the consultant. Hostworks also equips us to meet the peak times, such as the end of each month, when about 50 per cent of our business is done," he added.
Young said the provider has excellent technical resources, particularly its Linux team.
"They go the extra mile to ensure a thorough solution," he added.
Hostworks clients include the Compass Group, News Digital Media, Network Ten, realestate.com.au, SBS, Ticketek and Wotif.com.
Local organisations are embracing the Software as a Service (SaaS) model which is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 65 per cent.
Revenues for hosted software is set to top $506 million in the Australian market by 2010, according to Springboard Research.