WHIR Magazine, February 2013: 2013 Hottest Hosts Directory
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Liam Eagle: LETTER FROM THE EDITORWHIR Magazine, 2013 Hottest Hosts Directory
Read the Digital Edition – The 2013 edition of our Hottest Hosts web hosting buyer’s guide is the sixth installment of this project, which has developed, I think, into a useful measure of where the hosted services industry is at a given moment. While there are returning listings, of course, the Hottest Hosts issue is occasionally our editorial team’s first introduction to a new hosted service targeting end users, or often the hosting channel.
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I also think it’s one of the best tangible representations of the partner ecosystem and the channel relationship model that underpins the hosting business in general. Throughout these pages are representations of the hosting providers and the many suppliers who support them.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of producing the Hottest Hosts buyer’s guide issue each year is the process of producing a resource for a group of users that exist outside of our regular readership, as an industry trade publication.
It is quite possible, given the way we distribute this particular issue to a large number of people making purchasing decisions about hosting and related services, that this will be your first experience with the Web Host Industry Review, and perhaps an early resource in your efforts to investigate the hosted services available to your business.
In that case, my hope is that we can provide you with a valuable resource for identifying not just the service providers and the services available to you, but also for understanding the nature of the complex ecosystem of partnerships and providers that can exist behind the considerably simpler one-to-one deal between a small business and their supplier.
Few hosting providers do it all themselves. Many of them are good at a few things, or are especially good at one thing, and in many cases, the thing they’re best at is filling that role of “trusted advisor,” acting as a supplier that a business can rely on to help it make tough choices about IT services and resources. Hosting service providers are in the business of removing complexity from the operations of their customers, and in most cases, they recognize how those same principles apply to their own businesses.
The thing about that trusted advisor relationship is that it is likely to grow over time. A customer may want to start small, but a good service provider, committed to that customer’s success, can contribute to that customer’s success and growth in a way that leads to more and greater IT outsourcing needs over time.
In that way, the initial purchasing decisions a customer makes around hosting services can be the first step on a journey into a complex and pretty damned interesting market. We’re hopeful this issue can serve as a kind of map.