HOSTSEARCH: Mateo Meier, thank you for allowing us to intrude on your schedule like this, we appreciate you seeing us. It would be great if you could offer our visitors an overview of Artmotion, the services you provide, and your role in the organization.
MATEO MEIER: It's a pleasure talking to you John.
Artmotion Ltd. is a privately held offshore Internet Solutions provider. We allow the customers to outsource their IT infrastructure as well as their Website on a secure offshore location. We offer a full range of Internet-based solutions focused on small and medium businesses. My role at Artmotion is as President and CEO. I am basically responsible for the company's operation.
HOSTSEARCH: What was the underpinning philosophy that led to the company being formed?
MATEO MEIER: Our company takes a different approach. The key core value of our business is to deliver very customized products. It is not our job to find the right customers for our products, our job is to find the right products for our customers.
HOSTSEARCH: Being based in Switzerland you have a very central location within the European Union. Surely, this must offer a number of advantages? As far as you are concerned, what are the key benefits of being based in Switzerland?
MATEO MEIER: Out of the many benefits, the two most important are the geopolitical datacenter location and our network strategy.
Our network is connected to over 17 different uplinks and peerings that offer a fantastic response time from many countries. Switzerland has a very central position, allowing the customer to get a good response time from the US and EU as well as Asia. For many customers, the geopolitical datacenter location is the core value of our service.
HOSTSEARCH: And, of course, being in Switzerland, there is little in the way of risk as far a natural disaster is concerned. How important is a low risk location in the today's datacenter industry?
MATEO MEIER: A low risk datacenter location is the most important factor when operating and maintaining a highly secure managed hosting service. Most of our US based, high demand customers based their decision on a number of criteria. A location should have few geological risks, such as floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis as well as lower environmental risks such as hurricanes and tornados. The network should have low ping times and have good peering network with the US, EU and Asia. In addition, the location should be stable and have a neutral position and offer a high level of privacy. Switzerland simply offers the perfect foundation for these criteria.
HOSTSEARCH: Artmotion has become a very successful offshore hosting provider in a relatively short amount of time. How did you manage it? What's your secret? What are the short- and long-term objectives for the company?
MATEO MEIER: It's all about providing a fantastic service combined with the perfect IT location. Most of our customers are very stable customers. They stay with us for years and this enables us to get to know them very well. I believe this is a very important strategy when achieving a long-term success for a customer and his project. By getting to know them, we get more familiar with their business, their visions, their goals and their needs. We then recommend products that will best fit their needs and can therefore offer the best platform for their success.
HOSTSEARCH: We hear that in some countries the government might play more of a role in censoring Internet content than many of our visitors might be aware of. What is the situation in Switzerland - is there any government control? How do you personally feel about such controls and how does the hosting market react to them?
MATEO MEIER: Personally I could not stand knowing that my services may not reach the target audience due to control implemented by a government firewall. Switzerland is well known for promoting freedom of speech. Our government has a very neutral global position and does not use a government controlled content system. However, to ensure international law standards, our services are based on the TOS/AUP, which prohibits the use of illegal content, copyrighted protected material, spamming and so on.
HOSTSEARCH: I had a discussion about this with a representative from a Channel Islands provider a couple of months ago. When people think of hosting, they often think of it as an American concern. In my experience, a number of European companies go to great lengths to appear as though they are American. What are the fundamental differences between the US and the EU markets and does the European scene have its own identity?
MATEO MEIER: The European market differs in two aspects. The market expects very high service quality standards and secondly the pricing is not as high as in other countries. Consequently, customers pay for hosting services with incredible low prices for high quality services. In Switzerland, the market does offer high quality service locally and internationally. In addition to the high quality standards, Switzerland aims towards grow. Thus, the hosting market takes advantage various opportunities to grow; by delivering nationally location services and by internationally providing outsourced offshore solutions based on the advances of the geological low risk location.
HOSTSEARCH: Artmotion recently launched a dedicated server offering with unlimited traffic. How did the market react?
MATEO MEIER: It has been amazing so far. The low cost market gave us a heavy positive feedback for this product launch. We announced this product to allow our low cost customers to be able to host their services and applications in a secure offshore location and not have to worry about any traffic limits. The monthly cost is unbeaten, even by most US and Asia based Dedicated Service Providers.
HOSTSEARCH: Is the market shifting away from shared hosting towards VPS and dedicated?
MATEO MEIER: The Web hosting market has always been very competitive, but generally, it is seen as a stable market. However, we do see a trend going towards dedicated and managed solutions. This trend of demand is usually seen among the high end business customers.
HOSTSEARCH: This is our de facto question - one we ask everyone we interview. What is the next big thing to hit the Internet and how will it impact people's lives?
MATEO MEIER: I believe that in the future there is going to be a further integration of internet services into our everyday life. Getting connected and using the internet through various devices will become increasingly a part of daily life. Companies like Artmotion that are dedicated to their customers' needs and internet technology will work towards to the implementation of new technologies.