ISPsystem creates software for IT infrastructure management and hosting business automation. For hosting and IaaS providers, it offers a billing platform, as well as a profitable software reselling program. ISPsystem helps companies save money on IT asset management and automate routine processes. We’ve talked with Pavel Karpovskii, ISPsystem’s Head of Marketing about the company, its products and the future of web hosting and server market.
Could you please tell us about your products? What differs them from the competitors?
This is a wide topic. Our product line covers the needs of hosting providers and data centers at all levels: from hardware management to website service.
DCImanager is a platform for managing equipment at the physical level. For example, with DCImanager, you can quickly eliminate an accident without visiting the server room. Or automate routine administrating tasks. This reduces the risk of errors and saves time.
At the virtualization level, there is VMmanager. It can be used to create virtual machines and automate managing them. For example, there is automatic OS installation, backup creation, scripts installation, and status notifications.
It seems that ISPmanager does not need an introduction. It is a tool for working with web servers and websites that solves almost all the administration tasks.
Quite recently we launched yet another new product — Vepp. It is a platform for those who create WordPress websites: digital studios and their customers, as well as freelancers and marketers. Vepp can launch a website within 2-3 minutes. The platform is intuitive, without the need to have admin’s level of skills. Any person willing to create a website will be able to use it.
BILLmanager is a billing platform for automatic sales of services and customer support. It can be integrated with our other and third-party hosting platforms. BILLmanager helps providers make profit.
Our platforms help reduce errors, save time and money. This is how it works: when processes are automated, less time is spent on routine operations and specialists can focus on core business tasks. Each ISPsystem product replaces a whole set of tools. For example, in VMmanager, in order to configure monitoring you do not need to deploy services of statistics collection, visualization or notifications – everything works already out-of-the-box.
ISPmanager has just been launched in its new version. What new features and improvements can users expect?
ISPmanager has become more modern and convenient. We have updated the design. For example, we have made the background of the left menu dark to visually separate the workspace and navigation panel. We have added space between elements to make it easier to find the function you need or read the data in the table. Icons were changed to minimalistic ones, while the fonts and color scheme became harmonized. These may seem like small details, but they create a new pleasant feeling of the product.
At the same time, we remember that ISPmanager currently has thousands of users who are used to the interface, so we have not changed the UX on the global scale. All functions remained in their original locations, no new button locations need to be memorized.
We expect that with the new design ISPmanager will become more attractive to end customers, and this will help to increase conversion sales among hosting providers.
What is the secret to the success of ISPmanager which has led it to becoming one of the most preferred hosting control panel all over the world?
We were among the first to offer such a tool for website management. Over 16 years, we have accumulated extensive experience. We focus on customer feedback and implement the features they need.
ISPmanager alone is sufficient to fully manage websites. For example, the case when the studio knows how to make websites but does not want to maintain a web server. Simply buy a VDS with ISPmanager and you have a ready-made administration solution. ISPmanager will set up config files, issue SSL certificates, create mail and database. All that you need, without any problems. And for hosting providers it is sufficient to install ISPmanager and connect billing — and start earning right away.
One of the challenges that hosting providers face is monitoring the billings of customers. What is the importance of BILLmanager in automating this process? What are the advantages of your platform?
BILLmanager is a comprehensive tool. It automatically monitors the accounts and generates accounting documents based on the accepted tax rate. Providers do not have to do anything manually.
We offer integration with dozens of payment systems. Service subscription is available: You can set up automatic debit of funds from your card or personal account. For the client it is an additional convenience and confidence that the services will not be stopped for non-payment. And for the provider it is a tool for timely revenue collection.
Another important advantage is flexible billing. It is possible to set up one-time and recurring payments, to bill resources based on consumption statistics. For IaaS providers there is pay-as-you-go billing with an accuracy of up to 10 minutes.
Billmanager has tools for marketers: you can create mailing lists, promotions, and referral programs. BILLmanager alone replaces a dozen software.
What is the biggest challenge of VPS providers and managers? How does VMmanager help face it?
Providers want to provide their customers with fast and high-quality services. We automate processes that usually require the efforts of engineers. As a result, less time is spent on routine operations, and customer service is cheaper for the company. For example, virtual machines running on Linux can be provisioned 2 minutes after the order, with the operating system installed automatically. A specialist does not need to use a strict sequence of commands, so there is less risk of making a mistake.
Demands of data centers are ever-changing. What tools to meet these requirements are you aiming to implement in DCImanager?
It is important for data centers to monitor the status of their equipment, manage it without direct physical access and automate all processes as much as possible. We listen to the wishes of our customers and implement new features in DCImanager.
For example, at the moment we are working on new version of the inventory module infrastructure control and planning services. With this update, it be possible to keep records of the life cycle of equipment from its arrival to the company until the end of its service life, to receive information about delivery, and to analyze the movement of spare parts. It will help you plan your purchases rationally.
In addition, we are working on a data center map to not only reflect where the equipment is located, but also to analyze the current capacity and predict resources consumption.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affect the industry? Did the demands of website owners and hosting providers change during the COVID-19 outbreak?
I could not say that the pandemic has significantly changed the requirements to our products among website owners and providers. There is a long-term trend here. It is important for providers to automate processes as much as possible to save time and money. During the pandemic, these demands became even more pressing. Otherwise, many companies will not survive in difficult conditions.
Security is more important today than ever. What process is used in order to test software security? Could you please tell us about Imunify AV integration?
Our software undergoes monthly security audit with Rack911 labs. Experts test our software and identify potential vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers. As for Imunify AV, it is an antivirus for websites that removes malicious scripts. It supports all popular CMS and static HTML pages. In ISPmanager it can be purchased as a separate module, and in Vepp we provide Immunify AV for free.
Could you tell us about your partnership program for hosting providers? What is the feedback you get from the community and industry?
We have tens of thousands clients — hosting providers who use our software. Some of them become our partners. Some resell ISPmanager and earn money on it. Meanwhile, some provide ISPmanager as a free option along with ordering a server. Getting a commercial panel for free is a great bonus for their customers.
We help our partners: we hold promotions, give discounts, promotional tips, share press kit and promotional materials. We know the hosting market well and we share this information with our partners. Partners say that they enjoy the program. It helps giving people a convenient tool. Especially now that ISPmanager has been launched with new design.
What are your prospects regarding the future of the hosting and server market?
We are constantly developing our products, taking into account the requirements of the market and receiving feedback. We now have products to serve the hosting market at all levels: starting from hardware and virtualization down to ISPmanager and website management. In each of these products we implement the latest features.