June 24, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - Currently, web hosting providers are losing out in entire market spaces to companies like Web World Center. Never heard of them? They are a hosting provider in Pakistan, offering cheap web development, web hosting, reseller hosting and domain names. They are one of countless foreign web hosting companies to spring up across the globe in the last decade.
In the rural northeast of Thailand, surrounded by rice fields, and well, more rice fields, is the small farming town of Mahasarakham. A walk down the dusty streets offers a panorama of shops and stalls offering products and services that can only be guessed at unless you are fluent in Thai or Chinese. For a Westerner to be suddenly transported to this small town would be like being transported to Mars in terms of the alien and then there, on almost every corner, is a 7-11. Just inside the doorway is portal back to an experience as American as television and Coca-cola. Somehow, this company has come into every corner of Thailand and dominated amidst the mom and pop shops. The reason they have been able to overcome the native competition is that they are open 24-7 and they have air-conditioning as well as having a large variety of goods and standardized customer service.
What is relevant to the web hosting industry in this story is lack of entry of web hosting companies into an international market that is filled with mom and pop shop web hosts. The United States has an infrastructure for data transfer that is unbeatable and a very strong and professional IT workforce.
What is standing in the way of a 7-11-like take over of web hosting in every corner of the world is language and law, or that is, the fear of language and legal differences which are not totally unfounded.
Tech companies that have optimistically entered into China usually find themselves destroyed nearly instantly be local competitors that copy their business plan part and parcel and undercut them on price. Without the backing of the Chinese government there is no recourse for these companies when their intellectual property rights are violated. Microsoft is actually engaging in a project to help the Chinese grow their own IT industry in order to give them a reason to care about and start protecting IP rights.
In the meantime, in an industry that is highly attuned to reselling, it is a wonder that there has been no push by one of the larger web hosting providers or ISPs to create a franchise model to web hosting and push it internationally. For a hosting company with a strong business plan it would seem to be an effort well worth the return to prepare a package of hardware, software, tech support, an already branded foreign language web site, and a standardized business model for foreign consumption. Think GoDaddy meets Starbucks.