It seems like everything is automated these days: Customer service, marketing, bill pay, you name it. However, is automation the next big thing in web hosting, or will it leave customers even more confused than they are now? We already know that ERP cloud hosting is likely to be the next trend for hosting and that solar hosting is picking up steam around the world, but does that segue nearly into automation? According to one web host who’s cozying up with automation software leader WHMCS, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
Future Hosting is a web host that specializes in VPS/dedicated server hosting and in early 2015 has officially partnered up with WHMCS. For the aptly named Future Hosting, their clients are often enterprise or large corporations, which mean their consumers are after exceptionally high performance with killer management. The “management” part is where automation gets tricky, since looking at how automation has infuriated people in the customer service sector (“Press 9 to get led deeper into this web,” anyone?), it’s a big gamble to take.
Low Friction is Promised
According to the official press release, working with WHMCS will give this web host a “low-friction path” to offer better hosting support to customers. Plans start as low as $11.95 per month for VPS/dedicated servers, which is admittedly very low. Dedicated servers are just what they sound like: A server that’s dedicated solely to your business or website. It’s the alternative to “shared hosting”, which many businesses can get for free or very cheap, but requires you to share a server with other clients.
WHMCS already offers up a big range of tools for automation that will make web hosting duties easier. This includes creating and managing services and a domain management tool that’s “smart”. Web hosts can take advantage of easy invoicing that’s automated, there’s no issue with different currencies, and payment gateways like PayPal, WorldPay and other leaders are already integrated into the system. You’ll also enjoy social media integration, a user-friendly knowledge base, and a ticket system that keeps both hosts and customers happy.
The Perfect Pairing?
According to Future Hosting’s VP Maulesh Patel, “By partnering with WHMCS, we’re able to offer powerful automation tools that empower clients to leverage our high-performance global infrastructure platform to provide hosting services. WHMCS allows clients to build more versatile and powerful hosting solutions than simple reseller accounts without the complexity and overhead of manual account and service management.”
Currently, Future Hosting is solely a dedicated server/VPA provider and has presence around the US, UK, and Australia. However, there’s still a potential thorn in the side of customers: Does web hosting automation mean that they won’t get the kind of personalized service they deserve? Customer service is crucial when choosing a web host, since you need a real person available around the clock (websites don’t only go down during business hours). While automation is largely touted for its convenience, it can also have the tendency to take the customer out of “customer service”.
Will this partnership be a welcome anomaly? Hopefully, but if not there are thousands of other web hosts out there happy to keep personalizing service.