LONDON, April 25 /PRNewswire/ --

- Award-Winning Online Optician Gets the Hosting and Scalable Platform to Support Exponential Growth Through Innovative Start-Up Program

Glasses Direct has signed up as a member and customer of the hosting offer in the Sun Start-Up Essentials program in the UK. As part of the program, the online glasses retailer has outsourced the management of its hosted platform to NTT Europe Online.

The Sun Start-Up Essentials (SSE) program helps start-ups conserve cash, accelerate their development and get up and running quickly through discounts on a range of both Sun's industry-leading systems and services and those of its partners, including managed hosting provider NTT Europe Online. This provides start-ups with the backing of global organisations whilst maintaining the flexibility of a start-up, as well as enabling them to scale right from the start with a single technology partner.

The brainchild of entrepreneurial wunderkind Jamie Murray-Wells[1], Glasses Direct is the disruptive market challenger in the GBP3.5 billion glasses industry, offering pairs of glasses from as little as GBP15. With the company expecting significant growth over the next 2 to 4 years, it needed a secure, scalable environment from which to operate and host its business.

"We needed partners who offer the technology and services to match our growth in the market," said Derek Colvin, Chief Technology Officer at Glasses Direct. "As an SME we may lack the perceived brand security of more established operations, meaning the availability of our site is more than critical to our business; it's the difference between success and failure. Working with Sun and NTT Europe Online we know we have the architecturally scalable platform required to ensure the availability and continuity of our sales revenue."

"Secure, scalable hosting is now a business necessity for any organisation, and for a company that relies exclusively on web-generated sales, it is absolutely critical its site is impervious to downtime and failure," said Rob Steggles, Marketing Director Europe for NTT Europe Online. "Glasses Direct is growing at a rapid pace so it needs a hosting infrastructure to accommodate that expansion and guarantee its business continuity. By being involved in the Sun Start-Up Essentials program, we are in a position to help companies such as Glasses Direct compete with bigger, more established rivals."

Glasses Direct is benefiting from working with other partners involved in the SSE program as well.

"Some enterprises claim to support start-ups and small companies, but very few deliver specific, high-value offers tailored to their needs," said Juan Carlos Soto,Vice President, Global Market Development & Engineering. "The Sun Start-up Essentials Program and partnership with companies such as NTT Europe Online gives start-ups access to vast technological and business expertise at a fraction of the costs required for such products and services. We are delighted to be working with Glasses Direct and supporting their growth from market challenger and innovator to becoming the market driver in their sector."

About NTT Europe Online

NTT Europe Online provides managed hosting, security and application management services to businesses globally. These services provide the reliability, availability, security and scalability needed to underpin business success online.

NTT Europe Online is certified to ISO27001 for Information Security Management and, as part of NTT Communications, has the global reach and scale to support businesses of all sizes. NTT Communications is the global data and IP services arm of the Fortune Global 500 telecom leader, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation (NTT). For further information visit

About Glasses Direct is the world's largest direct glasses retailer. Launched in July 2004, Glasses Direct sells prescription eyewear over the internet and by mail that significantly undercut high street prices, selling a range of eyewear with basic frames and lenses starting at GBP15, in total.

The business is operated maintaining low overheads, and the savings are passed on to the customer. Glasses Direct won 'Natwest Small Business of the Year' in 2005, and its founder Jamie Murray Wells is considered one of the UK's leading entrepreneurs. For further information visit

About Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems Inc., (NASDAQ: JAVA) develops the technologies that power the global marketplace. Guided by a singular vision -- "The Network is the Computer" -- Sun drives network participation through shared innovation, community development and open source leadership.

Sun provides a diversity of software, systems, services, and microelectronics that power everything from consumer electronics, to developer tools and the world's most powerful datacenters. Its core brands include the Java technology platform, the Solaris operating system, StorageTek and the UltraSPARC processor.

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Sun Startup Essentials and Solaris are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. For further information, visit

For further details, please contact: Joseph Thomas / Josh Turner Brands2Life Tel: +44(0)207-592-1200

For further details, please contact: Joseph Thomas / Josh Turner, Brands2Life, Tel: +44(0)207-592-1200,