A Birmingham computer firm with four employees is going head-to-head with the industry's giants after being nominated for a national award.
Zybert Computing, in Edgbaston, will battle against IBM, Dell, Hewlett Packard and Fujitsu Siemens for Server of the Year at the awards run by trade magazine Network Computing.
The company, founded by nuclear physicist Richard Zybert, has been nominated for its Z1 GEM server for small businesses. It has also been shortlisted for Network Project of the Year as part of a group that worked on the Mammogrid project – a Europe-wide scheme to increase understanding of breast cancer and its detection.
The awards rely on public voting until March 5, with the winners announced at a London ceremony on March 27.
Mr Zybert said: "It's nice to be recognised. As the voting is public via computing websites, it's hard to imagine how we will compete with the big names – but we are hoping our customers will vote for us!
"I try to see it as an opportunity to talk about our business and products. When Birmingham is so often kicked, it's great to show we can win if we push for it."
The server, which costs #5,500 less than competitors, took seven years to develop and has received positive reviews in trade magazines. It features a removable hard drive, automatic backup every 24 hours and archiving. It has an off-site disk to boot and run in a computer in another office, making it easy for a business to recover if it suffers a fire.
The Network Computing Award is not the only accolade Zybert's Z1 GEM is in the running for. The server also reached the finals of the eWell-Being awards for environmental performance.
The Z1 GEM uses one-third of the electricity of equivalent machines and avoids the need to keep computers on overnight
to back-up data. Any remaining energy is offset by Zybert Computing as part of the firm's service contract.
Mr Zybert said: "There's a business case for this as people are now conscious about their energy use, and from a personal point of view it's nice for us. We believe the way to save the planet is to minimise energy use and offset the rest.
"There's no point buying a few trees for a flight you didn't need. For one small business customer with ten PCs we worked
out our box would, in a year, save the same amount of Co2 as flying two people to New York and back."
But Mr Zybert added, being a small business, promoting the Z1 GEM was tough. He said: "There is a huge market for the