HighQ is a leading provider of secure document exchange and social collaboration software. Its flagship enterprise collaboration platform, HighQ Collaborate, uniquely combines secure, enterprise-grade document management with innovative corporate social tools. As a result some of the world’s leading law firms, investment banks and corporations leverage HighQ Collaborate, and other product offerings, to effectively manage team collaboration and knowledge sharing across their global networks of colleagues, partners and clients, both inside and outside of the organization.
Many HighQ customers utilize the cloud-based platform to save time and effort over hosting their own solutions in-house. They benefit from the “instant-on” nature of the cloud application as well as its availability to employees, clients and partners in one unified system.
Internet Performance Limits Collaboration
Several clients, including those of a major international law firm, began to roll out HighQ’s collaboration platform to their overseas offices. It quickly became apparent that users outside of Europe were experiencing high latency when accessing the application. The firm’s employees and clients were frequently collaborating between the US, UK and Australia and were experiencing a slowdown in web page loading and document transfer speeds, especially during peak business hours.
HighQ realized that such performance would impede collaboration between its client’s global network of offices and knew it had to respond quickly. After all, delivering a responsive service has been a cornerstone of HighQ’s growth and success. According to Saviz Izadpanah, HighQ’s Director of IT, “We have experienced 100% year-on-year growth over the past three years, partly because our clients see us as a partner that responds to their concerns without delay. To maintain our hard-fought reputation, we sought to address the issue of global Internet performance as quickly as possible. We didn’t want it to limit our ability to serve our international users.”
Global Data Centers Drain Resources
To achieve optimal performance for users in the US and Australia, HighQ considered hosting in multiple local data centers. However, security-conscious customers are drawn to HighQ because of its enterprise-grade hosting in specialized data centers. Once HighQ investigated the time and resource required to establish similar data centre infrastructure overseas, it quickly decided that such a strategy was not realistic. Explains Izadpanah, “To set up something like that would have drained our resources in terms of man-hours, data center setup costs and technology. There’s quite a long learning curve associated with managing the delivery of dynamic site content and applications across multiple data centers and networks.”
The Solution: Dynamic Web Acceleration
After researching potential solutions, HighQ quickly recognized that a content delivery network, or CDN, would suit its performance and security needs best. Not only can a CDN overcome global Internet performance problems, two best-of-breed CDNs provided services to accelerate dynamically changing content. One of the providers, CDNetworks, ensured HighQ that it could accelerate both the application and its dynamic environment without relying on local caches to store documents. This would enable HighQ to streamline the service upgrade and respond to its clients’ requirements as quickly as possible.
Optimizing Performance and Increasing End-User Satisfaction
HighQ decided to evaluate CDNetworks’ Dynamic Web Acceleration service for a 30-day period. This allowed HighQ to experiment with different acceleration techniques without locking itself into a long-term contract. Explains Izadpanah, “The trial helped us identify those portions of our web infrastructure that would benefit most from acceleration. We realized substantial performance gains in both document downloads and the dynamic elements of our site that immerse users in HighQ’s unique social environment.”
Accelerating HighQ’s product offerings with Dynamic Web Acceleration resulted in drastically better end-user experiences in both Australia and the US. In fact, download speeds in these locations increased by 2,000% and 1,000%, respectively. Between Australia and the UK, document downloads and page loading speeds accelerated from 50Kbps to 1000Kbps per second. “Application acceleration completely takes the brakes off SaaS applications,” says Izadpanah. “Global organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on cloud-based solutions and, by using CDNetworks, we’re now able give them the high performance they expect from anywhere in the world.”
Better Internet Performance Enables International Growth
After extensive usage of Dynamic Web Acceleration, HighQ’s applications now perform more efficiently and at greater speed globally for all of its end users. This gives the HighQ team confidence to on-board new customers anywhere in the world. It has led the company to launch expansion efforts in two areas: sales of HighQ Collaborate, and other products, to a broader market of global companies and sales of a new Global web acceleration service to existing customers. “Customers see the value of strong Internet performance because effective collaboration helps them succeed. We maximize their success with a new differentiated service, effectively transforming our CDN services from a cost item to a potential revenue stream,” concludes Izadpanah.