An Interview with David Loke, CEO and Co-Founder, ReadySpace
David and his company ReadySpace have gone through many changes in the past 15 years. But that doesn’t bother David, since his mantra is to “Keep Innovating.” The company today specializes in cloud server hosting with specialized business-focused tools and packages build on top them. ReadySpace offers their customers a single point of contact for all of their software and hardware needs in the cloud.
HostAdvice: Before talking about your product and services, please tell me a little bit about yourself and the history of ReadySpace.
ReadySpace has actually been around for almost 15 years. We started as a web design company, because at that time, there were many, many companies looking for their first online presence. With time, we started offering hosting services. We went through the usual progression of offering shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated server hosting, until we got to where we are today, where we focus on cloud server hosting.
HostAdvice: You seem to be a hosting company with a very specific focus, in that you only offer cloud hosting. Is that correct? Why have you chosen that approach?
In 2009 we made a big change and invested heavily in operations and auto-provisioning with VM/virtualization technologies. Today, we are still evolving. We currently offer multiple flavors of Linux and also MS Windows for our cloud servers, with deployment either in the public or a private cloud. Looking forward, we are concentrating on incorporating and supporting more and more applications on our cloud servers.
HostAdvice: How do you define your market?
We currently focus on Asian businesses – small, medium, large, and individual business units of large corporations. We generally work with companies that don’t want to deal with third-party service providers. We offer a one-stop shop – we test and support all of the software we offer with our hardware infrastructure and are therefore a single point of contact and support for our customers. That makes life much simpler for companies since they do not need to manage multiple vendors.
HostAdvice: What can you tell me about your hosting offerings?
We offer both Linux and MS Windows cloud servers and dedicated servers in the cloud. We don’t offer shared hosting in the usual sense – we split that into two separate products. We offer shared hosting, but without email, to which you can choose to add “office mail” with business level SPAM protection. They reason we do this is that a complete package is often too expensive and not required by our customers, so we give them a lower cost option.
HostAdvice: You also offer a variety of different services, including premium support, managed services, professional services, and consulting. What are the differences between all of those options?
Let me describe each of them for you:
- Professional Services – These are normally one-time projects, such as migration, security scan, or system design.
- Premium Support – These plans go beyond our standard support and offer specific services and guarantees for developers, businesses, and managed servers.
- Managed Services – This is full end-to-end systems and security management, including monitoring, updates, security, and backups. You essentially get a full IT team for your business.
- Consulting – This is solution-based assistance, to help identify the needs and changes required to bring businesses to the next level.
HostAdvice: What percentage of your customers chooses to pay for those services? What percentage of your revenues comes from services as opposed to hosting plans?
Our revenues from services are 30%-40% of our total revenue. They come mostly from the recurring support plans and managed services.
HostAdvice: Who do you see as your main competitors?
As you might expect, we have many competitors. In every one of our locations we have at least one large local competitor.
HostAdvice: How do you see your tools as different and/or better than theirs?
We see our advantage as that we eliminate the middle man usually needed to manage a system based on AWS or Azure. We have assembled solutions that help our customers grow their businesses. We also put a great emphasis on localized sales and support in each country.
HostAdvice: How many active customers do you have today? Where are they mainly located?
We currently host about 8,000 web sites. They are mainly in Singapore and Hong Kong, and then in the Philippines and Indonesia. We have our own data centers in those four Asian countries and also have collocated servers in the US.
HostAdvice: How would you describe your current typical customer?
Most of our current customers are mid-sized companies looking for solutions and direct support.
HostAdvice: Who are some of your biggest customers?
Some of our biggest customers include IBM Singapore, Heineken, Audi, 3M, and several leading universities.
HostAdvice: How many employees do you have today? Where are they located?
We currently have 35 employees – 15 in Singapore, 8 in Hong Kong, and the remainder in other locations.
HostAdvice: How do you see the hosting market in general and the cloud hosting market in particular, evolving in the coming years?
I see definite growth in the cloud and hosting markets. The question for us is how innovative we can be to take advantage of that growth. We need to identify what can we offer that other hosting companies don’t offer.
HostAdvice: What are your future plans for ReadySpace?
We are going to be building more and more products on top of our cloud servers. Two areas of particular interest to us right now for that are data analytics and artificial intelligence.
HostAdvice: How many hours a day do you normally work? What do you like to do when you are not working?
I’m not really sure – I don’t pay that much attention to it. Probably 12 hours a day.
When I am not sitting in front of a computer, I am out running a lot.
HostAdvice: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Yes – Keep Innovating!
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