The Hosting News recently sat down with Mr. Kevin Javaheri, president of Site Turn Networks (www.siteturn.com) to discuss the success that SiteTurn has experienced to explore their perspective on the web hosting market.
SiteTurn Networks, Inc. is THE premier provider of web hosting and e-commerce solutions featuring the highest level of performance, state-of-the-art technology, and customer support offered on the market today. For years, SiteTurn has continually redefined the idea of cost-effective shared and dedicated hosting solutions. As individuals and organizations around the World continue to expand their Internet presence, SiteTurn Networks helps them establish hosting solutions that meet their objectives and ever-changing needs. Featuring state-of-the-art facilities and network infrastructure, e-commerce tools, and security, SiteTurn Networks provides individuals and businesses complete turn-key resources for developing and enhancing their Web sites’ effectiveness on the Internet. With customers in over 129 countries, SiteTurn has been consistently rated amongst the top 15 of 18,000 web hosting companies Worldwide.
The Hosting News: Tell us about your responsibilities at SiteTurn Networks.
Kevin Javaheri: In addition to my responsibilities in the day-to-day management, Im also acting as our Chief Applications Architect which means that I administer and manage applications development as well. This is a critical role as we develop all of our software inhouse.
The Hosting News: How long has SiteTurn Networks been around?
Kevin Javaheri: The company was founded in 1998 I was one of the co-founders.
The Hosting News: What is the relative size of the company, and where are you located?
Kevin Javaheri: SiteTurn Networks currently has around 35 employees. Our corporate offices are in Sacramento, California. We also have another office in Los Angeles, California this is a sales office for dedicated hosting customers. We also have a third data center location.
The Hosting News: Describe your data center, and tell us anything distinctive about it.
Kevin Javaheri: Our main data center is located in Sacramento, California. Our data center was previously located Baltimore, Maryland but after an exhaustive search we determined that Sacramento was an ideal location for us.
Sacramento is well protected from natural disasters. Even in terms of earthquakes, based on recent studies Sacramento has less than a .1% chance of suffering a significant earthquake. Also the space offers greater opportunity and flexibility for future expansion. We also have a great availability of bandwidth providers in proximity to our data center. SiteTurn actually has 7 backbone providers available of which we currently use 4.
We also have 3rd party security ? 24 hours per day. This clearly provides an added layer of security over many other data centers. There are also biometric eye scanners throughout the facility to prevent any unauthorized access of our cages.
The Hosting News: Which area of the hosting market does SiteTurn Networks focus on?
Kevin Javaheri: We view our business as being the Entrance to the Internet we?re the starting ground. For that reason we have considered it a priority to remain at the cutting edge of technology. If there is a new and relevant technology that is released, we want to be in a position to offer that to our customers. Additionally, our strategy has always been to lead the industry in the types of services that we offer so that we can give our customers both the opportunity and the flexibility to easily utilize new tools being offered in our industry.
The Hosting News: What do you consider to be your core products and services?
Kevin Javaheri: Based on our history, our core offerings are shared hosting and our ecommerce services. Taking that a step further, we tend to focus on the products that are suitable for small to medium sized businesses and we tailor our packages accordingly. While we have now entered the dedicated server hosting market, our core products remain the shared hosting and ecommerce services.
The Hosting News: In this crowded hosting marketplace, what do you feel are the differentiating factors of your offerings?
Kevin Javaheri: It can be summed up as: ?We give you more for less?. We are one of the veterans of this market ? as consumer hosting really became established in late 1996 or early 1997. We?ve been through the ups and downs of our market we’ve been through the heyday and we?ve been through the down cycle.
We made the decision from the beginning to have all of our management software from our technical support management, to our billing and account management, to our control panels developed inhouse by a highly talented development staff. This allows us to beat out competitors who are using the off-the-shelf software offerings for hosting automation.
After extensive testing of the off-the-shelf applications we found them to be very restrictive. That environment makes it difficult to offer customers updated software revisions. By taking this process inhouse we can do whatever we need to do to make the customers happy. That?s our differentiator from a vast number of our competitors.
The Hosting News: Are you planning any special offers that potential customers ought to be aware of?
Kevin Javaheri: Beginning on November 1, 2003 we will be offering our Easy Switch promotion. The offer is a 20% discount plus free help with site migration. This is intended for customers who have been displaced by their previous host or who are not getting proper support for their applications.
We’re also currently offering a very aggressive referral program which pays cash for any referral.
The Hosting News: What do you feel is the single greatest asset of your company from the customer?s perspective?
Kevin Javaheri: From my own personal interaction with customers I do take a personal role with customers from time to time I’d have to say the wide range of services that we can provide to our customers at a reasonable price.
That is our prices allow customers to enter the market. That is the single most beneficial thing to our customers.
The Hosting News: Describe the role of customer service and support at SiteTurn Networks.
Kevin Javaheri: I think that one of the critical factors to survival in this marketplace is support. Two customer service models have evolved in this marketplace: the typical call center type of support, and then you have the small business one-on-one type of support.
There’s a huge difference between the two. We don?t train our staff in the typical call center fashion where you would see things like: ten minute time limits, or minimum acceptable call volumes per rep. We train our technicians to have a one-on-one relationship with the customer.
In our environment you can even call back and ask for a specific technician by name. This is especially helpful to businesses who are new to these types of services they tend to need a bit more one-on-one interaction. We like to give that to them.
The Hosting News: What types of customers will find the best fit between themselves and your offerings?
Kevin Javaheri: Individuals or businesses if it’s a business they might have 100 or less employees ? they may be a seasoned web hosting veteran, or someone who has no real hosting experience at all. We enjoy handling customers with all levels of experience.
The Hosting News: What do you see as being the greatest challenge facing your customers?
Kevin Javaheri: I think that the greatest challenge facing our customers these days is finding the time and the resources to enhance upon their web presence. Many customers have inhouse web designers, some of them contract with third parties ? but the greatest concern I hear from customers is the difficulty in keeping up with the changing face of the Internet in order to be able to keep up with their competitors.
The Hosting News: What trends or developments do you see emerging in the web hosting industry?
Kevin Javaheri: We see a trend in our customers towards expanding their web presence and web offerings. In keeping up with this trend we have shifted away from the model of going from shared hosting directly to dedicated hosting. We now offer virtual private servers (VPS) which we see as a middle level between shared and dedicated hosting. These accounts permit the customers to enjoy many of the benefits of dedicated hosting but at a much lower cost.
The Hosting News: What will be your focus in the coming months?
Kevin Javaheri: We will have a serious focus on VPS hosting. We believe that this is a service that many customers need but they don’t yet know that it is available or that it can serve as a sort of entry level dedicated server offering. The costs are substantially less than a dedicated server, and they are ideal for complex applications or multiple web sites.
Editor’s Note: To learn more please visit SiteTurn Networks atÂ www.siteturn.com.