Milan, 12 May 2020. Having surpassed 3 million cases worldwide, the novel coronavirus disease is not only wreaking havoc on the global population’s health but also on the global economy, sending thousands of hundreds of businesses into the spiral of uncertainty. Leaving millions of people without jobs, COVID-19 seems to have caused one of the worst crises in world history.
Today, we talked with Sergio Ravera, the CEO of Artera, and asked him about how his company has been doing during these uncertain times. He also shared some insights into Artera’s upcoming plans.
How did the Q1 of 2020 go for Artera?
Sergio Ravera: “Q1 went pretty well for Artera, as we respected the spending budget and increased turnover compared to the 2019 year. What makes me particularly happy is not so much the figure of the increase, but the type of customers we have acquired. They are mostly agencies that work in a “premium” way, which is in alignment with our own company’s philosophy.”
Was your company’s performance affected by the novel coronavirus? What do you think will happen to the web hosting industry in the long term considering the effects on COVID-19?
Sergio Ravera: “Fortunately, our company was not affected by COVID-19. The whole team is in good health and has been successfully working with smart working approach for some time already.
There haven’t been any changes even from the organization’s point of view. As far as commercial activity is concerned, we preferred to concentrate on development to improve the speed of projects that could somehow help our customers overcome the crisis. We launched two important initiatives: Nextcloud with Talk and Onlyoffice plugins and ready-to-use in a few minutes Big Blue Button. All this is based on our Premium cloud product.
As for the long-term perspective, I think the coronavirus situation will affect our business positively, and I already see the signals for that. The e-commerce sector has increased sales, and they require more resources to support their operations with intentions of establishing e-commerce websites. That being said, this is not very good for the quality of work as you have to work more to service the increased demand. Also, some of our customers have already shut down; for instance, restaurants and travel and event companies. Since small scale companies and institutions like these will be in trouble, companies directly affected by them, such as marketing companies, will also feel the impact and we have them as our customers, too.
In general, I believe infrastructure-based services and solutions related to the Internet will perform well, and I believe the large organizations offering internet connectivity will accelerate towards new implementation and add more efficiency with speed and this, in general, is good for Internet connectivity. This also positively affects web hosting, but I am worried about the type and the quality of work.”
Please tell me about the Cockpit Cloud Control Panel, Atlas Mail Archive, and Total Privacy NextCloud. I remember you were planning to launch these products by the end of the Q1 2020?
Sergio Ravera: “The Cockpit product, I want to remind everyone, is free of charge, because it is included in our premium cloud plans. It has now become a “rolling-release” that is constantly evolving. This is because it has been more than appreciated by our customers, who ask us for improvements and additions continuously. There is a strong enthusiasm.
In the meantime, Atlas Mail Archive product has been put on the standby. We have instead favoured the development of new features for Total Privacy NextCloud and the “new entry” of Big Blue Button, which is software that is very similar to the famous Zoom. Our solution is delivered on a private platform and with total respect for privacy and typical Swiss confidentiality criteria.”
I recall you also planned to work extensively on producing the new content on the website. Have you managed to publish a lot of blog posts?
Sergio Ravera: “Yes we did and it seems like it is never enough content! We published some news and different blog posts. Above all, we are committed to preparing a new editorial plan that will allow us to come up with new content more consistently. We’ve worked in this direction a lot, but we still have a long way to go.”
What are the plans of Artera for the upcoming months?
Sergio Ravera: “One of the most important innovations foreseen for Q2 2020 is undoubtedly the translation of our business (site, back office, intranet) to English, which will allow us to access the German- and French-speaking Swiss market and, more generally, the international market.
The second equally important initiative we have in mind will be the activation of a new B2B e-commerce engine that will allow our customers to be even more autonomous in purchasing and activating.”