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Which?

Which? is Europe’s largest consumer rights organisation, with over 700,000 members. It has been part of everyday life in the UK for over 50 years, and is totally independent of Government, industry and advertisers. Which? is funded through the sale of magazines, books and online services and is a genuine, totally impartial voice for all UK consumers.

An impartial voice for consumers

Everyone in the UK has heard of Which? and the Which? Magazine and website courtesy of radio and TV programmes like BBC’s Watchdog. Its consumer protecting and product testing activity is famous. The illustrious consumer group has also been responsible for protecting the public from many major issues, including the horrors of BSE, mis-selling by banks and insurance companies and many thousands of product and motoring issues. The company focuses on personal finance, energy, food and health and other consumer markets. An indicator of its ongoing success is the continued growth of membership both offline and online.

Moving online

Which?, in line with virtually every reputable publisher in the UK, has made the transition to offering its services and information online.

This has been remarkably successful in spreading the results of its independent testing, and many manufacturers use the Which? Best Buy icon as a badge of approval.

Consumers certainly take notice of the well researched recommendations, and regularly vote with their wallets and purses.

Which? online services include Which? Online (www.which.co.uk), Which? Switch (www.which.co.uk/switch/) and Which? Local (www.local.which.co.uk). These digital channels are a key growth sector for Which? and content is increasingly being accessed via PCs and mobile devices.

Optimum performance is vital Andrew Burge is Head of IT for Which? and responsible for the operation of all websites for the company. “Our websites are critical in disseminating information to our members and it’s vital that our sites are performing at their optimum.”

Which? decided to put their web hosting out to tender and invited a number of key providers to quote for the supply of hosting services. Four key factors would drive the decision on the supplier chosen: A guarantee of 100% network uptime 24/7/365 fast and expert customer support Value for money Verified supplier technical expertise
Three companies were invited to tender and asked to interpret the hosting brief and propose what they perceived as being the optimum solution. Each submission was fully assessed by the Which? IT team against set criteria and contractual fit.

Rackspace voted as the ultimate winner

Rackspace® Hosting was voted as the ultimate winner in the four key areas mentioned above.
Andrew said, “Winning the contract was a start for Rackspace, but they still had to prove that they could convert promise into reality, and the issues faced by the team were certainly very challenging, not least being the fact that five different suppliers had to be coordinated during the installation and migration period.”
Andrew added, “I am delighted to say that Rackspace delivered on time with a seamless transfer of websites from the old environment to the new. There were minor glitches to be resolved in the process, but the Rackspace team’s attitude was to put these right and get the job done regardless of who was at fault. This was very refreshing and underlines and endorses the Rackspace Fanatical Support® claim.

10% faster loading than previously

Andrew went on to say, “Our sites went live in their new environment in February 2010 and were immediately 10% faster loading than was previously the case. I am confident that we will be able to accommodate the significantly higher traffic rates we encounter at Christmas, when site visitor numbers can double. Previous statistics have shown 2.4 million visitors for the Dec/Jan period in comparison with the average monthly traffic of 1.5 million. Rackspace’s ability to cope with these sudden changes is essential to our success.

Rapid scalability through virtualisation

I am also confident in Rackspace’s ability to provide rapid scalability should further expansion be required. Certainly, the use of virtualisation to create new servers quickly and cheaply is an important scalability feature, as well as being highly efficient in delivering the optimum performance for our enterprise applications. As a result of my experiences to date I would recommend Rackspace as a hosting partner.

Which? hosting partner

Rackspace EMEA Managing Director is Brian Thomson “I am particularly pleased that Rackspace has been chosen as the hosting partner for Which?. The work carried out by Which? on behalf of consumers is staggering, and the value of their recommendations has made a significant difference to the way in which people discern the quality and suitability of thousands of everyday products. There is no doubt whatsoever that a recommendation from Which? is worth a great deal to manufacturers, and to be helping them deliver their online results is a task with which we are very proud to be associated. Rackspace has been singled out by many publishers and online comparison sites as the ideal hosting partner because of the Fanatical Support promise and the inherent understanding of the importance that guaranteed network uptime plays in such business.

If you are seeking to find the best product for the job or the home then look no further than the recommendations from Which? www.which.co.uk . If you are searching for the right hosting company for your website then please visit www.rackspace.co.uk or call us for FREE hosting advice on 0800 988 0100.