The DesignLab creates ideas for beauty and fashion brands. Established in 2000, they have long standing relationships with some of the world’s top beauty and fashion brands including Elizabeth Arden, Nivea, Osprey London and Wella. For them digital isn’t just about building websites. It’s about making technology work for humans; providing a means, not an end, to connect consumers to brands.

 

THE CHALLENGE

Having started life as a print and design agency that gradually incorporated digital, The Designlab had a mixed hosting estate with a couple of well-known commodity providers to support their growing portfolio of digital projects. The service provided just wasn’t compatible with a team who were designers and innovators rather than server specialists. More importantly, owner Kevin Davis was on a mission to grow the business based solely on ideas and only work with suppliers who wanted to have conversations about the art of the possible rather than putting up barriers and hiding behind contracts.

THE APPROACH

The Designlab first heard about Wirehive through the digital awards they run for agencies, The Wirehive 100. They liked that there was a hosting company out there putting its money where its mouth is in terms of committing to the digital sector. After having an initial conversation they found that Wirehive offered a very different approach to hosting compared to their current providers. Having been made promises of exceptional service and support in the past from technology companies in the past that failed to deliver The Designlab were understandably keen to put the Wirehive managed hosting service through its paces. So, before recommending it as a customer solution they took the decision to move their own site to Wirehive so they could experience the service first hand.

“When it comes down to it, our business as an agency is communication. It’s our job to communicate the brand message of our clients at every single touchpoint. To fully achieve this we need to be able to communicate effectively with all the people we work with. Wirehive is the first hosting company we’ve come across whose business model actually supports this approach.”

Kevin Davis, Creative Director, The DesignLab

Agency

The DesignLab

Clients

Elizabeth Arden

H&M

Juicy Coture

Nivea

Wella

Sectors

Beauty

Fashion

Frameworks

Magento

PHP

THE SOLUTION

For their initial deployment Wirehive built The Designlab a dedicated hosting environment on their public cloud platform. Being built on industry leading virtualisation software from VMWare and housed in ultra-secure UK data centres, this provided the capabilities of a physical server without the upfront costs or single point of failure that comes with owning a hardware based solution.

During the consultation process it became apparent that the technical offering was very much secondary to the service elements. More than anything else The Designlab needed to free up their developers’ time to build and deliver websites rather than dabble at being System Administrators. Wirehive’s managed support offering was just the solution they needed. All website monitoring and alerts are taken care of by Wirehive’s team of UK based techs. The greatest appeal was that it’s a tierless solution. This means that they can get access to this tech resource simply by picking up the phone rather than relying solely on the automated ticketing systems.

After moving their own site to Wirehive, The Designlab immediately saw an improvement in the quality of the service and engagement they received compared to other hosting companies. The platform was stable and reliable and site performed well in terms of speed as promised but the biggest benefit was having specialists taking care of the entire solution. For the first time The Designlab’s developers had access to a team of experts who were not only easy to get hold of but were then willing to go the extra mile to help solve some of the more off the wall problems that emerge during web builds and implementations. Having been reassured that Wirehive’s commitment to service was genuine and backed up by both technology and people, The Designlab felt confident in recommending Wirehive as the new hosting provider for their oldest client, Wella.

“It’s vital for us at this point of our journey that we work with suppliers who take it upon themselves to become part of our team. Wirehive have demonstrated their willingness to go the extra mile on countless occasions which makes life a lot less stressful for us.”

Matt Laakvand Web Developer, The DesignLab

WHY WIREHIVE

The Designlab make ideas. Having built their agency on that basis they appreciate others who are specialists in their own field. From a purely practical point of view there are many advantages in working with a supplier who understands the time pressures and service delivery requirements of agencies however the biggest benefit is the confidence working with Wirehive gives The Designlab.

Platform

Public Cloud

Technology

Dell PowerEdge host servers

Industry standard Intel Xeon processors

Juniper router and switch infrastructure

Support Provided

Consultation & Planning

Priority Support

OS and Application level Monitoring and Alerting

THE OUTCOME

The DesignLab now have access to a reliable and scalable platform for their bigger clients but more importantly they have a hosting partner that is aligned to their standards of service delivery.

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