Matthew Russell, Sales Director - Voxtreme.com
Company Web Site: http://www.voxtreme.com
What did you do before you ventured into web hosting business direction?
Prior to hosting, I was involved in the web design/development market. This progressed into the hosting market and from there there has been no looking back for us. My interest in hosting developed through bad service provided by many hosts I used when involved in the design and development market.
When was the idea of going into web hosting industry born? What were the factors that influenced your decision to go into this industry?
When I was a developer I had great trouble finding a package that would fit my requirements. At the time, very few, if any, reseller packages existed at the ones that did didn't exist in the form that they did today. They were expensive, unreliable and featureless by comparison to the features offered as standard by many providers in today's market. The bulk reseller plan as we know it today did not exist.
Briefly introduce your company's history and role in the industry?
Voxtreme started by offering mainly shared hosting plans with reseller plans as more as an afterthought. However, as demand for reseller plans grew we realised that this was a market that had a lot of potential - with comparitively few companies providing an excellent level of service for bulk reseller plans around. After more research into the the market, we decided to
discontinue our shared hosting plans and concentrate solely on our the reseller market. We put in lots of hard hours as we steadily grew and the level of service we provided started to build up our reputation. As we have grown, so has our reputation and we have gone from strength to strength. Since our formation in late 2001, we have grown to approaching 30 servers designated just for reseller plans. The fact that all of this growth has been entirely organic makes this feat even more impressive.
As well as concentrating on our core business - reseller packages, we have also developed semi-dedicated packages and fully managed server packages as a spin off from our reseller packages - offering clients a steady upgrade path as their own business grows.
There are thousands of other companies. In your opinion, what makes your company stand out? What would be the business philosophy behind it?
We strive to provide excellent levels of service at everything we do. We also listen to and take into consideration any concerns aired by our clients and suggestions that they make. We maintain a close relationship with our clients through our community forums.
Please briefly describe the service(s) that your company offers.
We provide reseller packages offering clients the chance to host unlimited domains as the starting place for a client to 'become their own host'. The next stage after this is our semi-dedicated package - a larger reseller package with a set number clients per server. The final stage is a fully managed dedicated server. We treat the fully managed server as one of our main reseller servers - we monitor the server, perform upgrades and ensure that the server is running to the client's precise requirements. We feel that these 3 different package levels offer clients the perfect route to becoming their own host.
Have you ever taken a bigger risk in terms of presenting innovative solutions or implementing something no else dared even to try?
I believe we were one of the few hosts to offer clients the chance to freely discuss their views in our community forums from the off.
How do you help your customers grow their business? Do you offer special tools/assistance that helps them succeed on the web?
Our community forums have proved to be a great success for clients looking to grow - we as well as other resellers offer clients advice and help on business related issues. The fact that clients can speak directly to other resellers in a similar situation to themselves is often a major selling point of our packages.
Do your customers help perfecting and innovating your business? If yes, what is the level of their role in that?
We have a designated suggestions forum where customers can suggest improvements to our service and areas that they'd like to see us develop in.
One recent example of this is an integrated communications center so they can keep in touch with all aspects of Voxtreme. We responded by developing http://info.voxtreme.com.
Your company's short-term goals?
To continue to provide the high levels of service that we do and steadily grow as a company.
Your company's long-term goals?
We will be looking into other packages that can compliment our packages already offered. One such example is possible VPS software. Business goals include increasing our market share and financial aims that I'd prefer not to discuss here.
The best advice you have for someone who is just starting a hosting company?
Don't rush into it. The best thing you can do is research and take your time, and consider all factors prior to starting your company. Hosting is not a get rich quick scheme, but can be rewarding in a number of ways if time, effort and consideration is put into it.
Is there a fun part in your business? If yes, what would that be?
I thoroughly enjoy working for Voxtreme. Praise received from clients and watching the company steadily grow is enjoyable.
The moment in your company's history that you're especially proud of?
I can't think of anything specifically - however I'm proud of where the company is today.
How did you come to choose your company name?
This question is asked pretty regularly! (Perhaps we should add it to our FAQ section on the site.) The name resulted from a combination of 'vortex' and 'extreme'.
When you were a kid, who did you want to become?
I always wanted to become a fighter pilot.
Other than being in web hosting industry, what is the other profession(s) that you would want to attend?
I enjoy the web hosting industry and at present there is no other realistic industry / profession that I can think of that I'd prefer to be in.
Many thanks to Matthew for taking the time to complete this interview.