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Cobweb Solutions smoothes out Innocent Drinks’ email headaches

Innocent Drinks, the makers of 100% fresh fruit smoothies has turned to Cobweb Solutions for an outsourced IT solution to manage its communication and messaging requirements. The Microsoft Hosted Exchange service from Cobweb Solutions delivers an efficient and robust email service to Innocent employees based in its London, Manchester, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris offices.

Innocent was established in 1999 as a small stall selling its smoothie recipes at a music festival. Today, stockists range from large supermarkets to small health stores throughout the UK. The company has doubled in size over the past 18 months and now employs 83 people. Many of the employees are based at the ‘Fruit Towers’ headquarters in Shepherds Bush, London.

The Challenge

As with any growing business, Innocent required a scalable and robust communications and messaging system that could develop and adapt as the company expanded internationally. The organisation also required a system which would give remote offices a seamless connection to state of the art communication tools.

Prior to the implementation of Cobweb’s Microsoft Hosted Exchange service, Innocent was constantly experiencing problems with its in-house Exchange server (fondly referred to as ‘Kiwi’). In particular, the company was close to the 16Gb database limit that Microsoft had imposed on the Small Business Server with Exchange. This meant that employees were frequently disconnected from the server if their email boxes reached capacity. Users were taken offline whilst the server was rebooted, resulting in periods of up to four hours downtime. With escalating data requirements, ‘Kiwi’ could no longer cope and the system was becoming inefficient, preventing people from performing their roles. 

Innocent Product Range
The popular Innocent Drinks range

Innocent required a communications and messaging email solution that could support its unique marketing activity. The company encourages consumers to contact them via advertised email addresses, the details of which can be found on the bottom of the drink bottles. For example, Over time this strategy has contributed to the increase in mail volumes, data storage requirements and the number of Public Folders required to support the growth. One Public Folder alone had 150 different SMTP email addresses and housed 10’s of thousands of emails.

Innocent also experienced high volumes of viruses and spam. Andrea Kalavsky, Systems Magician (aka IT Systems Manager), would spend valuable timescanning and blocking up to 20 spam messages per mailbox daily.

The company faced a dilemma of how to resolve its communication needs. It could either purchase more hardware and employ additional IT staff to support its growing IT requirements, or it could select a fully managed outsourced service.

The Solution

Advised by their IT consultants, Innocent opted for a Microsoft Hosted Exchange Service from Cobweb Solutions, Europe’s leading provider of such services. This involved handing the 24*7 management of its email, including spam & virus protection, archiving, backup and remote access capabilities to Cobweb Solutions. The service is based on a predictable pay-per-user pricing scheme, so there is no hidden expenditure.

Andrea Kalavsky, Systems Magician at Innocent Drinks commented: “Now that Cobweb Solutions is managing our communications and messaging, we no longer have to worry about email downtime. Nor do we have to address the threats from viruses and spam as Cobweb has it all under control.

Innocent Staff
Andrea Kalavsky at work in 'Fruit Towers'

In addition to this, we now have fully managed Blackberry services. This means that we can communicate efficiently with our employees, suppliers and customers.

We are thrilled with this service and particularly impressed by the fact that the roll out to Blackberry services did not require the use of desktop software. It was as easy as simple activation and the entire outlook is now in our pockets.

Andrea added; “Online collaboration is another business requirement which Cobweb could help us to address. As we expand abroad, our overseas operations departments need to share documents with the UK teams. One of the options is to implement Cobweb’s Hosted Windows SharePoint Services solution, which will enable our disparate user base to have access to real-time business information, without having to solely rely on email.”

Mark Davies, Business Development Director at Cobweb concluded: “As a growing company, Innocent Drinks needs to concentrate on developing and expanding its business. Our Microsoft Hosted Exchange service has enabled the company to do this by taking away all of their communication and messaging management headaches.

Our services are fully managed by highly skilled professionals. This means that Innocent does not have to worry about implementing and supporting their own central infrastructure, email security, data backup or the associated unpredictability of running their own IT systems.”

He added: “By outsourcing its messaging and collaboration needs to Cobweb, Innocent now have a reliable communication solution in place. This offering gives the Innocent team access to email, diary, address books and business documents anytime, anywhere.”

Innocent Cow Vans
The distinctive Innocent Drinks cow vans


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