Willunga IT firm uses NBN to help customers globally
A customer of Internode, VANREE Software provides a broad range of technology support services, from supplying computers and ensuring Internet access to maintaining network security and developing specialised applications.
Although it operates entirely from its Willunga premises, VANREE Software maintains a highly automated nerve centre for customers that work globally. For example, one customer, a clean energy development company, has operations in the UK, France, Poland, China, the USA and New Zealand.
VANREE's founder, Edwin van Ree, set up the business in 1999, after moving from Holland to Australia for a better quality of life. Since only dial-up Internet access was available at the time, Mr. Van Ree was forced to pay hundreds of dollars a month for a dedicated ISDN service to keep his business reliably online. He later replaced ISDN with two high-speed ADSL2+ services.
Mr. van Ree said Internet access was critical to his business. "We do a lot of stuff on the Net," he said.
"We maintain networks as far away as Beijing, so we have two ADSL links. We look after small businesses with everything they need in IT. We sell computers, make their Internet work, provide Help Desk support through the Internet and develop programs.
When we first came here, I ordered ISDN, but the quality was so terrible that Telstra came out and fixed the line. As a result, when ADSL2+ came along, the performance was great. My service now syncs up at 22 megabits per second (Mbps). The biggest constraint is the 1Mbps uplink, which is one thing that makes the NBN so attractive to us."
As well as running hosted Exchange services from a fibre-connected server rack, VANREE Software operates an Asterisk-based Voice over IP phone system and uses a VMWare-based virtualisation platform to deliver applications over the Internet.
Mr. van Ree said his company had used the NBN, alongside its commercial ADSL2+ services, since the start of July. "We're using the NBN for downloads, which is much faster than before," he said.
"Upload speeds are also much better, especially locally, although I deal with a lot of Chinese connections, so the Great Firewall of China tends to slow everything down!
Although we have a few of our services going over the NBN now, we are holding off a bit until the commercial launch of the NBN later this year as it is currently still in trial mode."
Mr. van Ree said hosting Exchange and other applications would be a strong growth area for the business once the NBN become more widely available. "To do that, we need more bandwidth, not just for us, but for our customers," he said.
"Another great growth opportunity is off-site backup, which will allow our customers to rest assured that their corporate data is securely protected from theft, fire or any other disasters that might affect them."