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An exclusive interview with Ken Seitz, Manager of Product Strategy at Peak 10

2011-06-28

Ken Seitz,
Manager of Product Strategy at Peak 10

HostReview.com had the opportunity to interview Ken Seitz, Manager of Product Strategy at Peak 10, who talks about the most exciting things taking place right now in the web hosting world in general, and Peak 10 in particular.

Cloud computing is a hot topic and more and more IT Service Providers are looking for ways to offer better services to their clients. Peak 10, a managed hosting company, is one of the leaders on the market.
They provide data center management, web hosting, and other services from 19 data centers. The company also monitors network functions, provides managed security, disaster recovery, and data backup services.

Enjoy the interview.

HostReview: Would you tell us a few words about yourself and your professional background? How long have you been involved in the web hosting industry?

    Ken Seitz: I’ve worked in the IT service provider industry and have developed, supported, and offered web hosting services since 1995.  I’ve been fortunate enough to work with clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100.  Each, with their unique business needs and use of technology, have provided a learning experience which I try to leverage each day in my role as manager of product strategy at Peak 10.


    HostReview: Can you please share with our readers how Peak 10 started and how it grew to what it is today.

      Ken Seitz: Peak 10 was founded in 2000 to fulfill the insatiable demand for data center services at that time.  Shortly after its inception however, the .com bubble burst, and this forever changed our business model.  After the bubble, the market for data center services balanced out. We now serve a mix of customers with some using our facilities and services for secure, reliable hosting of internal applications while others rely on us to host their revenue generating web-based applications.  The resulting market also honed our attention on the small and medium enterprise, which we is how we define our target customer.


      HostReview: Peak 10 has won plenty managed hosting awards over the years including HostReview's Best of 2010 Award. What sets you apart from the competition in this saturated market? How will Peak 10 continue to differentiate itself?

        Ken Seitz: A core value at Peak 10 has always been to provide an intentional and exceptional customer experience.  We thrive on delighting our customers with value and outstanding service. This is achieved through enterprise-class data centers, best of breed technologies, seasoned, customer-focused engineering talent, and flexible service offerings.  As a result of this commitment to best in class technology and support best practices, Peak 10 may not be the least expensive managed hosting provider. However when a web application has to be up and the infrastructure well maintained, our customers find the investment well worthwhile.  We will continue to differentiate by focusing on highly secure, flexible, and scalable cloud service offerings which balance a high touch, highly consultative approach with innovative self-service tools.


        HostReview: What do you consider progressive or unique about Peak 10’s offerings and services?

          Ken Seitz: Peak 10 is actually a very conservative organization as it relates to the use of capital and change management; we want to make sure that any changes – especially to a multi-tenant platform – are properly tested and involve minimal risk to our clients.  Our solutions engineers are extremely talented and progressive however.  They help our clients solve business issues through the proper intersection of risk management and technology.  Our customers’ never ending desire to innovate and their willingness to try new technologies in a dedicated environment lead to well-vetted new service offerings that meet overall market demand and leverage economies of scale.

           
          HostReview: Please, share more about the company’s data centers, and about the technology behind Peak 10?

            Ken Seitz: Peak 10 operates 19 data centers, and there are currently two additional facilities under construction.  We tend to focus on tier 2 markets that have historically been underserved by premium technology providers.  These markets tend to heavily leverage relationships and networking, and as a result, they appreciate Peak 10 local market presence and focus.  Our facilities are built to exacting standards and leverage the best technologies available.


            HostReview: What technologies do you think have the biggest impact on the hosting industry today? Which technologies will be "hot" in the next couple of years?

              Ken Seitz: My one word answer to these two questions would be “cloud.”  Virtualization is the key underlying technology to cloud services.  With modern hypervisors our industry has been able to completely overhaul the logistics of delivering compute power.  We can now provide the right amount of resources, aligned with the right level of availability (SLAs) much more rapidly.  Over the next couple of years, we expect that the trend for most small and medium enterprises to consume IT as a service will continue to climb rapidly; in the future we expect the concepts of purchasing perpetual licenses and expending large amounts of capital on dedicated equipment will seem ever antiquated.


              HostReview: Describe the opportunity for large enterprises to leverage virtualization and cloud computing. Can smaller and mid-sized businesses take advantage of these benefits as well?

                Ken Seitz: In our experience, most large enterprises have been leveraging virtualization technologies for quite some time.  They are however transitioning over to cloud based services more slowly than smaller organizations due to heightened security concerns, integration limitations, and a large investment into dedicated infrastructure.  Conversely, small to medium businesses are able to take advantage of cloud based solutions much more rapidly.  They are typically more nimble as it relates to change, and they usually do not have a large existing infrastructure to be depreciated, migrated from, and/or integrated.


                HostReview: Why would customers choose Peak 10 over other managed hosting providers?

                  Ken Seitz: Our focus on the customer experience is the number one reason.  From our executive team to our support associates, Peak 10’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a key performance metric.  NPS is a scoring system based on one single survey question: would you refer us to a friend or colleague?  If our customers can’t answer that question clearly in the affirmative, we aren’t succeeding.  This focus impacts every customer interaction.  Peak 10 customers will never be relegated to interfacing with a web portal only.  Automation, self-service, and ultimately technologies as a whole are all very important, but it is having qualified and caring people implement and support our services that we feel is essential.  


                  HostReview: When it comes to customer support, what kind of support should Peak 10 customers expect? How many staff do you have in the customer support department?

                    Ken Seitz: Our customers should expect exceptional support from Peak 10, and every member of our staff is in the customer support department from our perspective!  Approximately 75% of our employees do have an engineering role and are responsible for the direct delivery of our services.  This would include our front-line support associates, systems engineers, infrastructure engineers, network engineers, application specialists and so forth.


                    HostReview: What should be expected from Peak 10 in the coming months?

                      Ken Seitz: We’re really excited about what the future holds for Peak 10.  We’ll continue to add features to our cloud offerings first and foremost, including a comprehensive virtual datacenter management interface, a true PCI compliant offering, and automated server scalability.  Additionally we’re adding a significant number of new services focused on business continuity / disaster recovery at the same time we continue to add new features to long-standing managed service offerings.  And finally, because we are always expanding to meet customer demand, you may see Peak 10 in new markets!

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