iiNet eyes opportunities to grow SMB hosting business

iiNet eyes opportunities to grow SMB hosting business

The ISP tapped third-party software to compete with established hosting companies.

Internet service provider iiNet is known for its residential services but people are less aware of its business services, according to the company's business hosting and domains manager, Kevin Clark

“A natural transition for iiNet to move from the residential to the business space is to go for SMB space,” Clark said. “It’s a mass-market business that we believe we understand very well, and a lot of our products are complementary to the small business space.”

Software from Parallels has fueled iiNet’s expansion of its hosting business into the SMB market, according to Clark. Parallels has been an iiNet partner for five years and its control panel has allowed iiNet to efficiently integrate the hosting businesses of major recent acquisitions including Westnet and TransACT, he said.

Partnerships with Parallels and others are critical to iiNet’s growth strategy into the business market, Clark told Computerworld Australia.

Partnerships expand iiNet’s ability to capture business markets, he said. “There’s no way” iiNet can have enough sales and support staff for the 1.2 million businesses it wants to serve, he said.

Hosting for SMBs is a competitive market involving telcos and hosting-only companies like Crazy Domains and Melbourne IT, Clark said. The market is divided into two categories: solo businesses with up to five employees and SMB companies with five to 50 employees, he said.

“Parallels has given us a quick step up into the industry,” Clark said. “We knew access and voice services ... and hosting was something we naturally picked up on.” Parallels “catapulted” iiNet so that “overnight” the telco could compete with the hosting-only companies who spent years developing their own systems, he said.

On the backend, the Parallels software provides iiNet with “a control panel that lets our administrators and engineers to manage all the services that run the hosting clients,” Clark said. “It allows them to deploy the new services a lot more efficiently and create the plans that we offer to customers.” On the front end, the control panel lets customers manage the products they have with iiNet, including web hosting, email and domain name services.

The software’s ability to treat organisations as resellers within the system helped iiNet integrate the hosting businesses of recent acquisitions, Clark said.

Read more: David Buckingham new iiNet boss

“We have one massive platform that services a whole bunch of resellers,” he said. ”So the way we’ve set it up was we’ve have iiNet brand as a reseller, the Westnet brand as a reseller and all the other brands that we are acquiring are resellers. What that means is we can retain the brand of those companies we acquire while still providing that full functionality that every other brand has, and managing it from one central place.”

That ability will also be “fantastic when we eventually go into the wholesale space,” he said.

The ISP reported strong results for FY 2012 and said it expected to fully integrate Internode and TransACT in the next 12-24 months.

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags resellersmbsmall businessacquisitionwestnetISPwebsiteinternodeiiNetsmall and medium enterprises (SMEs)TransActhosting



Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Leading figures within the technology industry across New Zealand came together to celebrate 30 years of success for Lexel Systems, at a milestone birthday occasion at St Matthews in the City.​

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30
HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP New Zealand held an inaugural Evolve Education event at Aotea Centre in Auckland, welcoming over 70 principals, teachers and education experts to explore ways of shaping and enhancing learning using technology.

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch
Show Comments