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Could You Survive A PC Crash? Executive Magazine, December 2008

Posted by Calico UK - 10:00 on 15 December 2008

Calico UK – Your friendly ISP “That’s how a client once described us, and the term has simply stuck,” reveals Kirsty Pryer, managing director of Calico UK.

“Most of our customers are fed up with call centres, ‘press 1 for sales’ or dealing with companies where you can’t get through to a human being. They prefer to deal with a friendly voice and with someone they know.”

The success of this personal approach has meant that most of its customers find out about Calico through word of mouth referral rather than through advertisements, making the company one of the Highland’s best kept secrets.
They operate from the Black Isle, but with world-wide connections. “We have customers on every continent,” says Kirsty, “and we have our data spread out on servers here in Scotland, in England, and in the States.

“We offer several Internet related services,” explains Kirsty. “We host thousands of websites and mailboxes on our servers. We don’t do any website design ourselves but we do work closely with several local design companies”

In addition to website and email hosting, Calico provide anti-spam and online backup services to its customers.

“One of the biggest problems on the Internet at the moment is the ‘botnet’,” says Kirsty. “Unsecured PCs can be taken over, controlled and organised into hostile networks. They can then be used to launch attacks on ecommerce sites, effectively disabling the sites, or they can be used to send out millions of spam messages around the world. As well as protecting your PC with firewall and anti-virus software, users should consider anti-spam solutions as a first line of defence, because most of the infiltrations of your PC start from receiving spam emails.”
Calico’s anti-spam service, Calligate, typically blocks 98% of incoming spam emails, making the opening of your inbox a quicker and less unpleasant experience.

Another of Calico’s services is also aimed at mitigating an unpleasant experience – that of data loss. “We regularly have customers phoning us up because their PCs or hard drives have just crashed and they’ve lost their client databases, documents or emails,” relates Kirsty. “When you have a close relationship with the customers as we do, it’s heartbreaking to hear this. That’s why we launched our Criticali backup service.”

Using Criticali, customers can backup documents and data over the Internet to Calico’s servers. The backed up data is encrypted for security before leaving the customer’s PC, and once it reaches the servers it is ‘mirrored’ to a second server for safety.

The loss of data, documents or emails can have a catastrophic effect on a business, and can even lead to companies going to the wall. “Several customers have reported that the Criticali backup service has saved their businesses when they thought they had lost data,” Kirsty reveals.

In order that it can provide these services, Calico has a powerful connection to the Internet. “We are way beyond broadband,” explains Kirsty. “Broadband is fast in one direction only and the bandwidth is shared amongst other broadband users. We have a fibre connection to the Internet backbone that can handle speeds of 32Mbits/sec or more in BOTH directions.”

This high speed link has meant that several companies have moved their servers out of their own offices and co-locate them in Calico’s premises. “If you need to provide a fast access to your server for your customers, then broadband isn’t fast enough. You need to tap into a high speed connection like ours.”

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