IFDNRG Case Study: Press Article[Dunfermline Press: 06/10/2013]
Scots experts who revel in doing the ‘can’t be done’
If it sometimes seems the world is awash with web firms promising the earth on everything from foolproof IT for massive sports events to minutely-crafted interactive business sites it’s possibly because some cast the widest possible net in their bid to win custom. It’s a diverse and fiercely competitive industry, but also one where it evidently pays dividends to the “true” specialists.
They’re the sort prepared to invest inordinate amounts of time, effort and ingenuity in developing imaginative and cost-effective solutions to novel and complex problems. A cliché of traditional Scots’ scientific ingenuity, perhaps – but arguably none the less accurate for that. We’ve seen it in the world of hi-fi, where a renowned Scottish producer of super-premium bespoke sound systems diversified into the more promising waters of studio quality digital streaming. Spurred by the need to master rapidly-evolving technology to keep its pole position, it revolutionised the company’s entire product portfolio. It went on to replicate its original success by going on to out-perform some of the Japanese field leaders in streaming.
This is arguably the sort of fleet-footed approach achieved by some of the better players operating in Scotland’s under-publicised hotbed of technological innovation, firms which strive to remain “one step ahead” in their bid to supply readily-marketable excellence.
Edinburgh-based IFDNRG are a case in point. With 12 years’ experience of one very challenging environment, the firm manages websites and hosts for a strong portfolio of clients – which range from local businesses to national campaigns. It doesn’t try and do a little bit of everything and instead focuses on becoming “the best” within a select range of key, well-delivered services – specifically web and email hosting, live event broadcasting, on demand video/radio hosting, and fully managed servers.
The client list is eclectic, to say the least, ranging from the tribute site celebrating the late, great Iain Banks to the NHS, and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. It has grown to the extent that from a single server the company now operates more than 50, and serves more than 3,000 clients.
IFDNRG handles major corporate web accounts but has also built a strong base of small business clients who need properly managed web and email hosting – and someone reliable at the other end of the phone. It offers the peace of mind factor too. If any client’s computer should ever suddenly “self destruct” all he or she has to do is enter the login details on a new machine and all the data is right there, exactly as before.
Clients can also rely on having masses of irksome spam neatly deflected before it ever gets a chance to clog the system, with two servers acting solely as firewalls to minimise junk mail – without threatening “real” mail.
Founding director Paul Macdonald, a published technical author, said: “I believe in the general premise that good hosting services should be simple, secure, and value for money – but it’s only after years spent learning how the internet really works that you can truly bring this about.”
Video broadcasting services are equally focused, he says – and flexible.
“As we handle a lot of online video, our servers are are based in London data centers and extremely well connected to the world."
“We regularly help customers solve problems – for example we've created space school newscasts from Houston, broadcast cup finals to Monaco, and most recently helped Famous Grouse with their ‘something famous’ campaign.”
In fact the firm has probably produced more live video streams than other company in Scotland, for example broadcasting 500 SPL games for eight teams, including Dunfermline – more than managed by since-departed Setanta. It has also handled SNP conferences and the launch of pro-independence campaign Yes Scotland, and by contrast the flagship Brodies Champions of Tennis event staged in the capital’s douce Stockbridge.
The company seems to relish the sort of broadcasting challenges where it reckons “others can tend to struggle” – for example there was that webstream from scenic Boat of Garten, where the last breeding pair of Ospreys had fallen ill. Thanks to the company’s technical nous, thousands were able to follow their progress.
Meanwhile when a once little known Las Vegas band called The Killers started to get popular, IFDNRG handled all their video streams.
So it’s a company that can fairly boast success and sure-footed versatility based on plenty of hard won expertise – and, perhaps, on the old-fashioned notion that if you need something special done you should go to a specialist.