Virgin Wines deploys NaviSite’s managed hosting and web application support services

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NaviSite Europe, a Time Warner Cable company, has announced that it has been selected as the managed hosting and managed web application support provider for Virgin Wines, an online boutique wine merchant offering exclusive wines around the clock and on demand to its club members.

Virgin Wines was established in 2000 under Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin branding and in 2005 it was acquired by Direct Wines. In 2013 Virgin Wines underwent a management buyout from its parent company and, as a result, the online wine retailer needed to replace its existing IT system and find a new provider to deliver hosting and managed application support that was affordable, reliable and could grow with the business. The wine merchant runs its business solely online, as an e-commerce company, and therefore uptime and stability became a key priority as part of their selection criteria for their new provider. After a careful evaluation of service providers, Virgin Wines selected NaviSite.

NaviSite said it provides highly customised managed hosting and application support in addition to colocation and cloud services housed in NaviSite’s high security data centres in the UK. Virgin Wines deployed NaviSite’s managed hosting and application support to host and manage its web servers, applications servers and database system in February this year. Since the implementation, Virgin Wines said it has been able to successfully sustain system performance at a constant and stable level, seeing it through its most successful and busiest July since the start of the business.

Virgin Wines offers an exclusive wine delivery service to its club members; over 95% of its products are exclusive to the business and cannot be found in supermarkets. With the average basket sale at £110, its e-commerce platform is critical to business operations and profitability. David Wyatt, social media and communications manager, Virgin Wines said: “As an online service we don’t have that one-on-one customer experience like traditional retailers, so the website experience is very important for our customers. As customers increasingly want services on demand, uptime is crucial. If the platform is down then they will just go elsewhere. Even a short outage can impact our profits significantly.”

As well as keeping the system performance levels stable and the ability to deal with peak times, the online wine retailer was also looking for a data centre provider that could be a trusted advisor for the business, and to help them grow their business. Virgin Wines has just rolled out a new gift service aimed at attracting new customers to reach its goal of 100,000 new customers per financial year. This new business push has led to Virgin Wines expanding its services with NaviSite with future plans in hand.

“Since the implementation we have built a great relationship with NaviSite. They are always quick to respond to our needs and really understand our business. As we have started to expand our business even further we look to NaviSite to help us increase and scale our web service capacity and performance,” said Wyatt. “The service has been reliable through our unexpected peak sales in July this year and we have no doubt that this stable and reliable service will continue to run throughout our peak Christmas period starting in late October.”

“The rapid increase and adoption of mobile technology has created a whole new online customer experience. With users able to order what they want, when they want, customers expect services to be available, responsive and secure.  It has been a pleasure to work alongside Virgin Wines to help them provide this service to their existing customers as well as enable them to meet their business growth targets,” said Sean McAvan, managing director, NaviSite Europe.

“We believe that our expertise in supporting clients in the online retail sector, partnered with our tailored approach, system quality and reliability means that NaviSite is an ideal partner for Virgin Wines and other online retailers. ”