Posted by Calico UK - 10:00 on 11 October 2006
Finding women running a high-tech company is somewhat unusual. But when you discover that Calico Internet Ltd, an Internet Service Provider (ISP), is based in the Highlands you know you have something unique.
Founded in the mid nineties, Calico’s aim has always been to offer the best and friendliest service available. Coupled with the company’s low-key approach to marketing, this has meant that almost all its clients have found Calico through word of mouth recommendation, rather than in response to advertising. Although more than half are based in Scotland, a surprisingly large number are from other parts of the UK and Europe, as well as from the far-flung corners or the world, including USA, Australia and Africa.
Calico’s customer base is very broad too, ranging from individuals with a one-page website, to extremely busy corporate users with sites attracting up to 400,000 hits each day.
In 2004, when the original owners offered up Calico for sale, it was bought by the principal staff members Kirsty Pryer, Karen Mackay and Lisa Mackay, along with network administrator Campbell McCracken. This arrangement meant that the change in ownership was transparent to its customers.
The friendly touch can be seen throughout Calico’s operations, but especially in the Internet Help Desk. When customers phone for help, they get connected to someone straight away, and more often than not they are on first name terms with Kirsty and Lisa.
This continued personal contact has enabled Calico to have a good feel for its customers’ needs and in the past two years it has introduced new services in response to them. The first was their anti-spam service that provides a high degree of flexibility in the way it counters ‘spam’ attacks. This has typically cut levels of spam by 95% across the board.
The same is true for Calico’s latest service, CRITICali. One of the most frequent calls the help desk gets is from users who’ve suffered a PC crash, and are looking for some way of recovering email and other documents. CRITICali is an online backup service that lets customers back up their PC or MacIntosh over the Internet to two secure storage servers hundreds of miles apart. If their PC crashes, customers can recover important files from the backup servers.
Any data stored on the servers is compressed then encrypted using 128-bit technology, making the service very secure. Even the Calico team can’t decrypt the contents. This, and the fact that the data is saved to two separate storage systems makes this a very effective way to protect your email, letters, photographs or business-critical information such as company databases. So, if you’re looking for a friendlier ISP, or are worried about how to prevent data loss following a PC crash, you might consider Calico. Kirsty and Lisa are waiting to hear from you.
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