Hosted apps start-up promises 30% savings

ThinkGrid , a start up, is claiming that small and medium sized businesses can save 30% of their IT costs by using its pay-per-use new software and services.

The company is offering hosted desktop, Exchange, VoIP and Blackberry enterprise services. It also offers a 'dynamic server infrastructure' - using Grid and virtualisation technologies to giver end users access to resources as and when they need it.

ThinkGrid launched its services by offering 500 beta testers three months of free services, and has subsequently turned 70% of them into paying customers.

CEO Rob Lovell said the new service differed from existing rented apps products because it offered a broader range. "We are offering enterprise level IT services in a straightforward way that business people can understand. For example, people don't understand how to buy a service in the cloud, but we are offering them that facility in a way they understand."

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ThinkGrid is offering a thin client running a full Microsoft Office suite, with backup for £49 a month. "We are aiming to be 30% cheaper than buying your own PC," said Lovell. "Anything less than that and some businesses won't think it worth changing."

Robert McCarthy, founder of Parcel Country and one of ThinkGrid's first clients, said, "When stating a new business the main risks are either under-investing in growth or overspending on something that becomes quickly obsolete. Using IT as a service takes away the management headache instead brings a great deal of flexibility and agility to your operations."

ThinkGrid uses HP blade servers and SANS with VMWare and Parallels virtualisation technologies in three datacentres.

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