Web hosting, by its very nature, requires automation to function. Therefore, it is a good idea to address automation as a solution that can greatly enhance a website, and thus, any online business venture. Small business owners in particular can benefit exponentially with web hosting automation, since it can alleviate many tasks. This, of course frees up more time for those who have online businesses to spend time on marketing and other business development activities.
Web hosting resellers can showcase automation services through a webpage so that hosting automation tools may be accessed by customers, to manage servers and their websites in the most efficient way possible.
There are many advantages with web hosting automation tools that come into play for web hosting customers, web masters and web site owners.
Even if you have the capacity to develop your own automation solutions, at a minimum, you should have in place an automated way to setup and manage accounts, process credit card purchases, and manage websites to manage by account, as well as monitor and log bandwidth and disk space usage with each account.
Other usually necessary automation tools could include billing, domain, help desk and email notification management applications. At a minimum, customers should be able to manage some account details and email accounts including online payments, files and database, and manage some website analytics and statistics.
One example of a helpful tool involves some specific patches that handle the gaps left by a control panel. There are highly developed methodologies called Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that help clients manage customer relationships in an organized way which can also be applied to how automation tools work.
One example might be a customer database designed to help the Sales Department to better predict target markets, while at the same time being used by the Help Desk for customers to look-up information. In addition, the same application may be used by the IT staff to configure a server setup based upon a customer`s specific hosting plan. That same program could also be used by the customer to update personal account information. Those are just a few examples of how thinking about how web hosting, automation CRM can work together collaboratively for some very effective results.
Server management tools can be divided into software suites, such as control panels, that will provide control over a host of tasks. Specialized tools or tool sets can offer more compartmentalized control over smaller groups of tasks. Usually, control panels and other suites do not allow for the kind of fine detail control as one may like, but they do still have the single vendor support advantage. Essentially, everything will work together organically, with just one vendor to deal with if something happens to go awry. This can also be a huge timesaver for any webmaster, small business owner or tech admin support professional.
Developers who may be considering developing their own set of management tools should also consider the amount of time involved in the cost, as well as the chances that the tools developed will be adequate for the purpose intended. As with most things, sometimes it is better to find an out of box solution or thoroughly research a development idea before spending a great deal of time on it. Assess the need for the tool, and decide if it is really worth the time and effort involved to create it. It is a good idea to see if there is a good solution available that will work just as well, or at least, for the time being. Down the road, if it still seems necessary, the project could always be addressed again.
Products such as Parallels Helm, a Microsoft windows control panel solution, can empower hosting providers with the ability to control, automate and sell virtually any product or service. The Helm solution allows service providers to keep operational costs low, while still serving customers better and more efficiently. This can greatly improve revenue with higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Since Helm has the flexibility to support any sized web hosting company, it can offer a full range of services across thousands of servers or all on just one single machine. It is easy to add and remove servers as a company grows, with the ability to distribute web sites across multiple servers. This will ensure that the servers are used as effectively as possible.
As the recent recipient of the 2009 Editors Choice Award for best CRM provider, Parallels understands that the SaaS Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is probably the largest Software as a Service (SaaS) market.
Parallels is a worldwide leader in virtualization and automation software that optimizes computing for consumers, businesses, and service providers across all major hardware, operating systems, and virtualization platforms. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with 800 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia. Parallels virtualization and automation solutions are used by more than 10,000 hosting providers and their customers worldwide.
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