||Sport & Leisure
Reading Football Club was established in 1871 and is one of the
oldest football clubs in England. Early matches were played in
various grounds around Reading before moving to the well-known Elm
Park in 1896 – the club’s home for 102 years. In 1998, Reading
Football Club moved to Madejski Stadium – an impressive,
purpose-built ground with a capacity of 24,242 seats. The club is
currently playing in the Barclays Premier League, having secured
promotion with its npower Championship triumph in the 2011-2012
In 2011 the club moved its email from an in-house solution to
one hosted in the cloud. Matt Neilson, IT Manager, gives us an
insight into the reasons behind the move and how Cobweb Hosted
Exchange is meeting the email requirements for the stadium,
training ground, warehouse and recently refurbished Megastore.
Reading Football Club relies heavily on the use of email for all
types of communication. “Email is absolutely vital to Reading
Football Club for a number of reasons. First and foremost it
enables us to connect with our supporters, whether on an individual
basis or through our regular newsletters. In addition, it is
essential for our fellow clubs and business customers, and last but
not least, as a key internal communication tool,” explained
to a hosted Exchange solution, the club stored its email on an
in-house Exchange server. At the time there were around 120
employees and only two members of staff to manage the IT for the
whole business – Garry Hanson, IT Manager, and Matt, then Support
Although having an in-house server had been adequate in the
past, it was becoming increasingly difficult to manage the email
demands and support requirements. Limited mailbox quotas meant
employees’ mailboxes were continually running out of space and with
an in-house server that kept failing, Garry and Matt knew they
needed to upgrade.
“I was involved in the decision to go hosted and liked the idea
of moving to the cloud instead of upgrading our Exchange server
in-house. As there were only two of us supporting the IT for over
100 employees, I realised a hosted solution would give us the
Exchange expertise and extra email support we simply didn’t have
internally,” continued Matt.
Both Garry and Matt knew they could upgrade the server and
hardware themselves to fix the problems they were having, but this
would entail large upfront costs. They realised if they opted for a
hosted solution, they would remove the unnecessary capital
expenditure by spreading the costs per user, per month. Happy with
their decision, they contacted Cobweb.
Making initial contact by enquiring through www.cobweb.com, Garry quickly received
a call from Oliver Nelson, Cobweb Sales Executive, who explained
the benefits of hosted Exchange as an email solution. Garry and
Matt both liked the idea that Cobweb’s hosted Exchange service came
with a customer control panel that would give them total control
over their user accounts and limits. It would also offer a
scalability solution that would enable the club to increase and
decrease mailboxes based on the success of the club. This, matched
with Cobweb’s ISO accreditations in security, gave Garry and Matt
the confidence to select Cobweb as their hosted services
Matt, now IT Manager for the club, highlighted the range of
benefits he receives from Cobweb’s hosted Exchange solution:
“Hosting our email through Cobweb Solutions has made
life so much easier. I don’t need to worry anymore about storage,
servers or whether or not I need to expand the hardware and
software. It really was a
no-brainer moving to a cloud-based
He continued, “It’s taken the stress away too. With 24/7 support
available with Cobweb, I’m no longer concerned I might get a phone
call in the middle of the night to find out the server’s gone down.
Knowing that Cobweb has the expertise in Exchange that we don’t
have in-house, I can now concentrate on supporting other areas of
the business with the peace of mind that our email just works.
“The other benefit I realised was the ease to set-up a new
mailbox. It really is just a click of a button now. There’s no
longer a need to create .pst files, which has saved me a huge
amount of time, and I can now set-up emails on iPhones and iPads
too, which is critical to our club as it benefits the management
and staff when they’re out on the road.”
The Cobweb Experience
Matt also found the migration experience very straightforward.
“I took some migration training so I could move the mailboxes
across myself. I did this one department at a time and it only took
a week to move them all across. It really was flawless.”
Would Matt recommend Cobweb to others? “Absolutely! Cobweb does
what it says on the tin and I couldn’t be more pleased with the
service,” replied Matt.
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