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Interview with Paul Nicholson - Netcetera UK

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HC: Who do you consider to be your primary competition in the U.K. market, and why would consumers choose your services over the alternatives available?

P – As in the global hosting market there are a large number of providers all offering their own products and services. We feel that we have the advantage of specializing in 1 area alone and that is Windows based hosting. We have been in the hosting industry since 1996 which makes us one of the most experienced providers in this field and have been a Microsoft partner company since 1998 featuring Microsoft certified support staff which gives us unparalleled abilities to host windows based sites of all sizes.

HC: Obviously things can't be rosy all the time. Were there some rocky periods in the past several months/year and how was your company able to overcome them?

P – We have been in the fortunate position of not having unforeseen problems over the last year, and long may it continue. We have the advantage of 8 years experience of webhosting, which allows us to make confident predictions about where the business will be at certain points of the year. Obviously you cannot predict everything with 100% certainty but you can learn from previous experiences and that is what we have done and will continue to do.

HC: We've seen some serious consolidation in the hosting market. Has your company ever considered acquisition as a means to grow? Alternatively, has your company been approached by another for merger or acquisition? Do you expect consolidation to continue in the industry and what reasons can you offer?

P – Consolidation happens in every industry and more so in new market areas. Web hosting is still a very young industry so the effects will be more noticeable as start-up companies try to get a foothold in the latest “business to be in”. One thing rings true for web hosting as it does for any business area is that a strong company will stand on its own merits and the businesses that are prepared to put the time, effort and learning in will be the ones to succeed on their own terms at a pace most suited to themselves.

HC: What are customers seeking in a web host beyond hosting? To clarify, what value-added services are customers looking for nowadays to supplement the existing hosting services they require? What changes has your company made to adapt to changing customer requirements?

P - The webhosting industry is now more than just space and bandwidth provision. The way that internet has taken off over the last few years has meant that customers now need the tools to run shops, radio stations, games and more besides. A competent webhost, such as ourselves, has to keep abreast of new developments and demands and move with the times in an ever changing environment. Providing e-commerce software, anti-virus protection and a variety of other services is as much of our core business as providing the space to host websites.

HC: Has your company accomplished its goals and objectives for this year? What is the plan for 2005? What do your customers have to look forward to down the road?

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