Star, the UK ISP, is launching its Critical Switch re-direction service to enable vital business applications to continue to function in the event of an unplanned server outage. The service includes a package of consultancy from business continuity experts Business Protection Systems International (BPSI) – to offer practical advice in developing a business continuity plan – and a suite of hosting services from Star to enable small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to guarantee continuous availability of key applications, like e-commerce sites, at a monthly price point from just £225 per month.
The combination of consultancy and the Critical Switch hosting service enables companies to develop and implement a comprehensive business continuity plan and ensure high availability uptime for e-commerce websites, critical applications and SQL servers in the event of a server outage. In a recent poll of 300 UK SMBs1 only 40 percent had included IT in their business continuity plans despite almost nine out of 10 saying it was their main route to market and 48 percent of businesses admitting to having suffered a significant outage in the last 12 months.
The package of consultancy for the IT manager includes a half day workshop with top business continuity experts BPSI, to offer practical advice on building a detailed business continuity plan and the option of a one day senior management workshop or bespoke 3-day consultancy to help managers produce a customised business continuity plan for their business, to show to auditors, insurers and suppliers, who are increasingly making such planning a prerequisite for doing business. The Critical Switch service requires no additional hardware at the customer site, or change of internet hosting provider and allows businesses to re-direct traffic to one of Star’s five scalable Hosting packages.
According to James Griffin, Head of Hosting Strategy at Star, “The launch of our continuity products uses best-of-breed technologies like virtualisation in an innovative way to help solve real business challenges and maintain a realistic price point for our customers. E-commerce has been a reality for small and medium-sized businesses for a decade, but many have been operating without a safety net – Star is now providing that peace of mind. Our new products will help safeguard small and medium-sized businesses’ online activities, regardless of their current hosting provider and enable them to put together a continuity strategy that protects all of their most important assets – machine, data and human.”
Sara McKenna, Programmes Director at the Business Continuity Forum, explains, “This launch will be welcomed by our members. SMB demand for the products and services Star is launching is at an all time high. Over recent years more and more business critical systems and processes have moved online but, while large enterprises with mature IT infrastructures, have had a range of continuity products and services, the small and medium-sized business have been sorely neglected.