HOSTSEARCH: Mykola - nice of you to speak to us like this... I suppose the best thing to kick off with would be if you gave us a bit of an introduction to Eskhosting and let us know your role in the organization.
MYKOLA SPASOV: Eskhosting is quite a new web hosting brand, but we have quickly gained the respect of our customers. Our main benefit as a company is that we offer real prices and real services - no overselling. We do not place hundreds of customers on a single server, so our customers can actually use the resources they pay for. We offer Linux web hosting services, on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, with a cPanel control panel and Fantastico. Plans come with a professional site builder and we offer domain name registration services. We basically offer a one-stop solution for all web hosting needs, and in the near future we will be selling SSL certificates and launch custom web hosting plans so that customers can order and pay for the amount of disk space and bandwidth they need. As for my role in the organization, I am the Chief Executive Officer. I am in charge of strategic planning - I plan marketing and establish the way the company grows. I am lucky to have the support an exceptional team of professionals, a team I am totally proud of!
HOSTSEARCH: Have you been with the company since the start? What's the history behind the company?
MYKOLA SPASOV: Yes, I have been with the company since the very start. I have been in the IT industry for many years. I have an MBA in IT Management and I decided to build a company that sets new web hosting standards. We spent more than a year in development before the company was launched. We developed our own ticketing system, and made sure we had everything needed for great customer support - billing options, account upgrades and downgrades, domain name management, live chat, and everything else necessary for effective web hosting account management. We also developed our own web hosting management software and did a lot of market research. With all the work we did, we had a solid foundation for the launch of the company.
HOSTSEARCH: And of course, you are based on Cyprus. What are the benefits of being based where you are? I imagine it's a great place to live and work?
MYKOLA SPASOV: Cyprus is really a great country to live and work in. It has been in the European Union since 2004 and shown steady economic growth, so there is a lot of potential for a web hosting business. That is why we have decided to stay in the Mediterranean.
HOSTSEARCH: Most of the people we interview have been in the hosting industry for quite a while, but you only set up in 2006. Plenty of people who visit HostSearch are interested in entering the industry, so give them a bit of advice... Based on what you know now about the industry, what would you have done differently at the outset? To put it another way, if you were starting again today what would you do differently?
MYKOLA SPASOV: The web hosting business is a real challenge nowadays. You should only start a web hosting company if you know why you are doing it - what market you are going to serve, what you can offer and what will distinguish you from the thousands of other web hosting companies. Some people start web hosting as a hobby, some do it as part-time job, and for others it is just a business. For me, web hosting and my company are my life - my dream come true. I am totally happy. I love my job. I would not do anything else. For me, positive feedback from customers is the greatest reward. I think to be successful that's the way it has to be.
HOSTSEARCH: I see from the company website that Eskhosting "guarantees that your website will be up and running at least 99% of the time during the period you subscribed to and your web site is located on our servers". Is it practical to make a claim like this? Isn't it basically impossible to promise 99% uptime?
MYKOLA SPASOV: 99% uptime has become a standard in the web hosting business and not everyone can actually achieve it. I would like to stress that we do not oversell. We do not go beyond the web server capacity so we do not experience web server overload. We charge our customers for resources that they can genuinely use, and we have found that following this practice, 99% uptime is quite achievable.
HOSTSEARCH: I also note from your website that Eskhosting has a technical support team on hand "24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year". Is this team outsourced or are they located in Nicosia?
MYKOLA SPASOV: I do not support outsourcing at all. I cannot allow myself to let people with nothing in common with the company take care of our customers. When people work together, they become a team. They develop a corporate culture and they can develop and implement a customer loyalty strategy. They know and absorb the company's values, mission, vision, aims and goals. We have constant seminars and training, and I personally monitor all the stages of the customer care process. There is absolutely no reason to outsource support.
HOSTSEARCH: Your recent press release came up with an excellent idea - Eskhosting sponsoring new businesses. You asked people to send you their business plans for a new business saying you would reward the best idea with a .com domain and free hosting for a year. That's a great marketing idea - how important are marketing approaches like this to a new hosting company?
MYKOLA SPASOV: Marketing approaches are very important for any company. You should be creative if want to be successful, and we are doing our best to implement creative ideas and offer rewards our customers. Besides this, we hold a lot of contests for our affiliates. In our last contest, an affiliate in the United Kingdom won an ASUS notebook with built-in web cam. A new contest will take place in August - we will be holding a raffle for an iPod player. We also give our affiliates a year of free web hosting - any web hosting plan they choose - and a free domain name. Our aim is to reward both our customers and affiliates and thank people for choosing our company.
HOSTSEARCH: All of your plans are on Linux. Any particular reason for this?
MYKOLA SPASOV: That is our niche. We prefer Linux and use licensed Red Had Enterprise Linux because it is known for reliability. If managed properly, the Linux hosting platform provides the essential opportunities for web hosting management. It is a secure and reliable solution, and these were the factors we considered when we chose it as our operating platform.
HOSTSEARCH: OK - de facto question... What's going to be the next big thing to hit the Internet and how will it change people's lives?
MYKOLA SPASOV: The Internet is developing so rapidly that it is hard to know what will happen next month, let alone next year. More and more users connect to the Internet each day and I think that the Internet offers people a lot of opportunities. What is most amazing is that web hosting supports the Internet's growth, providing websites the opportunity to take their place on the World Wide Web.
HOSTSEARCH: When the day is done and you can leave web hosting behind for a few hours, what do you do to relax?
MYKOLA SPASOV: I must admit that I am a workaholic. When I do not work, I think about work, develop new plans, and think how we can improve the business. I do take some rest, and on these rare occasions, I spend time with my family and friends, watch new films, read a lot, play chess and cook tasty dishes.