Milan, 12 February 2020. The ever-changing customer demands and trends and growing competition are the challenges that affect a lot of the business industries, and the web hosting market is not an exclusion. With prospects to reach $216 billion by the year 2025, the web hosting industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world.
Today we spoke with the CEO of one of the web hosting market players, DHH Slovenia. Tomaž Koštial told us about the recent acquisition they made in Q4 2019 and their plans for the nearest future.
Please tell me about DHH Slovenia’s performance during the Q42019?
Tomaž Koštial: “During the fourth quarter of 2019, we acquired the customer base of the Si-Shell brand, the 5th largest web hosting provider in Slovenia. Starting in November of 2019, we had done a lot of preparations for the acquisition. One of the challenges we had to face was that we needed to take over the support for their customers with our existing team.
It has been a really busy period. By the middle of December, when we took over Si-Shell support, we had already done a lot of work for this project. We did a lot of preparation work since it was a big change for Si-Shell clients and they needed to get used to the way we do work so we had to set up a complete knowledge base for Si-Shell brand. We are still in contact with the previous owner of Si-Shell and he is helping us with information about specific Si-Shell clients.
It has been over a month since we took over support for Si-Shell clients and we are getting close to doing business as usual, i.e. handling Si-Shell clients at the same level as our other brands. We are getting to know the new customers, their preferences and their pain points.”
During our last conversation, you’ve mentioned the overhaul of the VPS servers offer and the reseller hosting packages. How did these initiatives progress?
Tomaž Koštial: “We published one part of the new VPS offer and another part is still pending – we are planning to do this in February. Since the Si-Shell project took quite a bit of time, we still haven’t introduced our new shared hosting packages so we hope to do that in Q1 2020. Afterwards, we can concentrate on selling new products.
In fact, we have had quite a few meetings with some of the larger Si-Shell clients. We’ve reached out to them and asked them how they were satisfied with the services until now and how we can make the transition process more comfortable for them. Some of the customers even visited us here in our offices.
I should mention that Si-Shell has a different client base, and while the Si-shell brand doesn’t have as many clients as DHH Slovenia’s other brands, its share of clients with VPS servers and dedicated servers is substantial. In this aspect, they are very interesting for us – this means that they have been doing something different in terms of the personal approach to the clients.
We’ve formalized some of our practices for support. Currently, we have three levels of support: the first level is for general questions and for general hosting package inquiries that can be handled by the first level agents. Then, we have the second level for more technical questions (mostly VPS servers, dedicated servers, Hyper hosting, etc.), where our agents also have access to servers and they can offer technical support to developers or other system administrators. The third level of support is handled by our infrastructure team – the system administrators: here, we handle the most demanding problems and the largest clients.
We have made some improvements to the way we handle requests for different levels to accommodate our new customers, but there is still a lot of room for improvement going forward.”
Did you manage to publish the Domenca website during the Q4?
Tomaž Koštial: “We were in line with our strategy to launch the website as planned in Q4, but when the Si-Shell clients were transferred to us, and we took over the support for them, we pushed the Domenca website project a bit further. We felt like it was a priority to stabilize the situation with Si-Shell clients at that time.
In addition, we did not want to rush the launch of the site, since right after the website goes live, it is necessary to put some additional work into it. During the last couple of months, we simply did not have the time.
Now, we have a developer that is ready to help us launch the website in February. The website is 99% done and we just have a few tweaks to do.”
Last time, you told me that you are planning to work on the knowledge base for your WordPress hosting product. How is this going?
Tomaž Koštial: “We started the work on this, but it is not 100% ready yet. The product itself is ready – we managed to remove some final bugs. However, since our efforts were concentrated mainly on adding content to the knowledge base for the Si-Shell acquisition project, we could not commit fully to this initiative.
Updating knowledge base articles is always high on our priority list, because every time some clients ask a question on a similar topic, we realize that we need to cover an article for that. In the future, they can find the solution much easier.”
What are the plans of DHH Slovenia for the upcoming months?
Tomaž Koštial: “At the moment, I am very satisfied with the results of the transition and I know that we put our best efforts into making it happen. I think the Si-Shell project should be finalized within a month from now and we have as our goal to have everything running smoothly.
We also have ambitious plans for 2020 – we know we have very good products, and now with the knowledge, we gained from acquiring Si-Shell clients, we know how to service and address a different segment of the market, or how to deal with the clients that are more demanding or expect a more personal approach.
I think that we have sufficient experience, talent, and resources for conquering the market. At the moment, we have more than 30% of the web hosting market in Slovenia. I am pretty positive about the future of DHH Slovenia and I believe that we can do a really good job at meeting the expectations of a more “upper” market clientele.
The acquisition of Si-Shell has given us a good opportunity to grow our business in Slovenia.”