If you’re looking for a web hosting company you are certainly not short of options. CBR talks to the boss of hosting specialist Webfusion about standing out in a very busy market
Your company is a web hosting company. I have to start with a bit of a negative in that case, I’m afraid; aren’t there literally hundreds of companies like yours out there vying for the attention of CIOs like the CBR audience? What do you think can make you stand out at all?
A way for me to start answering that question is to talk about our uniques. For example, every fourth UK company with a .uk domain name is registered as a domain name with us. That’s up from 17% only three years ago. We have 750,000 customers, of which about 80% are SMEs but we also have major brands like Asda and Ryanair, too. And I’d say that it’s the breadth of our customer proposition that makes us stand out.
That started well for me but then you went a bit corporate boilerplate for me at the end.
Perhaps another way to understand us is that while we never lead any sale on price, we effectively can offer you at least as much as Rackspace does, which would be one of our competitors in the higher end of the market, but not at Rackspace prices.
Expand that idea, then.
We see a competitive landscape dominated by a lot of companies who spend a lot of time on marketing but we’d argue are a lot less successful at converting the leads they get into sales.
Again, with respect, a lot of vendors say that!
I’m sure, but the difference is that we not just concentrate on customer service, which, again, I am sure you will say many of the CEOs of technology companies you speak to would say, but it’s that breadth I was talking about, too.
With Webfusion, you have a continuity of offering all the way from simple domain name registration to very complex hosting and managed service requirements. This is always on a very, very flexible basis, too. If you want a different sort of processor in your infrastructure or if you want more memory than standard, that’s not a problem for us.
We have such a big portfolio of service offerings, in fact, that there is no need for you as a customer to ever break continuity and go to a different third party if you want, for example, your site designed or anything like that. In fact, we work with a lot of SME customers in particular who don’t have the budget for a £5,000 web design component, and we can definitely talk to you about that sort of thing.
All great words…
It’s more than that with us. We have customers who have genuinely grown with us, they have started very small and entered into long-term dialogues with us where we have watched what they have bought, what they say they want, provided tools and information, really helped them get what they want off their Internet presence.
I’d say that the Webfusion brand is that combination of customer focus, flexibility, technology – we have the 84th most visited UK web site, which I put down to things like our great industry-leading blogs on it and use of social media on Facebook and Twitter. We get 300,000 unique visitors every week who come there to find out how we can help them. I think that’s more than corporate boilerplate.
I hear your sincerity, Mr Vollrath. Maybe we can change the pace for a second and find out a bit more about you and your CV?
Of course. I started my career in non-technology companies including Mars, where I was of all things Sugar Business Development Manager. In 2000, I joined 1&1 Limited, co-ordinating the brand’s launch in the UK that same year and then later becoming Chief Operating Officer of 1&1 Internet Inc and launched it into the US market, where I was also responsible for all operational and financial aspects of its international subsidiaries until I became CEO. I then moved to GX Network’s Hosting division, the old Pipex business, before here. And as you can probably tell from my accent, I am not a Brit, was born in Germany and my time is split between the two countries, as we also have a presence there.