Established in 2002, Reach Data (Reach) is a provider of Enterprise SMS solutions to the private and public sector. Starting from a shed in his back garden, CEO, Grant Romain has built a £multi-million business, who’s customers include the major mobile networks, high street retailers and government departments.
Over its 14-year history, Reach’s technical platform and network infrastructure has evolved a great deal. It’s had to, to meet the demands of the company’s growing client list.
As the business has evolved, a series of IT experts have added their own spin to its technology stack. While this has ensured it continued to work in the short-term, it’s also increased the complexity of the system. This has negatively impacted Reach’s ability to scale quickly and add new lucrative services.
“My biggest mistake was having kit in-house,” said Grant. “I was brought up with the market trader’s mantra that you ‘own your own plot’. I thought it would give me 100% control but it’s just been a source of frustration and worry.”
In 2012 the system started to crumble under the pressure. Reach had to put its growth plans on hold until it was confident the system had the resilience and scalability demanded by its customers.
“Many of our customers depend on our service being available 24/7. They provide critical services in real-time, where failure to get their messages out instantly can have severe repercussions for them and the people they serve,” said Grant
Veber was brought in early on to provide extra resource and business continuity in the event of a power outage.
“Our office is located close to a rail line. When maintenance is needed, they turn the power off, which cuts our supply too. We have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) but it only lasts for so long. Veber gives us the peace of mind that we will always be available to service our customers,” said Grant.
Over time Veber’s remit has grown. Bit by bit Reach has extricated themselves from their own architecture and handed it over to Veber to manage in their secure Telehouse datacentre.
“I weighed up a lot of issues when choosing a supplier and one of the most important was distance to the datacentre as I felt we’d need to be hands on. Truth is we’ve never needed to go anywhere near it. Veber is on site whenever there’s a problem and we always have direct access to our lead engineer,” said Grant.
Reach recently won a government contract that will increase the number of users on their system from under 100 to 10’s of thousands.
“Thanks to Veber I can sleep safe in the knowledge that our operation can scale to meet any load that our customers put on it. Most importantly we can do it quickly and without any interruption to our service,” said Grant.
Reach can now rapidly evolve their own system with the help of Veber’s engineers. When VPNs were needed, the support team talked Reach’s IT Director through the set up, so that he was equipped to do it for his customers.
“We have a direct line into Veber’s engineers, which means any changes can be made very quickly. We are never queued or left talking to an account manager who doesn’t understand the problem. Their commitment to 2/7 resilience is worth its weight in gold,” said Grant.
Veber now manages almost all of Reach’s technology needs. This has freed the development team to focus on new services that are set to add £100,000s to the company’s bottom line. Something they have never had time to do in the past.
“The last piece of the puzzle is our production and testing server array. Moving this over to Veber will give us the freedom to optimise the service we offer our customers,” said Grant.