HOSTSEARCH: Jim - thanks for taking the time out to do this interview. We should probably start with you telling our visitors a little about MochaHost and your role within the organization.
JIM TRUONG: MochaHost is a privately owned company, headquarters located in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California); specializing in providing professional hosting, web design, e-commerce, and Internet promotion services. Our plans are designed to tailor to specific needs - from personal use/small businesses to sophisticated e-commerce sites with higher requirements for bandwidth and disk space.
I work close with our sales and marketing experts on fine tuning our current products and services and always looking for ways to improve our service and offer more options to our clients. We are currently working on a couple of new programs which we will be launching by the end of the first quarter of 2006 which should add more benefits to our existing and potential customers.
HOSTSEARCH: What inspired you about the hosting business? Why did you decide on this direction?
JIM TRUONG: I've been working as a business development and marketing manager in the IT field for almost 15 years, the last 5 years focusing on Internet solutions and services.
I believe that there is a good potential in this industry and a need to be more tailored to the customer services; pricing and complicated technical options are not the only important factors, and I hope that most of the hosting companies realize this soon.
HOSTSEARCH: As you know, it's a fierce market out there. How does a company like MochaHost differentiate itself from other hosts? How do you make yourselves stick out in a crowd?
JIM TRUONG: Our philosophy is professional service and good customer service with a well balanced price - it is that simple.
We try to keep our marketing budget low, so that we can emphasize on research, development, and providing extra services to our clients; for example, free SSL or reduced merchant rates if our client's use our e-commerce package. We also offer promotion credits in combination with promotion tools for the clients looking to promote their sites.
HOSTSEARCH: Your web site suggests that "Most of the consumers do not know what their current and future needs are, thus when making a decision, the result is a solution that will not allow them to grow, or provide the company with the necessary set of services." How do you help your customers get the right plan for their needs? How do you ensure a customer's future needs will be met?
JIM TRUONG: We offer 3 standard plans to make sure that there is a good fit for the 3 main customer groups: small office/home office, small-mid size e-commerce, and mid-large corporate/e-commerce sites. Based on these 3 groups, we provide different plan options. We also provide free upgrades to make sure that we can meet the demand of our clients due to their natural growth - "upgrade on demand"
Oftentimes, we work with the client to either provide a custom plan or add custom options or assistance with any specific needs, such as software installation or assistance with web design or e-commerce.
In addition, we will be expanding our site with tools which will help the client to determine their exact current and future hosting needs - which should become available towards the end of the year.
HOSTSEARCH: How do you see MochaHost developing? Where do you expect to be in say, 5 years time?
JIM TRUONG: We are constantly expanding and improving our service - we are adjusting constantly to make sure that we meet the needs of today's and tomorrow's market. One of our long term goals will be to offer managed services and high availability hosting solutions, including clustering technologies for business & e-commerce clients.
HOSTSEARCH: There are many hosts that state they offer a 'quality' service. How does MochaHost define quality?
JIM TRUONG: This is a tricky question. I think the minimum in order to claim that you have a good service is to deliver what you promise - this is part of our philosophy and understanding of a quality service.
HOSTSEARCH: You have offices in California, Florida and Texas and your web site states that they are equipped with USP backup, diesel generators, a tape library, 24/7 monitoring, and security alarms. The hurricane season has been particularly bad this year. Did it have any impact on your business?
JIM TRUONG: Our main office is in California, but we have hosting space and servers in some of the largest datacenters in Texas and Florida.
Fortunately, there was no impact to any of our servers and none of our clients had any problems or downtime. We have taken preventive measures and had performed remote backups to assure that the client data will be safe in case of an incident; we also had our administrators available 24/7 to make sure we can respond properly, if necessary.
HOSTSEARCH: If there were anything you would change about the hosting industry, what would it be and why?
JIM TRUONG: Reduce the scam and number of bad hosting providers - these are 2 major things hurting the industry.
HOSTSEARCH: Here is our de facto question that everyone gets asked: What's the next big thing to hit the Internet and how will it impact people's lives?
JIM TRUONG: I believe that there will be a huge impact on most of the industries which is related to the continuous growth of the e-Commerce, VoIP and online multimedia services.
HOSTSEARCH: When you power down your computer at the end of the day, how do you balance out the time you spend at work?
JIM TRUONG: I leave my laptop on all the time (24/7). I feel good knowing we are able to provide extra help to our customers.