Given the passion Canadians have for hockey, Colin Briosi knows if his online hockey pool service was sidelined by an IT glitch, he’d be facing more then a two-minute minor. It could be a game misconduct for his business.
Briosi is the president of Officepools.com, a Vancouver-based company that provides an online hockey pool service for the sports-obsessed. After a year without hockey locked out his business as well, Briosi is betting the return of the National Hockey League will mean a 20 to 30 per cent boost in business.
To make sure the technology infrastructure is there to support the poolers, Officepools.com has signed a new contract with Toronto’s Fusepoint Managed Services to handle the company’s IT needs.
“It’s really just me here, and there’s no way I can do everything,” said Briosi. “When it comes to managing our IT needs, server level maintenance and intrusion detection, I need an entire staff to do it and that’s basically what Fusepoint is.”
He said they first turned to Fusepoint in 2001 when hacker attacks at their previous ISP began to impact the stability of the system. Briosi was looking to move from a free service to a fee-based model, and to do that he needed to promise his users a secure, stable system.
“Fusepoint not only had the security, which was prime in my mind at the time, but they had an entire staff to manage everything to do with the servers, everything I don’t want to do, so it was really an easy choice,” said Briosi.
As Officepools.com gears up for hockey after a year off, it has signed an expanded contract that will see Fusepoint take on even more of its IT needs. Fusepoint will be providing offsite storage with daily backup, as well as increased bandwidth, increased data backup and enhanced security.
Briosi said that during the year off he developed a number of new applications for the Officepools.com software, so now isn’t the time to go fooling around with the IT.
“I need the reassurance to know I can concentrate on my users and not worry about the servers,” he said. “To tell you the truth, I don’t think about it very much, I just concentrate on the application.”
Fusepoint president and CEO George Kerns said his company is providing Officepools.com with a fully managed IT environment, taking responsibility for everything from the network to the hardware and software components.
“They worry about their application they’ve built and we worry about the infrastructure underneath it,” said Kerns.
Officepools.com runs on a dedicated Sun Unix platform located at Fusepoint’s data centre, leveraging Fusepoint’s infrastructure investments to take advantage of redundant power supply and Internet access, multiple diesel generators, battery backup and monitoring staff.
“We can focus on security and performance, and making sure the infrastructure is tuned so that as they hit peaks with their end users there’s no degradation of performance,” said Kerns. “The measures we take to secure the environment are things it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to do themselves.”