TL; DR: Powered by nationwide datacenters in Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, NYC, San Jose, and Seattle, ColoCrossing has offered a variety of high-performing and reliable hosting solutions since 2003. Today, the company’s strategic collaboration with the Deluxe Corporation is presenting a growth opportunity for both organizations through extended service offerings and a broader customer base. General Manager Andy Mentges recently filled us in on how ColoCrossing’s robust infrastructure, internal growth, and word-of-mouth marketing advantage fit seamlessly within the Deluxe portfolio.
When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, some organizations are just better together. Take, for example, J.M. Smucker Co.’s 2001 acquisition of Jif, a no-brainer move that sandwiched the nation’s largest jelly producer and peanut butter brand under one company.
Of course, not all mergers are as palatable. At the end of the day, those that prove successful are the result of strong leadership, a calculated assimilation plan, and strategic cultural integration.
After years of M&A activity, Deluxe Corporation — a provider of business checks, web services, SEO marketing, and services for financial institutions — has become adept at recognizing potential acquisitions that will advance their mission to deliver world-class products and services.
Andy Mentges, General Manager at Deluxe, joined the company when he sold his hosting startup, Jumpline Inc., to Deluxe in 2015. Since then, the company has been an active force in the M&A space.
“After I sold my company to Deluxe, I was brought on to grow the Direct/Retail as well as execute against our M&A initiatives,” Andy said. “Since that point in time, we’ve completed 11 acquisitions — eight of those being in the hosting space — and the latest one was ColoCrossing. They fit into our portfolio extremely well with outstanding technology and a people-first culture.”
The partnership with ColoCrossing provided Deluxe access to a more extensive customer base, as well as diversified products and services.
“We have a lot of different hosting brands. Whether you’re a mom-and-pop site builder or you need enterprise or private cloud, we have it in our toolbelt,” Andy said. “What we were lacking was the ability to offer Colocation or Dedicated servers in an automated way at this type of scale. Most of our environments were virtualized and cloud-based, so ColoCrossing became one of the last pieces of that puzzle.”
With eight highly secure datacenters across the US; best-in-class colocation, dedicated, and managed packages; and some of the most attentive support in the industry, it’s easy to see why ColoCrossing complements Deluxe’s existing lineup so well.
Best-in-Class Colo Services, Dedicated Servers, and Managed Hosting
ColoCrossing’s strength lies in its ability to understand customers’ organizational needs and deploy a customized infrastructure solution — whether in the form of enterprise-class colocation, dedicated server hosting, or managed services packages.
“As industry folks, we can get caught up too much in shared, VPS, dedicated versus what the client is really looking for —a solution and outcome,” Andy said.
In fact, a survey the company distributed among customers indicated that a vast majority don’t understand the difference between various hosting types.
“No one’s asking ‘how many email addresses, disk space, and bandwidth do I get?’” Andy said. “They’re looking for an outcome, whether that’s ‘I need my CRM hosted’ or ‘I want my business online.’ We want to focus on delivering that outcome and peace of mind and allow those customers to focus on operating and growing their businesses.”
Andy described business in the US as commoditized with “race-to-the-bottom” pricing. And he emphasized that ColoCrossing is not interested in such a model.
“We’re trying to get out from under that and focus on more of the next generation of hosting,” he said, adding that ColoCrossing is in just the position to do so. “ColoCrossing has very good organic growth, amazing word-of-mouth marketing, and an excellent growth rate year-over-year — and that is a very rare thing to see in the US.”
Highly Secure Datacenters Across 8 Strategic US Locations
In addition to a strong value proposition, Deluxe was impressed with ColoCrossing’s enterprise-class colocation infrastructure in Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, NYC, San Jose, and Seattle.
“Due to just how well it has been engineered, we are currently working on ways to leverage ColoCrossing’s existing infrastructure, and take advantage of its capabilities & continuity,” Andy said.
For example, the infrastructure in the company’s Buffalo, New York, datacenter (BUF1) provides excellent connectivity to North America and Europe while benefiting from the promising economy in that area.
Ultimately, the company’s colocation service allows users to house servers at professional datacenters while enjoying greater uptime, network redundancy, backup power, security, and 24/7 staff support. Colocation also enables businesses to mitigate costs associated with hardware ownership, bandwidth, and energy use — not to mention avoiding revenue losses due to downtime.
Catering to a Broad User Base: From SMBs to Web Hosting Providers
ColoCrossing continually strives to meet the needs of its increasingly diverse customer base — from small businesses to midmarket and enterprise-level niches. The company even provides hosting to other players in the hosting space.
“We host a lot of hosting providers in an infrastructure-as-a-service model,” Andy said. “When someone in the hosting industry comes in and is comfortable putting their hosting company in our datacenter because of how solid our operation is, I really like that. If you’re able to give a margin back to the hosting provider and they’re able to sleep at night knowing they are taken care of, it’s a win-win.”
Deluxe also has a soft spot for small businesses — so much so that the company started a Small Business Revolution project made up of videos, a half-hour documentary, and photo essays that showcase 100 small businesses across the US. The project also aims to help small businesses access services like web hosting and design.
“We are trying to bring Main Street back, and initially focused on shared hosting for that market — considering the amount of customers that you can help kind of through that process, it made a lot of sense,” Andy said. “Now we’re filling in the rest of the circle with the services that ColoCrossing can provide.”
World-Class Support From Experienced, Thoughtful IT Professionals
The company values relationships so much that it refers to users as “partners,” rather than clients. Andy told us the group boasts a high Net Promoter Score (NPS), a measurement used to gauge customer satisfaction and loyalty through an index of customer willingness to recommend a company to others.
“NPS scores across the group are very competitive, and we’re extremely happy with them,” Andy said. “We call it the circle of trust, and that concept is ‘I am going to deliver to my clients a value higher than what they are paying me.’ When you do that you have the right to go back to that customer and help them when their next need arises, and we have the people, product, capabilities, tenure, and word of mouth to support all that.”
For Andy, the strength of the company is a direct reflection of its team members.
“Revenue is easy to get; it’s harder to find good people,” he said. “We have highly technical, highly capable people and we’re growing organically because they do what they say they will — deliver an excellent result — and then we grow by word-of-mouth — the most satisfying method there is.”
ColoCrossing’s customer-centric philosophy also guides its internal development process.
“You have to be a thought leader to understand where the market’s going and what the next steps are going to be,” Andy said. “But that said, you never want to get too far out in front of yourself because the best person to answer that question is your customers.”