Hosting helps the holiday crowd

To avoid the cost of having technical staff on site at its 20 luxury holiday properties across Australia, Peppers Resorts & Retreats has inked a deal with a hosted service provider to supply its networking and communications needs.

The deal lets the company access the latest technology and implement a hosted private network from Comindico.

The vendor is providing tailored access for each resort facility via its national IP infrastructure and Internet connectivity utilising Comindico's 66 secure data centre facilities.

Recognizng its growing number of properties under management, Pepper's approached the marketplace in search of a partner to provide a standardised network solution that ensured security, flexible access options, and on-going performance reliability.

Peppers group it manager, Paul Jaros, said Comindico was chosen because it provided the simplest and most cost-effective solution, enabling the company to develop additional communications services for the benefit of its guests.

Jaros said flexibility and the ability to meet implementation timeframes was also a factor.

He added that Peppers was progressing with the introduction of wireless communications in each property and was already benefiting from services such as broadband to the room and videoconferencing for corporate guests.

"By not requiring technical staff at each property and centralising IT management, Peppers has been successful in keeping administration and security costs to a minimum," he said adding that SLAs are in place to guarantee performance.

"We now have a flexible IP platform in place upon which we can add service layers to provide new avenues for revenue growth."

While hosted services has given smaller organizations access to the latest technology without complex infrastructure or support costs, Hostworks CEO Marty Gauvin said IT managers who misread the online hosting market can damage their business.

Gauvin said the hosting world has matured greatly since the dotcom delirium when anyone with a Web server and a T1 link could offer hosting.

He said the hosting market of 2004 has evolved into three clearly defined segments.

"Most IT managers are familiar with two segments: the generic offerings from Telstra or WebCentral or the high-end offerings from IBM or EDS which usually involves a hefty price tag," he said.

"But a new segment has emerged which has a very different service culture to the first- generation outsourcers and results in highly customised services that are far more affordable; this is where we fit in.

"Analysts that make catch-all generalizations about the so-called hosting market are yet to recognize this important development."

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