Hataricloud two years later, what have we learnt?

Hataricloud has been running for the last two years or so. We launched sometime in October 2015 with a vision that we could help small businesses migrate and adapt to the new era of the cloud. It’s been quite a journey through clouds of experimentation, learning from our first clients and adapting to new emerging technologies.

What we know is that our still small customer base is very satisfied with our service. Since launch, we have only lost just one client which we believe is an impressive achievement. In our line of business, there’s very high client turnover because of very many shady service providers who offer very poor service to customers.

What we have done is to offer reliable service to our customers. We have not sacrificed good service for low price. What we notice is that our competitors run loss-leading campaigns just to attract and amass a lot of unsuspecting clients who often get poor service. For instance, there are wannabe web hosting companies offering web hosting for as low as Ugx 50,000 or even free for a whole year! Comparatively Hatari cloud starts from Ugx 200,000 per year.  We have stuck to our guns prioritizing good service delivery over cost.

As much as clients are sensitive to cost, they also want fast, reliable hosting. They want an assurance that their data is safe and secure in good capable hands. Because clients do not know any better, some fall for the low price bait only to regret later.

As Hatari, we have also gone for high-level clients whose needs are slightly more than just a website that barely does anything. Our clients have mainly been those with slightly more sophisticated setups. Specifically, we have clients who run more transactional websites or web applications whose setups need customized environments. A good example is Gayaza High School which runs not just a website but also an e-learning platform. Normally, we advise this category of clients to go for Virtual Private Servers(VPS) which is a dedicated server that runs only a single client’s application instead of the usual shared hosting environments that accommodate more than one client.

We mainly prefer Linode as our cloud service provider, but we are open to work with whatever provider the client might wish to use. There are now a number of Cloud IaaS providers including Google Cloud, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean, Softlayer among others. We usually advise the client on which provider is best and help with setup, maintenance and optionally billing depending on what they want.

There are many advantages to running your own VPS. For one, the developer has more flexibility. They can setup the website or application with exactly the requirements they have in mind. So you are not limited to what the shared hosting environment has to offer. For instance, most shared hosting platforms support PHP-based Content Management Systems(CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. But what if your application runs on Python Django or Flask or Laravel or Node JS or Ruby on Rails? Usually these applications require some command line or root access to install and run custom libraries and frameworks  which shared hosting plans don’t offer.  For instance, Stanfield, a Real Estate and Asset Valuation,Surveying, Property Management  and agency runs a custom cloud Real Estate management application which needed custom server setup designed specifically for their system.

So as you can tell, this can become be slightly more technical. One of our clients have been web full stack developers who are interm contracted by business owners. We don’t believe in “built and forget” websites where a developer is contracted to build a website and they never update it again. We think that a website shouldn’t be treated like a house building project. It should be something that should continuously evolve to new customer needs and technological changes. As such, we believe in having good long-term relation with the developer and the client. When things break — as they usually do, the problem can be quickly solved.

We believe that organizations can be more efficient and competitive when they use the cloud as a vehicle to streamline their operations, cut out paperwork, work collaboratively from anywhere at anytime and improve on customer relations online. We still think that Hataricloud can be the “Utilility cloud for your business”.

Image: Pixabay

  • http://youinspireyou.com David Wampamba

    Being a web hosting service provider, I agree 100% with everything you’ve written.
    The point about high-level clients has touch me more. They’re many times we’ve chosen to work for startup clients on a tight budget but eventually it ruins the reputation. The clients don’t usually have a long term plan for the online presence, they want to lead the way and in case of failure they blame it on you. The blame could actually take end the entire brand’s life.

    Congratulations to your two years.