Loch Leven Holidays
Driving Business Success: satellite broadband delivers huge rewards for Loch Leven Holidays
“Being situated in the highlands means it can sometimes take a while for new technologies to reach us. Our business was doing well, but we weren't really accessible to the worldwide market.”
Established over 24 years ago, Loch Leven Holidays is a privately owned, family-run business situated on the edge of Loch Leven, overlooking the mountains of Glencoe, 16 miles from Fort William, Scotland. Located in a remote, isolated area, Loch Leven Holidays is renowned for providing visitors a relaxing vacation experience including a range of chalets and cottages. It also serves as an ideal base from which walkers, climbers, skiers and cyclists can explore the idyllic landscapes.
Driving toward success
Previously, promoting and marketing the business to potential customers consisted of a listing in the Scottish Tourist Board magazine, Freedom of the Highlands, and a small, self-built website. All inquiries were via email, which was dependent on a poor PSTN connection, whilst bookings had to be conducted via telephone.
With the advent of broadband, the Loch Leven Holidays wanted to interact with potential customers and promote itself more widely. More importantly, it wanted to be accessible—24 hours a day.
Ian Ashwell, proprietor of Loch Leven, explains, “Being situated in the highlands means it can sometimes take a while for new technologies to reach us. Our business was doing well, but we weren't really accessible to the worldwide market. We needed good, commercial-grade access.”
Like thousands of small businesses, Loch Leven is situated off the conventional broadband grid. This means access to terrestrial connections such as ADSL is not possible, leaving businesses such as Loch Leven unable to grow their business effectively through the Internet.
After attending a road show demonstrating the benefits of satellite broadband to small and medium enterprises, Ashwell understood in greater detail the potential his business could achieve.
With the support of a Highlands and Islands enterprise grant, Loch Leven Holidays was able to take advantage of a satellite broadband solution that is capable of providing 100% coverage across Scotland.
Working with Bridge Broadband Services, Ltd., a Hughes Network Systems (Hughes) value-added reseller (VAR), Loch Leven implemented a two-way broadband satellite solution that provides the company with an easy, secure networking solution to connect multiple computers to the Internet. The GuardianBox Internet Threat Management Solution (TMS), developed by Bridge Broadband Services, provides added value with anti-spam filters, content filtering and anti-virus management.
Keith Fergie, general manager at Bridge Broadband Services, says, “Many small- and medium-sized businesses are frightened of using new technologies because they either don't understand the benefits they can bring them or it is just too confusing for them. They also worry about what happens if things go wrong. With Hughes, we supplied Loch Leven with a plug and play solution including full support. We know Ian Ashwell on a personal basis and he knows he can call any time with a problem, but even more importantly, can put a face to the voice he is talking to.”
Looking forward—70% of business now derived from the Web
With Scotland a popular tourist destination, a 24-hour, on-line booking system has enabled and attracted new business from around the globe.
Along with the Hughes broadband satellite service, Bridge Broadband Services has provided Loch Leven Holidays with secure Internet connectivity to reach the worldwide market. In the process, Loch Leven Holidays has moved away from being a remote location into a central location.
Ashwell comments, “We now have a portal accessible by the world. Anyone, anywhere can make a booking at anytime. Seventy per cent of our new business bookings now come via the online site—that's just how significant this is.”
About Bridge Broadband Services, Ltd.
Bridge Broadband Services, Ltd. was formed in 1998 to provide high-speed broadband services for remote areas using satellite technology. The company has developed business both locally and internationally, meeting the need for secure, satellite-based, high-speed networks in challenging and remote environments. One high-profile success story was the Mobile Online Learning Initiative (MOLI), a training classroom in a coach that has travelled all over Scotland since 2003 hosting over 2000 people on workstations powered by satellite broadband services. The same technology was used by Bridge Broadband Services to provide the connectivity for Robbie Williams' European Tour. In 2004, the company launched the first version of its GuardianBox, offering secure broadband connectivity for home users and small businesses.