Author Archive

Why Virtual Reality Gaming Needs Bare Metal Cloud

Posted by Adrien Tibi

For many game designers, creating the most lifelike, realistic and immersive gaming experience
possible is the ultimate goal, and now, with the emergence of virtual reality (VR), they are on the very cusp of making that dream reality.

In its simplest form, VR is the construction of a computer-generated three-dimensional environment with which you can interact in a seemingly real or physical way. In years to come, the only real limit to what will be achievable within VR parameters will be the developer’s imagination, but currently the technology remains very much in it’s infancy, and adoption will largely depend on the hardware and infrastructure solutions, and quality of the overall experience.

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Virtual Reality

Although it’s (almost) impossible to predict which platform will revolutionise the gaming landscape, the virtual reality argument has some pretty compelling advocates. Capcom, EA, Warner Bros, Square Enix, Bethesda Softworks and a whole host of other game designers have already pledged their allegiance to the VR movement. This introduction of virtual reality into mainstream development has helped to cement its place as the future of gaming, but has also posed some very real questions about the capabilities of current gaming infrastructure.

The visual quality of gaming is increasing all the time, and, as each generation of technology is launched, the graphical-software requirements continue to rise. Virtual reality is no exception, and, as VR is the new gaming technology on the block, it should come as no surprise that even the most conservative estimates indicate that it may require seven times the power of a normal game. This approximation directly corresponds to the extra processing power CPUs require to process VR content effectively, hence why a more powerful, bespoke solution is required.

Why Bare Metal Cloud?

The greatest challenge that VR developers face is providing a seamless experience for users, with low load times, high frame rates, a stable connection and as little lag as possible. Delivering this experience depends largely on the scalability, availability and performance of your infrastructure and network, and failing to cater to any one of these requirements can significantly impact user-experience.

Since the introduction of virtual reality into mainstream development, the raw horsepower and availability required to deliver these conditions has grown significantly. Meanwhile, highly-scalable solutions which adapt to notable variations in day-to-day traffic are becoming accepted as part and parcel of gaming set-ups. As these requirements scale upwards, so must the server solution.

Bare metal cloud provides true infrastructure as a service, upon which be developers can create bespoke solutions that meet their performance, availability and scalability needs. Bare metal solutions can be tailor-made to cater for the creation and development of games which require superior power and greater flexibility, such as VR.

Ideal for Gaming

Virtual reality has brought us to the brink of technological revolution, and with it, previously unthinkable game development possibilities. Today, many game designers are embracing the VR movement, and trying to tackle the challenges presented by an increase in server hosting requirements and the subsequent problems that this presents. Bare metal cloud enables CPU-intensive gaming workloads to function seamlessly, with greater stability, efficiency and reliability.

Bare metal solutions encompass the whole server hosting environment, from your dedicated gaming servers and storage appliances, to the applications needed to monitor and optimise performance, monetise moments and deliver advertising. Bare metal cloud is the ideal server hosting solution for game designers and developers looking to create the most authentic virtual reality gaming experience possible, while ensuring that user-experience is maintained. To learn more about bare metal cloud and its application within VR gaming, contact us today.

Effective Incentives for Your SaaS Referral Programme

Posted by Adrien Tibi

Referral schemes are a great way to get new customers or companies to try out your SaaS product. With the right incentive programme, you make your customers far more likely to extend referrals. You also increase their satisfaction with your company, increasing the chance they’ll stick around. And for new customers, giving your product a try is far more attractive when there’s an appealing freebie on offer.

Be Two-Faced

Referral schemes are particularly powerful because, when successful, they help you cement existing customer relationships and win you new business. To make the most of this opportunity, you should offer incentives for both parties – your existing customer making the referral and the new customer. Retaining users is easier when they feel involved in your success and rewarded for that involvement. And the idea of trying out a new SaaS product will be far more enticing, and feel like far less of a potential risk, with an extra incentive – especially one that saves them money.

Download our guide to attracting more users for your SaaS business

So what makes a good incentive?

Free or Extended Use of your Product

There’s nothing more valuable you can share than your product itself. It’s a great gesture of goodwill to loyal customers, and an added benefit for you is that it also keeps those customers locked in with your product.  As an incentive for new, referred customers, it is also very powerful as it makes the initial leap of trying out something new feel less risky.

Of course you don’t want to turn a paying customer into a non-paying customer, but you can extend free trials, or add free months to annual subscriptions, for instance.

The exact offer you extend may well depend on the nature of your SaaS product. Dropbox have a particularly effective incentive – referrals earn you extra space in your Dropbox – but, of course, this is specific to the sort of software it sells.

Credits or Discounts

Money talks, and cold hard (virtual) cash is always a popular and powerful incentiviser. Depending on your pricing model you can offer discounts or account credits. It’s one of the most simple incentive options, and you have full control over how much it will cost.

Discounts or credits can be one of the more expensive options though, and if you do mitigate this by keeping your offer low, you might find that it’s actually less enticing than a more tangible, but actually lower valuable, physical item offer.

Third Party Discounts or Products

Some customers might not be swayed by credits or free use of your product because they’re not paying for it out of their own pocket and they’d rather something that benefits them more directly. To maximise referral potential, consider offering alternative third party discounts at equivalent intervals. Popular options are things like coffee shop gift cards, tickets to sporting events or vouchers for big name eCommerce sites.

Branded merchandise

Does anyone really want to walk around wearing an ill-fitting t-shirt advertising their accounting software? Apparently so – branded merchandise continues to be offered as a common referral incentive by loads of businesses, so clearly it works. Giveaways of this type are usually most suited for the lower tiers of your referrral scheme, due to their relatively low value.

The benefits are obvious. These sorts of incentives are generally a really cheap option, and if your customers do actually wear or use their freebie, you get free advertising. On the other hand, if you don’t get the referral numbers you were hoping for you might find you have piles of merchandise taking up space and reminding you of your failure for months to come.
To get people to the referral stage you don’t just need to incentivise them, you’ll likely need to implement a retention strategy, and to entice users to your product in your first place, download our quick reference guide on attracting new SaaS customers.

DDoS: How to Win the Invisible War Against Cyber Attackers

Posted by Adrien Tibi

The internet represents opportunity and provides companies with a greater audience to promote products and services. Yet with the current influx of cyber-attacks capable of bringing down most online businesses, the security concerns are mounting and it has become not a question of if a company will be hit by a cyber-attack, but when.

Stuck for ideas on how to make a profit in SaaS? If so, download our SaaS profitiability guide for hints and tips.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

Cyber-attacks are quickly becoming the single greatest threat to business security, especially for companies with a large or active online presence.

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are frequently used by attackers to overwhelm websites and digital services and force them offline, preventing any kind of online trading and tarnishing the reputation of the company’s security. In a DDoS attack, a network of computers infected with a malware, known as “botnet”, are coordinated into bombarding a server with traffic until it collapses under the strain. The target of DDoS attacks have principally been businesses with notable digital revenue, and the BBC, DropBox and Facebook have all been victims of such coordinated cyber warfare.

Most recently, the servers of Dyn, a company that controls significant portions of the internet’s DNS infrastructure were attacked, which brought down sites including Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, CNN, The Guardian and many more across the US and Europe. One of the reasons why DDoS is such a significant threat is that, alongside the low risk of being caught, arranging an attack is also relatively simplistic. The image below shows the frequency of attacks within just a 30-second window, on a Wednesday, circa 15:00 GMT.

So how do you make sure that your website and web presence stays available, and win the war against the hackers?


The ongoing worry with DDoS attacks is that they’re becoming increasingly powerful. Dyn estimated that the attack which took down their servers had an attack strength of 1.2Tbps, almost twice as strong as any similar attack on record. To put this in perspective, the strength of such an attack would be enough to wipe out most business internet connections 600x over.

To combat the threat of DDoS and win the invisible war against cyber-attackers, it is essential that your business put safeguards in place, and this starts with your hosting provider. It is important to find out in advance who from your provider you should contact in the event of a DDoS attack, and what measures can be taken to keep your website or digital service up and running. Often, hosting solutions will incorporate DDoS protection and security technology that can detect and absorb large attacks, then redirect harmful attack traffic, only allowing legitimate traffic through. Making sure your hosting solution provides adequate DDoS protection, or has the option to upgrade your service to include it, can help your company to better defend itself against attacks.

There are also precautions your company can take itself. Streamlining the functionality of your website to make it as efficient as possible can also be an important consideration to mitigate the risk of a DDoS attack. The aim of these attacks is to overwhelm server processors to the point that the website or digital service crashes. Reducing the power required to process queries will not only enhance performance but can help to avoid downtime until a solution is reached.


In an age where business is reliant on the internet, cyber-attacks have become an unavoidable threat. With each passing day, both the frequency and devastation of DDoS attacks intensify and the likelihood of a coordinated attack on your business grows. DDoS attacks have become a genuine threat to businesses and their ability to trade. Even an attack that has no impact on a company’s merchandising could still tarnish its reputation and make customers question the robustness of its online security.

Thankfully there are steps that your business can take to protect yourself against DDoS attacks and win the war against the cyber-attackers.

Streamlining your website, knowing who to contact at the first sign of a malicious attack and understanding the successive steps your hosting provider can take to limit the damage, detect and absorb attacks, and redirect traffic away can be the difference between keeping your business online or not. It is important to remember that no matter what steps are taken to limit the risk, DDoS attacks will never be completely preventable. But making the necessary preparations will reduce the duration and the damage that these attacks can cause. For more information about hosting solutions that can reduce the impact of DDoS attacks to better protect your business visit us here.

How to Successfully Retain Existing SaaS Users

Posted by Adrien Tibi

Thanks to evolving technology and market saturation, customer loyalty is starting to wane in the world of SaaS solutions. With the promise of superior, faster and more advanced services, it is becoming increasingly challenging for a business to remain the attractive option.

This is a serious headache for many companies because customer retention is exceedingly valuable. Numerous studies have shown that implementing a successful retention strategy yields greater rewards than onboarding new users, and latest estimates suggest that the cost of nurturing ten existing customers is roughly the same expenditure as acquiring just one new user.

Fostering lasting relationships with your customer base makes sense economically, although building successful business connections is about a lot more than just profitability – trust, teamwork and customer satisfaction can all increase as a result.

Here are some ways that you can combat growing customer-attrition levels and ensure your business remains an attractive prospect for your customers.

Great Customer Service

To retain your customers, you’ve got to deliver great customer service. Ensuring your customers feel both valued and content with the support and services they receive can go a long way to reducing customer attrition. Good customer service primerily stems from the ability to answer your customers’ queries and concerns efficiently and offer potential solutions that are beneficial for all parties.

When dealing with any communication from your user-base, remember that time-management is critical and that there’s no quicker way to alienate your customers than to make them feel like they are being ignored. There will always be occasions when you can’t deal with the problem immediately, such as times of peak traffic, but implementing a contingency plan, such as an automatic response email, will help to alleviate any feelings of disregard that your customers may be harbouring.

Customers want to feel like they are valued, so try to personalise their customer experience as much as possible. Things like communicating on a first name basis and learning the direction and subject of customers’ businesses can help to cement the feeling of value and increase the likelihood of repeat business.

Nobody is perfect. But, when things do go wrong, admitting your flaws will help to gain you a great deal more respect than making excuses. Trust is all-important in business and no consumer wants to feel like they are being lied to. Owning up to mistakes and rectifying the situation to the best of your abilities will only serve to strengthen the relationship between you and your customer.

Download our guide to attracting more users for your SaaS business


Improving communication is a sure-fire way to guarantee an increase in your current retention levels. Your customers never want to feel like they’re in the dark, or worse, undervalued, so frequent contact is a must. Ensuring regular correspondence also enables you to better understand the concerns of your user-base and adapt accordingly.

Implementing a contact-strategy can make certain that your customers feel appreciated and reduce any sense of neglect. All successful contact-strategies begin with an analysis of the methods your business currently employs to correspond with prospects and customers, with the aim of finding the best channels of communication. Only by understanding how you best communicate with your user-base can you begin to develop a strategy for consistent, effective and useful communication.

The two most important elements of customer-communication are quantity and consistency. Ensuring that all correspondence is developed in-line with your design principles will help to reassure your customers they’re communicating with a trusted source. Meanwhile, finding the right balance of communication so that customers are engaged but don’t feel bombarded is key to consumer happiness and retention.

Reinforce Your Values

Long-term success and customer retention belongs to those who do not take ethical shortcuts. You must be consistent in what you say, what you do, what your customers experience and why your customers are able to trust you. Making sure that you are open, honest and up-front with them in all situations can help to convince them that you are a trustworthy business partner, so it is important not only to share your successes but also to take responsibility for your mistakes.

Your values represent who you are as a business and you should make the most of opportunities to remind people of what it is that you stand for. Your customers will obviously expect high-quality design, build quality, reliability and serviceability from your SaaS solutions, but you can also remind them why it is that they chose your business in the first place.

Reinforcing your values can mean anything from creating a mission statement, spreading your message on social media, writing blog posts, or even sending customer emails. Modesty is (alledgedly) a virtue, but by demonstrating to your customers that you believe in your message, and you practice what you preach, you can ensure that your business remains an attractive option to your customers.

Customer Promotion

Customer retention derives from the ability to make you customer feel like they are a valuable asset to your business. And showcasing your customers on your website, app, newsletter or other public platform can help to garner engagement, increase satisfaction and improve customer service.

Promoting your customers can have mutual benefits. Your business receives the prestige of boasting about its client success stories, whilst your featured customers receive free publicity on your platform of choice.

No matter the solution that you choose – whether it’s adding your customer’s logos to your homepage, creating a client-of-the-month feature, or building a case-studies web page which features individual reports for all your customers – make sure your customers are on board. Always ask permission when outlining and implementing this kind of strategy. In spite of the obvious benefits for a featured customer, some companies will simply not want to partake in the promotional scheme whereas others may have specific stipulations about what is required when they do feature.


Today, customer retention is critical to business success. For many businesses, returning customers represent the backbone of earning potential and nurturing longer-lasting relationships can be hugely beneficial.

The most fundamental aspect of customer retention is ensuring that your customer knows that they are valued. And by addressing questions, queries and concerns quickly and helpfully you can really help to strengthen your relationship. Meanwhile, employing a contact-strategy to make certain that effective communication is taking place and no customer feels like they are left in the dark can be key to consumer engagement.

Critically evaluating your principles in order to demonstrate to your customers how you ‘practise what you preach’ is important to the creation of trust. Effectively promoting your values to your customers can help to generate long-term business success, and promotion can also a valuable tool in and of itself to prevent customer attrition. Showcasing your customers will help to generate loyalty, which in turn will increase retention levels. But the increase in publicity can also help to generate a stronger bond between you and your customers, provided that they have agreed to the promotion guidelines.

As much as customer retention is critical to business success, customer acquisition is critical to business growth and expansion. For more information about how you can grow your user-database with limited effort and generate more users for your SaaS product, you can view our cheat sheet here.

How to Grow Your Business with Product Recommendation Referrals

Posted by Adrien Tibi

Today, advertising is everywhere. From television to radio, and print media to online, prospective customers are constantly bombarded by advertising messages and slogans. And there is significant evidence to suggest that over-exposure is leading to “banner-blindness”, so not only are your prospects becoming increasingly frustrated with the constant stream of advertisements, it is increasingly likely that they might not even acknowledge them.

It is unsurprising then that many businesses have decided to change tack and combat the falling numbers of customer interaction head-on. This is where the increasing interest in a return to more traditional word-of-mouth marketing, or referral marketing, has stemmed, but how can your business encourage its consumers to recommend your products and services?

Why Referral Marketing?

A successful referral programme can be valuable for businesses aiming to attract more users and, if employed correctly, can successfully help companies to grow quickly and affordably.

Loads of research has been done on the topic of product recommendations, and many studies have found that a person is more likely to use a service if it has been recommended to them by a reputable source. After all, who are prospects more likely to trust – their family, friends and other satisfied customers, or an anonymous business which has no existing relationship with them?

Acquiring customers through referrals is generally a lot cheaper than by direct marketing. The idea behind referral marketing is to incentivise existing customers – typically with discounts, gifts, or the opportunity to win attractive prizes – in order to take advantage of their social connections and attract greater business. The result is a much lower cost-per-contact than most other marketing campaigns, such as outbound advertising, and with fewer expenses.

Download our guide to attracting more users for your SaaS business

Actively Promote

To achieve success, your business must first mobilise, then incentivise its consumers. As with any new project or operation, clear, concise and effective promotion is a key contributor to success. In the case of referral programmes, a considerable amount of the active marketing is undertaken by existing customers, but this only serves to highlight the importance of the principal communication.

To generate the largest number of organic prospects from your referral campaign, it is imperative that the primary message is delivered to your consumers competently and effectively. You should make it dynamic and engaging, with attractive images and well-written content. And you should deliver it seamlessly and consistently to your consumers, either via email, social media or print, making sure that the design remains in-line with your brand.

At this juncture, the primary aim of your programme is to increase awareness. And, although this should entail a consistent stream of marketing messaging, it is important to be sensible in your approach. As discussed, there is nothing more frustrating for a consumer than over-exposure to marketing material. So, with this in mind, you should craft and deliver enticing marketing materials to engage your customers, but don’t bombard them with so much that it becomes an annoyance. Enabling an ‘opt-out’ clause can demonstrate that you have your consumer’s interests in mind.


Incentivisation is a key aspect of any referral campaign and the primary reason that many consumers choose to adopt the programme in the first place. Although it is important to encourage existing customers to recommend social contacts with incentives – such as discounts, gifts and/or prizes – they can also be used to help persuade prospects to adopt products and services. This process is known as two-sided incentivising because the benefits are available for not only the referrer, but also the person referred.

Your business should adopt this method of incentivising consumers and prospects for two reasons. Firstly, existing customers who are in the contemplation stage are far more likely to recommend you to friends and family if it’s visibly beneficial for every party. And secondly, your prospective customer uptake will be far greater if they are directly benefitting.

Selecting the correct incentive to best mobilise your consumers and achieve optimum results can become a sticking-point for many businesses. And this is where the importance of understanding your industry, your demographic and the needs of your current consumers becomes crucial. For example, in the competitive world of server hosting, offering your existing customers the provision of greater customisability may not have the desired impact, due to the already high levels of freedom that many solutions have. However, something like offering your consumers the opportunity to try out a bare metal cloud solution for a limited time offer, would likely have dramatically better results.

Communicate and Manage

Many companies find producing a successful referral marketing programme much more challenging than they had initially expected. Often this is because when businesses decide to embark on a referral campaign, they fail to follow through on the crucial communication and management stages.

In the fast-moving world of cloud solutions, effective customer communication is vital, and it becomes even more so when you’re running a referral programme to attract a greater number of users to your product. You must be prepared to talk to new prospects about a wide variety of things, including the benefits of your service, what it is you can offer them and why they should choose your service. But it is also important to remember to keep up a high (but not irritating) level of contact with existing consumers in order to ensure customer retention.

Effective management during the customer acquisition process can be imperative to the success of your referral programme. And ensuring that all the links in the chain are functioning as smoothly as possible will not only enable you to capture the greatest number of leads, but it will also help to relieve any headaches further down the line. With the right promotional strategy and incentives, you’ll have customers queueing up to help you by referring their friends and family. But this doesn’t happen by accident, and effective communication and comprehensive management play an integral part. To learn more, download our cheat sheet on how to attract more users.

When do you Need a Dedicated Server?

Posted by Adrien Tibi

There are right and wrong uses for every type of cloud infrastructure. Dedicated servers have their own particular set of characteristics that make them right for some applications and wrong for others.

An awful lot of what you can read online about the benefits of dedicated servers over cloud servers, or vice-versa, is really fluff that could apply to either solution with the right configuration. So, when do the unique aspects of dedicated, physical servers transfer benefits to your application?

When do you need a dedicated server?

When you Need Predictable Performance

Virtual Private Servers (VPS’) can all suffer from the noisy neighbour effect.

The cloud, where VPS’ are created, is a multi-tenant environment in which multiple users or applications share the resources of the host infrastructure. These must all contend for access to the available bandwidth, CPU, I/O, etc. When one application becomes too greedy, it can negatively affect availability of those resources to others, resulting in their uneven performance.

In theory, the number of Virtual Machines (VM) on any one host and the specifications thereof can be managed to minimise the risk of impact from noisy neighbours, allowing enough headroom for peaks in demand for resources. In reality, it’s all but impossible to fully protect against it in shared environments.

A dedicated, physical server is immune to the noisy neighbour problem since its resources are 100% dedicated to you.

Ready to deploy on bare metal? Create your free account and start configuring your bare metal servers here.

If your own applications exceed the available resource within your dedicated server, or the network environment around it, it is still possible that you will experience uneven performance, but both the cause and the solution lie in your hands.

When you are I/O Intensive

Optimising your server environment for IOPS is essential in business where storage is used intensively and frequently. In Big Dataanalytics or Internet of Things applications, for example, high I/O throughput it a must.

The exclusive access to server resources, interconnects and local storage that dedicated servers provide guarantees the maximum IOPs possible for the specification.

The absence of any hypervisor, contention or noisy neighbours ensures your access to IOPs is predictable and reliable.

When you Want Full Control

When operating on virtualised resources, the hypervisor sits between you and the host machine, limiting your choices and the extent of your control.

With a dedicated server you get admin level access to the bare metal machine. You have the ability to choose and install your preference of OS and configure it in any way you like.

You can even install your own hypervisor if you wish and create Virtual Machines on your own terms.

When you Need to be ‘Always on’

Virtualisation has enabled dramatic changes to the way that IT infrastructure is costed out. Utility or on-demand pricing is now commonplace. In the case of public cloud giants like AWS or Azure, significant un-bundling of pricing has taken place, where, for example, bandwidth and CPU cycles can be billed separately.

These pricing innovations, however, tend to favour users with significant fluctuations in demand. In the case of always-on instances, dedicated servers often cost significantly less than like-for-like VMs.

If any of these describe critical aspects of your infrastructure requirements, you need dedicated servers.

How to Successfully Onboard New SaaS Users

Posted by Adrien Tibi

If you don’t have an effective onboarding process many customers will abandon your SaaS product before they’ve had the chance to really see what it can do for them. What’s more, the quality of your onboarding process sets the tone for ongoing relationships with your customers and therefore has a knock on effect on customer retention. Retaining customers is a key factor in profitability, so we’ve looked at the best practice for implementing a successful onboarding process, covering all aspects from the sign-up form to the moment customers achieve initial success with your product.

Download our guide to attracting more users for your SaaS business

Streamline Your Signup Form

At this stage, you don’t need to know everything about a customer – that can come later. Over-complicating the form with unnecessary questions will only act as a barrier to customer signup. Instead, streamline your signup form to just the essentials so your customer can get started as soon as possible.

Welcome Email

Firstly, make sure your customers are expecting an email by notifying them just after signup. This could be in the form of an inline thank message that reads something like: “Thank you for signing up to our service. You will receive an email shortly to get you started”. Best practice dictates that when compiling your email, you should use a single, clear CTA directing the customer into your application.

Within the content, consider using future-orientated language throughout the email that suggests to the customer you’re a trustworthy, long-term partner. For example: “We look forward to working with you” or “your journey starts here”.

First Login Experience

As you build the elements of an effective onboarding process, the customer journey may feel disjointed because different elements might have been put together by different teams. To make sure all the dots join up, it’s a good idea to run through the immediate login experience yourself, to map the customer journey and to see what’s missing. For example, it may be a good idea to have a welcome message set up with a few basic instructions. This way, new customers aren’t overwhelmed by the complexity of your interface. After this, a product tutorial, or similar, should be on hand to guide them through the basics and direct them to areas of immediate importance, such as  the support documentation and data importation tool.

Getting Customers Familiar with your Application

It’s essential to educate customers during the onboarding process. Failing to deliver support could have dramatic consequences. For example, according to Totango, 75% of potential SaaS customers leave during the free trial period – a worrying statistic conderising SaaS capital found that a 1% difference in churn rate can impact a company’s valuation by 12% 5 years on.

When considering the platform you want to use, feel free to be inventive. Instead of providing a simple “Getting Started” PDF, consider more interactive elements, such as a product tutorial or introductory video. Whichever you go with, make sure it’s as un-intrusive as possible by allowing customers to skip if they wish. The more comprehensive this introductory element is, the less likely trial users are to drop out of your trial or fall back on your support team – freeing up their time to focus on existing customers.

No matter how good your introductory element may be, this shouldn’t replace support documentation. Educational, up-to-date resources are helpful at any customer lifecycle stage, but arguably more so in the onboarding process. They allow the user to download information and go through it at their own pace, something that may be difficult with videos or product tutorials. And finally, make sure they are stored in a clearly visible and relevant part of your website.

Go the Extra Mile

While most of the above should be sufficient, there are always things you can do to make your onboarding process easier. For example, check-up calls are a great way to establish stronger relationships with your customers, as well as obtain feedback to improve your onboarding process for future customers.

To perform at your best, you need to optimise engagement at every stage of your customer journey. Before onboarding new customers, you first need to get them. For inspiration, download our ‘How to Attract More Users’ guide for SaaS companies.

Is the IoT Dead?

Posted by Adrien Tibi

Recent studies suggest that the IoT is growing, but according to Gartner, the ‘hype’ is over. Just weeks after Gartner released their latest hype cycle for emerging technologies, we ask: where did the IoT go?

The IoT first featured in the 2011 Hype Cycle and has been regular feature ever since. For many years, it made little progress, as it slowly raised expectations on the left side of the hype cycle. Just last year, the IoT reached the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ with an estimated 5 to 10 years before it would reach mainstream adoption. So why has it suddenly disappeared and what does this mean for the IoT?

It Was a Similar Story for Big Data

To answer these questions, we can look back one year to when ‘Big Data’ also dropped off the hype cycle. In this instance, Betsy Burton, a Gartner Analyst, stated that: “Big Data has quickly moved over the peak of inflated expectations” and “has become prevalent in our lives”. From what we know of Big Data since, this seems to be the case. Big Data is now the focus of many technology companies, such as Dell and Micro Focus, who have recently announced mergers/acquisitions with companies who specialise in Big Data analytics. Nowadays, Big Data crunchers can use larger servers, such as bare metal clouds, to cope with their increasing volumes of data. By doing so, they can gain access to predictive analytics that can transform customer experiences.

Ready to deploy on bare metal? Create your free account and start configuring your bare metal servers here.

Based on what we know about Big Data, IoT is set to become more ingrained in today’s IT infrastructures. A recent study by CompTIA of 512 IT and business executives suggests that 80% of organisations have a more positive view of the IoT today compared to a year ago. And, it’s predicted that over 50 billion things will be connected to the internet by 2020. This is likely to result in an unprecedented volume of data. Crunching this amount of data down into usable insights isn’t a job for hypervisors, shared resources, and multi-tenancy. Instead, businesses will need the power of a single tenancy, bare metal cloud or IaaS platform.

What’s Next for the IoT?

Despite the IoT dropping off the hype cycle, it’s not disappeared entirely. The ‘IoT platform’ first featured in last year’s hype cycle, just slightly behind the IoT itself. The IoT platform refers to ecosystem-enabling software that enables remote data collection and control over the connected devices within the IoT. Essentially, the IoT platform is the foundation for the IoT, bringing organisation to an otherwise chaotic environment.

This year, the IoT platform has raised expectations and, according to Gartner, is one of the emerging technologies that comprise the ‘platform revolution’ – one of three key technology trends identified by Gartner. Alongside other emerging technologies, such as Neuromorphic Hardware and Quantum Computing, the IoT platform is expected to revolutionise how platforms are defined and used, resulting in entirely new business models that form the bridge between employees and technology. Just like the IoT, companies must redefine their strategy to include this influx of technology to exploit the opportunities for powerful analytics.


In a nutshell, just because Big Data and the IoT have gone from Gartner Hype Cycle, that doesn’t mean they are dead – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. With more and more connected devices predicted in the IoT, Big Data crunchers have the potential to cash in on the meaningful analytics it can offer, providing they use the correct server and platforms to securely manage th vast amount of data.

Hosting Resellers Feel a Lack of Support From Vendors

Posted by Adrien Tibi

Whilst many acknowledge the benefits of cloud-based computing, only 65% of IT channel companies offer cloud services, according to research by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and Intermedia. This research surveyed 150 decision-makers from IT channel organisations around their attitudes and confidence in reselling cloud-based services.

Give your hosting reseller business all the support it needs by downloading our WHMCS guide here

What are the barriers to selling cloud-based services?

Those that have made the transition to cloud-based solutions have had to overcome significant barriers. The survey identified three in particular:

Switching IT infrastructure can be difficult, and the barriers above demonstrate this challenge. But it really depends on the vendor you’re with. The research indicates that it’s the vendor’s responsibility to overcome these barriers for resellers to capitalise on the increasing demand of cloud-based services by end-users. However, the research also suggests that vendor support is often insufficient, with over a quarter of respondents feeling that vendors were not doing enough to support their transition to cloud-based services.

Is reselling cloud-based services worth it?

Channel resellers that haven’t made the move to cloud-based services are at a “distinct disadvantage”, states CIF’s CEO, Alex Hilton. The report shows that the end-user adoption of cloud-based services have increased in recent years, with 78% of end user organisations using at least one cloud-based service, up from 61% in four years earlier. Despite the growth presenting significant opportunities, the channel hasn’t been able to keep up with demand. Alex Hilton goes onto say: “Resellers that do sell cloud services are reporting a wide range of benefits, from improved competitive edge to extended revenues and market reach.”

Therefore, despite the potential struggle with making the transition to cloud-based services, it seems to be worth it. In truth, what this research really shows is the importance of choosing the right host. Going with a reputable host who offers application support is the first step in becoming a successful hosting reseller.

Support your reselling with WHMCS

For those hosting resellers that don’t feel supported, integrating with WHMCS via an API could be the solution. By plugging in from our provisioning platform, billing clients and tracking invoicing can be fully automated thanks to WHMCS. By facilitating a range of integrated support tools, WHMCS allows you to focus on maintaining relationships with your customers. With our powerful solutions and the support of WHMCS, you can seize the opportunities highlighted by CIF’s research by deploying bespoke bare metal environments or volume servers to your customers.

So if your hosting reseller business needs support, be sure to download our guide to better understand ‘How to Get the Best from WHMCS’.

How is Brexit Impacting the Tech Sector?

Posted by Adrien Tibi

With bad weather warnings coming in from Japan’s foreign ministry and questions over the implications for EU data privacy legislation, it’d be reasonable to have concerns about the coming year in tech. So what new information has emerged in the British and EU tech sphere in the last few months?

How will the World Respond to the Uncertainty?

We talked in July about the major concerns and question marks around the results of June’s referendum. Now, three months on, many of the same questions remain, but some answers are beginning to emerge.

With such a far-reaching impact, the Brexit vote was bound to have a significant effect on the way Britain was viewed globally. Many countries still seem to be witholding judgement, but not all. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan recently published a 15-page ‘Message to the United Kingdom and the European Union’ on their website. It raises a number of general concerns about the implications of the move, such as changes to passport systems and trade tariffs, but it also highlights concerns about the effects on new and established Japanese tech firms in the UK and Europe:

“A considerable number of [Japanese firms in Europe] are concentrated in the UK. Nearly half of Japanese direct investment intended for the EU in 2015 flowed to the UK… While benefiting from the single market of the EU, Japanese businesses have contributed to the development of the European economy. … It is of great importance that the UK and the EU maintain market integrity and remain attractive destinations for businesses where free trade, unfettered investment and smooth financial transactions are ensured.”

Polite enough, but the warning is pretty clear; it’s in the UK’s best interests to maintain close ties with Europe and continue in the single market if it wishes to remain attractive to Japanese investment.

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The ministry also raised specific “concerns that the free transfer of information might be impaired once the UK releases itself from the EU’s data protection legislation”, which has implications for all businesses using cloud hosted data, and even just the internet itself.

A flurry of visits to and from the US and Brussels, as well as statements from figures such as Angela Merkel and Donald Tusk, suggest that many countries are raising similar concerns. While change is yet to come, it’s clear the world is watching.

Data Privacy Under the Spotlight

Business owners who were aware of the coming changes to EU data privacy laws may have breathed a token sigh of relief at the thought that the new laws, called the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR), would no longer apply to them. Some may even hold out hope for a US-style approach to data protection. But this would be a mistake for 3 main reasons:

With that in mind, businesses do need to start preparing for the implementation of the GDPR as if it still affects
the UK exactly as it would have before the Brexit decision – because it probably will, even if only for a limited period of time. Hosting resellersFinTech brands and media streaming companies, among others, will need to make sure that they’re up to speed with the changing regulations and their potential impact.

Impact on Tech’s Bottom Line

While it may not be easy to quantify the true extent of the impact of Brexit on smaller UK tech companies, the big guys have access to a lot more data. So what are they saying?

Rackspace CEO Taylor Rhodes admitted in August that they’re anticipating $70m of ‘negative impact’ from June’s referendum results. Speaking to the Register, he said: “We’ve seen somewhat higher churn rates and some slowdown in spending among our UK customers, some of whose businesses have suffered currency fluctuation and uncertainty that have slowed the Brexit vote.” He also anticipated more instances of large clients seeking bankruptcy protection, following a move from a major client in the travel sector.

Overall, the post-referendum landscape has some big questions looming over it. Brands are seeking protection, and queries about the state of legislation are coming in both internally and from abroad. For now, things still seem to be in flux, but organisations can help themselves by staying abreast of new information about data privacy regulation as it emerges.

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