Dedicated Servers 2014: What’s New?
OVH, So you Start and Kimsufi, the dedicated server ranges of the OVH group are undergoing major changes. What are the main developments? Why are we reworking things? Who are these new offers aimed at? A breakdown with Alexandre Morel, VP of Marketing and Communications.
• Three brands to better address the needs of different customers
"We've always tried to be both the most innovative and the most competitive. We offer the latest innovations, and at the same time, we're racing to offer the best prices. This has gradually led us to offer competitive servers from OVH under the Kimsufi (KS) brand. This has also driven us to offer an extremely wide range of servers under the OVH brand, from small machines worth just a few euros to high-end servers worth several thousands. However, it no longer makes sense to offer such a vast choice under one brand: customers with very different needs are addressed in the same way. Yet, in reality, a VSE doesn't have the same limitations as a big company. For this reason, we've decided to completely overhall our products and services with the main objective of addressing each of our targets in ways that are more relevant. And we've chosen to make the distinction between OVH and Kimsufi more obvious and to launch a new brand, soyoustart.com (SYS)", explained the Marketing Director.
Customers, their practices and needs are at the centre of OVH's new strategy in different market sectors, in both France and on an international level. "CIOs in big companies who, as a priority, seek stability on price and performance over several years, do not test technological innovation as often as startups; they don't have as much flexability." Their main priorities are security certifications, engagement and services, whereas startups seek excellent quality/price ratios as a priority", he added.
These three brands make the OVH group offers easier to understand in terms of the levels of service and added value for customers. Especially with the OVH brand which delivers scalability. "OVH responds to very strict quality requirements for machines and related services. The other two brands (KS and SyS) are highly competitive on competitive markets, where we now target startup companies", commented Alexandre.
• OVH for savvy professionals
The longest-standing brand of the group has other ambitions. It aims to offer a wide range of technical solutions, more options, customisations and services covering all the needs of businesses looking for high quality and high added-value services. Why? To enable companies to easily outsource their IT infrastructure. "For OVH", said Alexandre, "the stakes go beyond the quality of servers. It's also about services that complement the servers, such as support and assistance. The vRack solution, for example, is able to connect different servers of a company to the OVH datacentres in Europe and/or in North America via private customer networks. This service is used to create BCPs and DRPs and to expand a company's internal infrastructure by extending it to OVH. It is basically used to build many types of complex infrastructures. It provides a solution for companies with major stakes in IT, such as major computer engineering companies, e-commerce sites, software publishers, web agencies and large groups, etc. Our added value is the expertise that we've built up over 15 years of listening to our customers. Previously, when you visited the site, you'd see a list of servers. Today, the approach is different - you need to specify your requirements first."
Thus, alongside general servers optimised for Enterprise, Hosting and Infrastructure usage categories, OVH offers several types of specialised servers. These include a brand of Storage servers with up to 216 TB capacity, Big Data servers with Hadoop or MongoDB preinstalled and HPC servers designed for large companies, research centres and even architectural firms. "Depending on their level of knowledge, the customer can even build everything themselves. They can select the building blocks and build their own solution", Alexandre added.
• So you Start for startups and small businesses
New group brand SyS offers the best value for money on the market. In the words of the Marketing Director: "With So you Start, OVH is clearly targeting professionals with very small budgets of 30 to 70 euros a month, who nevertheless want good performance and relatively new machines. They are usually technophiles, previously sysadmins - hence the SyS name - and specialists who do not need sophisticated services or advanced support, yet want to pay small prices without compromising on the technology". SyS, which targets startups and young entrepreneurs, promises to remain competitive in terms of performance and value for money. "Users who want the best they can get, right away and for the best price, will not be disappointed!".
• Kimsufi for discovering and testing out the dedicated environment
With servers from 8 to 25 euros per month, Kimsufi remains the entry-level brand of the group. Kimsufi's main feature is affordability. "The Kimsufi philosophy is always the same", Alexandre explained. "To continue to offer dedicated servers to people with very small budgets. It's a highly competitive sector in the market, but we can offer the most attractive prices." Kimsufi benefits from economies of scale from other brands and can provide high quality second generation servers. "Our industry innovates very rapidly, and second generation machines offer performance levels which are more than attractive. Second-hand does not mean outdated. For the group, it's also an opportunity to establish a real lifecycle for the machines. This way, customers can rediscover high speed machines with Kimsufi that were on the OVH website only a few months earlier. At the same time, OVH can continue to offer the latest available market innovations. Like our European competitors, we need to be competitive with our prices, but we also want the freedom to offer innovations as early as possible."
Another development: Kimsufi is becoming more global and its servers are available in all countries. With a site in English, OVH is clearly setting its sights on students and those with limited budgets in Europe, the historical niche market of the Kimsufi brand. The web hosting provider also aims to reach new markets, such as Latin America, Africa or Asia, either through directly or indirectly via brokers (resellers/distributors). "Kimsufi is the response to financial issues and it will help us to make OVH known on markets where it's not yet present. Its unbeatable price is a formidable marketing tool. It introduces customers to OVH and encourages them to join SyS and OVH", Alexandre added.
• A flexible ecosystem
In France, the initial feedback from customers has confirmed the success of the group strategy. Large companies are turning to OVH, startups are turning to SyS and students to KS. Each target knows which brand is aimed at them, and the logic is easily understood. However, as Alexandre points out, "in other countries, SyS could well become the leading brand, whereas KS could be seen as a startup server rather than a test server. There may be some shifting. From one brand to another, the services and the level of control are not the same, nor are the components. However, the demand for quality is very high, as much in terms of the technology as in customer service on the three brands. KS, SyS and OVH are all separate brands and each one has its own community. Our challenge is making sure that all of them are fully looked after", he concludes.