Monitoring a nationwide network - Natural Generation
Natural Generation are a renewable energy company, based at Perranporth. The company installs and maintains wind turbines and solar panel developments, as well as other renewable energy projects.
The business has undergone rapid growth since being set up eight years ago with just two people and rising from 5 to 25 full time employees in the past four years.
Managing Director Ivor Thomson says: “We are completely dependent on the internet so superfast broadband has made a huge difference to us and will help us to expand the business further in future.”
Natural Generation were one of the first to order superfast broadband as soon as it became available in Perranporth.
Ivor explains: “We are an internet-hungry business. We maintain over a hundred wind turbines, both in Cornwall and as far afield as Scotland. All are connected to the internet and we can monitor their performance online. If one breaks down, we can see it on the large screen in our office or online and we can usually sort out the problem remotely. In other words, high speed internet is vital to our core business operations and superfast broadband has been tremendous for us.
“We now rely on superfast speeds of 80Mbps from our two superfast broadband lines and this has made it easier for us to carry out desk top surveys via Google Earth as well as run our telephone systems through VOiP (Voice over Internet Protocol.) We have international clients and frequently talk to our clients in Germany and Canada. Since having our superfast broadband connection, we can rely on excellent quality Skype, so we now routinely use video-conferencing in place of telephone calls, which helps us build good client relations at a distance.
“We have also moved to a cloud-based server. This was set up by a Cornish company, Cloud Cover Hosting, and we now enjoy a full cloud based support package. By having all our systems hosted in the cloud, the company benefits from additional security. In the event of bad weather or a disaster such as fire or flood at the office, the business would not be at risk and could continue to operate as usual. It also means that it is easier to work from home or remotely whenever we please, just as effectively as we can from the office.”
Ivor continues: “With superfast broadband, it will also be straightforward to improve our website and add new features which will attract more web traffic. So we will be uploading high definition video case studies and we are also putting a webcam on our roof, showing the beach as well as wind turbines in the area. The superfast broadband connection will enable a higher quality web cam experience for our online visitors.
“Although it is hard to quantify the exact contribution, there is no question that superfast broadband is making a huge impact on our business. By being able to do things remotely and in new and better ways, we are moving the business forward faster than would otherwise have been possible. Undoubtedly, this is leading to new job creation and will continue to do so over time.”