Markus Heimerl, Marketing Manager of Contabo
Founded in 2003 and formerly known as Giga-International, this company changed its name to Contabo, a shortened version of its vision of content across borders. In keeping with this vision, Contabo strives to deliver both private users as well as small to medium businesses state-of-the-art hardware at an affordable price. To learn more about this German company with customers from all over the world, we interviewed Contabo’s marketing manager, Markus Heimerl.
HA: Hi! Please tell me a bit about your background and how you came to be the Marketing Manager of Contabo.
I have always been interested in the digital world. Working for a hosting provider like Contabo seemed to be a perfect fit for me personally. I focused my studies in the field of e-commerce and online marketing, so Contabo's marketing department was a related field for me. As a local German company with customers from all over the world, I can tell you that coordinating our company-wide marketing activities around the world is a great opportunity, but also challenging at the same time.
HA :Tell me a bit about the history of Contabo, which was once called Giga-International. It's a great success story.
It is indeed. Giga-International was founded in 2003 by our current CEOs Michael Bölke and Michael Herpich. They started with one server and a commitment to offer their customers the best service possible, which at that time became personal one-on-one customer support. This approach received a lot of attention in the hosting community, and as a result, the small company grew rapidly.
By 2009, we opened our own datacenter in Munich. Our business continued to expand over the next few years and as a result we needed much more space to host our servers. That’s why we decided to open a second datacenter in Nuremberg in 2014, which offers enough space for another 10,000 servers. In early 2013, we changed our company name to Contabo, a more memorable name and a shorter version of our company vision: Content Across Borders.
HA: Who is your main target audience? How are your products different than others offered to them in the web hosting space?
We have a heterogeneous customer base and consequently, our target audience is very broad. We have private users who operate their own website and who might be beginning to try out site hosting and storing personal data online. At the same time, we have small and medium sized business customers who have outsourced their server capacities to one of our datacenters. They do it either by renting our dedicated servers, or by co-locating their existing server hardware in our data centers. No matter which option they choose, in the end they benefit from our technical expertise, state-of-the-art infrastructure and cooling system as well as a perfect and redundant connection to the internet.
Even though most hosting providers offer a similar product range, our products differ in several ways from the ones offered by our competitors: First, the pricing. It is one of our key goals to offer servers at a reasonable price. Second, the hardware. We always offer you state-of-the-art hardware in our top server models. We don’t offer you a huge list of 30, 40 or more servers from which you aren’t able to select the right one for your needs. Instead, we narrow it down and limit our offerings to 6 VPS and 5 dedicated servers. Still, we are convinced that everyone can find the server which offers the right hardware specifications for their needs.
HA: Where do you see the web hosting industry in 5 years?
It is always tough to predict the future, but we believe the web hosting industry will expand massively in the next 5 to 10 years. And it is not just the big players who will continue to grow -- there is always a chance for medium-sized companies to expand their business with new and powerful server offers and gain more attention within the hosting market. Even though there is a lot of competition worldwide, the massive increase in the demand for hosting and cloud solutions among both private and business clients might even lead to new companies arising from nowhere and gaining significant market share.
In addition to that, private users will also do much more online in the future. Online shopping is only one application of this. In addition, many users will shift storage and computing power from their own local device to servers in datacenters.
Hosting providers will need to focus on providing suitable offers for their respective customer base. Those who do this successfully will have a bright future ahead.
HA: You offer a few types of web hosting services: Dedicated servers, VPS and Co-location. How do these different offerings serve your target audience?
Our different offerings complement our broad target audience quite well. Private users and small businesses might start with our web space and VPS plans, while more experienced users and business customers with a certain demand of server power opt for our dedicated servers and colocation offers. This mixture of many different hosting options is perfect for our broad target audience because we can reach almost anyone out there and offer them the most suitable hosting solution for their needs. Furthermore, our wide variety of services allows customers to upgrade to bigger plans or even dedicated servers once they expand their business.
Most importantly, this means that our customers don’t need to switch to a different provider, since we have the right offer for almost anyone out there. This helps our customers to save a lot of time and effort. In case our customers need a special offer not covered by our standard products, our sales department is available and ready to assist. We love to customize our servers for our clients. Just talk to us!
HA: How many employees do you have? Tell me a bit about your support team as well.
Currently we have more than 50 employees. Our team has expanded as our customer base has grown. Customers can contact our support team via e-mail and our standard landline telephone 365 days per year. We want to stress that we have not outsourced any services. Our entire team works on-site at our own two data centers in Germany, so there is always someone available to assist in case customers face an emergency with their servers.
HA: Where are your headquarters and datacenters located?
Our headquarters are in Munich, Bavaria. We operate our own two datacenters located in Germany, in both Munich and Nuremberg.
HA: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
I’d like to thank HostAdvice for giving us the chance to show how our company works in this interview format. It is not often the case that hosting websites offer providers a chance to talk about their company and products like this. Also thanks to all of you who read this interview! If you are currently looking for hosting solutions, we would love to welcome you at Contabo – host your websites, business and data in Germany, the heart of Europe.