Per megabyte Web hosting charge offers firms greater flexibility

Computacenter today unveils a Web hosting service that it claims will offer companies greater flexibility in launching e-business...

Computacenter today unveils a Web hosting service that it claims will offer companies greater flexibility in launching e-business products, writes Lindsay Clark.

Users will pay for the service per megabyte delivered rather than for bandwidth, said Simon Scott, director of the iGroup, created by Computacenter to provide the service.

The service will allow e-business products to react faster to changing demand, said Robin Bloor, CEO of Bloor Research.

"You can buy a 128kbps pipe for your Web site and soon find that it is being used up," Bloor explained. "You could ask the ISP for more bandwidth, but they could tell you that this could take three weeks. But you don't want to wait three weeks because you're losing customers now."

iGroup promises to host e-commerce applications and offer users options on leasing or buying hardware, guaranteed up-time, guaranteed bandwidth, full support, security and disaster recovery. The company will also be offering a range of transactional software and means of connecting to back-end systems.

Scott said the pack could work out as much as 10% cheaper than a business setting up its own service. He said the service would also improve the time-to-market for e-business products and make costs more visible. "The major challenge for business moving onto the Internet is managing transformation and risk - this is where we help."

Bloor said that a "per megabyte" charge for e-commerce services would soon become the de facto model for Web hosting.

"It is no different from BT charging for the phone by how much you use it," he added.

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