LeaseWeb USA will be the only hosting company in attendance at this year’s SaaStr Annual in San Francisco. The young conference, led by veteran SaaS investor Jason Lemkin, has already grown to more than 250 speakers and 10,000 attendees in just its third year.
This year’s theme – “Scale Together” – fits so well with LeaseWeb that it could almost serve as an alternate company tagline about the way we work with our customers.
LeaseWeb has been hosting Internet companies for almost 20 years. We’ve worked with companies of all sizes including many young companies that have grown exponentially over the years using our hosting platforms. Because of this, we have a deep understanding both the potential and pitfalls of rapid growth.
At conference booth 20, we’re looking forward to talking about a few key issues that virtually all SaaS companies eventually must tackle:
Geography – It surprises some people to learn how much the physical location of their servers matters in cyberspace. Hosting for many applications, particularly involving sensitive customer data, comes with data sovereignty and residency requirements, depending on the market(s) you’re serving. LeaseWeb has been working in these areas for many years and has a solid understanding of the laws and security requirements in the countries we serve.
There are also performance issues. All else being equal, have servers located closer to your customers will improve application responsiveness. You might be on the West Coast now, but as you grow, do you have a solid plan for additional presence on the East Coast or near other North American markets?
We’re also talking about something even bigger, the ability to move your entire load from one environment to the next, across the globe, every day. Come talk to us to find out more!
Growth-based pricing – One of the hardest parts of scaling is understanding how much service to buy – and when. Too few resources with too much demand and you’ll lose customers before they even get your interface to load. On the other hand, paying for too much spare capacity that you’re not using is an easy way to quickly burn through your startup capital.
Hosting costs should always be based on the services you’re actually using, and that mix of services should be flexible. For example, a company with hand compute/low bandwidth needs shouldn’t pay for a package that locks two components together up the pricing ladder.
There are also good ways to build a hybrid cloud architecture that can accommodate traffic spikes when they happen, while scaling back down when it’s quiet.
Churn – This is the single biggest problem facing all successful cloud providers. Once you’ve grown to the point that you’re serving most of the addressable market, retention (and upselling) become the major day-to-day issues.
Your hosting provider is a big part of the user experience. Long wait times for connection or service unavailability are two things that can easily move users to a competitor. You have to make sure your hosting setup is using the best possible solution at every point in the data center – not just a one-size-doesn’t-fit-all service that’s easy for the hosting provider to install.
The moment when a business has reached a majority of the market is the point at which the biggest SaaS companies realize it’s time to turn their service into a platform that supports other services, because the core market has already been tapped. And that can be a big change for how you host your services.
If you’re interested in talking more about these topics, please check us out at SaaStr. Or check out our website to find the right hosting solution for your business.