I have been in technology marketing since my career began, and one word that gets thrown around often is “enterprise.” In technology, we make broad statements about offering “enterprise-class” services, solutions, architectures, software, etc. In general, we’re talking about delivering the best technologies available to handle complex workloads and applications.
For hosting and infrastructure services companies, this means that the robust, redundant, complex architectures we have built for larger “enterprise” companies are more needed by innovative and fast-growth small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) whose success is often – if not completely – dependent on technology or the Internet to drive the growth of their enterprise. SMBs have a greater need for the “enterprise” solutions we have been developing than large companies.
At Hostway, we think about what we can offer SMBs to ensure that technology enables their growth? How can we provide enterprise-class technologies at a cost-effective price point to meet the very real, enterprise-class needs of SMBs? Hostway has turned to providing leading-edge cloud technologies and services through our partnerships with Microsoft and others.
Yesterday, Microsoft released cloud survey results that showed paid cloud services are expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. For SMBs who have shied away from the cloud until now, the message is clear – other SMBs have tested the water, and they’ve found out that cloud hosting really is safe, cost-effective, and reliable, providing affordable access to a level of technology that used to be reserved for the heavy-hitters with big IT budgets.
Hostway launched our Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution FlexCloud Server in November 2010 and followed it up with a hybrid cloud solution in January 2012. The hybrid cloud has quickly become one of our fastest growing offerings among SMBs, because it allows them to combine a managed public cloud infrastructure with managed hosting, colocation and private cloud services, so they can build a hosting infrastructure that’s both high-quality and customized to their needs. The bottom line: It’s expensive technology at a low price.
BidAbode, a fast-growth online real estate auction website, chose Hostway’s hybrid cloud to support its growth on a Linux platform. When I spoke with BidAbode CTO Jared Gallardo, he told me, “Hybrid cloud hosting has provided the scalable infrastructure we need to support our realtime auctions, which are resource-intensive. As a startup, we hoped to grow quickly, and we are excited to be experiencing that growth with Hostway.”
SMBs like BidAbode have enterprise needs – and we as an industry have an obligation to deliver solutions to the SMBs that first looked to us for help and support in the early days of web hosting. Candidly, the SMB reliance on hosting companies developed our marketplace – and their need and willingness to adopt cloud technologies will exponentially grow our market size. Our obsession with moving “upmarket” should never cause us to fail to meet the enterprise needs of SMBs that have a higher propensity to use our cloud services.
Aaron Hollobaugh is the Vice President of Marketing at Hostway Corporation. He has 4+ years experience in the hosting industry and has provided thought leadership and advice in publications including CNNMoney, USAToday, CRN, ChannelPro, Small Business Toolkit, etc. Before joining Hostway, Aaron was the Vice President of Marketing at Hosting.com and lead marketing for a major SMB VAR.
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