ThinkGrid launches ‘on-demand’ services


A British company is today officially launching on-demand software-as-a-service packages on a rental basis.

Rob Lovell, co-founder of ThinkGrid, told IT PRO that through its rental model the company was bringing enterprise level services to companies that it said would otherwise not be able to afford them.

"There's a huge gap between what's available to small businesses and enterprises. We're taking enterprise technology and offering them services that would otherwise cost companies hundreds of thousands of pounds."

David Pratt, the other co-founder said: "We're offering a range of services such as a hosted desktop, available on any device, or we can provide thin clients. We also offer hosted VoIP, Exchange and Blackberry services. We negate the need for any infrastructure."

Pratt said ThinkGrid's solution is unique because it offers the ability to remotely add and remove servers and applications via an online control panel, as and when the customer requires them.

"If a customer has a temporary need for an application, such as say, Microsoft Project, he can just go into the client and update it to his package in real time."

Lovell says that ThinkGrid has been running in beta mode for six months, and has 500 business customers. At launch, it had managed to convert 70 per cent of them into paying customers.

While its services are currently available over the internet worldwide, the company said it is currently only marketing in the UK for performance reasons.

"Our services are light on bandwidth," Lovell said. "And you only need a 1MB/sec connection for good performance for around 10-15 users and on hosted desktops large file opening and downloads happen remotely so it's much faster. It's also more secure as it's all in a hosted data centre.

Lovell said that as a company ThinkGrid was trying to avoid using buzzwords. "We are a cloud computing provider, but we're finding that that's an abused term in the industry and you won't find that term on our website. We're trying to simplify the message."

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.