TL; DR: Smaller hosting companies have some upsides compared to larger enterprises. Users can enjoy personalized attention, improved privacy, and greater flexibility in pricing and features with smaller-sized web hosts. Infomaniak is a hosting company that knows a thing or two about this. Thanks to its human scale and independence, Infomaniak can accomplish unique goals tailored to customer needs and its own core values. The team’s Ethical Cloud solutions provide users with everything they need to run an online environment while prioritizing user privacy and sustainability. We spoke with Thomas Jacobsen, Communication Manager at Infomaniak, to learn more about the hosting platform.
The web hosting industry is complicated and competitive. Independent hosting providers are on one side and on the other side are the giants, such as GoDaddy, AWS, and HostGator. In recent years, hosting consolidation has become a trend. Larger companies are increasingly acquiring smaller companies to expand their brands and capabilities.
Similar to the case of David and Goliath, bigger isn’t always better in web hosting. Sure, mega brands have tons of resources and can release new features periodically. But user needs often get lost in the noise. Big brands can get so caught up with their business models and profitability that they lose sight of customer promises.
A small web host as a provider, on the other hand, can offer a different user experience. Independent hosting providers can guarantee more quality and deliver on it. Since smaller teams have less to oversee, they can keep tight quality control, provide better user privacy, offer flexible pricing, and give personalized attention to customers.
Infomaniak is a Swiss-based hosting company that has been working independently for 29 years and has a solid reputation for the quality of its services. Because Infomaniak is independent, it doesn’t compromise on its values and can provide a hosting environment keen on sustainability, user privacy, innovation, and social upkeep.
Over the years, Infomaniak has established relationships with national media groups, including RTBF, to host their websites, and the Swiss hosting company also powers video and radio streaming for more than 3,000 European radio and TV stations.
“We have a complete ecosystem and give peace of mind to people about security and privacy. People like to choose us because they know that our mission is not just to make money but to contribute to the development of independent and responsible technologies. And that’s why the growth of our company has been very stable,” said Thomas Jacobsen, Communication Manager at Infomaniak.
The Ethical Cloud: No Compromise on Privacy and Ecology
Founded in 1994, Infomaniak provides users with two main sets of products: collaboration tools and web hosting solutions. These products offer customers everything they need to run a web presence, from website builders and hosting plans to email services and data storage. And all solutions live under its Ethical Cloud model.
“Ethical cloud means no compromise on ecology, privacy, and the social aspects of the company. It also means transparency. On our website, we say we pollute and then describe what we are doing to reduce our footprint,” said Thomas.
The Infomaniak team is upfront about its ecological impact, and the company’s ethical cloud mission has been a positive response to that. Since 2007, Infomaniak has been working to minimize its carbon footprint and has already reduced its carbon emissions by 200%. The hosting company also only uses renewable energy to power its offices and datacenters.
“Since 2013, we stopped using air conditioning to cool our web servers. Instead, we refresh our servers using the natural air from outside and the temperature is just right,” said Thomas.
Local sustainability is integral to Infomaniak’s mission statement. Infomaniak primarily partners with local businesses and employs people from the Swiss region. Thomas said the team doesn’t outsource support because local resources are better for the company and the customers.
“It’s a big strength because it allows us to be efficient. If a company reaches us with a question, we can directly link it to the right people. We can also correct issues quickly because all our staff is in one place,” said Thomas.
kSuite Provides Utmost Privacy
User privacy is another one of Infomaniak’s core values. Its commitment to privacy is evident in its kSuite solution. The kSuite consists of several privacy-first collaboration tools, including a storage drive, chat, videoconferencing, and file sharing.
All of these tools are backed by top-notch data security and guarantee total data control. Because Infomaniak is located in Switzerland, the company must adhere to the country’s strict privacy regulations and compliance. These rules allow Infomaniak to provide users with a completely private environment for their data and collaboration workflows.
“We’re compliant with GDPR and the local laws. We can therefore guarantee customers sovereignty and control over their data, which is protected by European and local laws, something that is very important for businesses here,” said Thomas.
Independence Leads to Better Innovation
What makes Infomaniak different from most of its hosting competitors? For one thing, the company built its own tools and datacenters. Infomaniak has established a brand around being independent, privacy-friendly, and trustworthy. The Infomaniak team is more than 220 people strong and includes designers, engineers, and everything in between.
“Infomaniak is an independent company, owned by a growing number of its employees. So we are free with our decisions. And it allows us to really respect our commitments,” said Thomas.
This independence enables Infomaniak to guarantee data sovereignty for its customers. Since everything stays in house, users don’t have to worry about privacy issues. The team can collaborate and foster a culture of innovation. Instead of purchasing and reselling third-party solutions, internal developers can control their pipelines and build products they know their specific audience needs.
“We develop technologies ourselves so that we can guarantee the security and the data privacy of our customers. Our public cloud solution, for instance, can offer what Microsoft can’t because we can guarantee data sovereignty since everything is managed in Switzerland, at the heart of Europe,” said Thomas.
Infomaniak has extended its public cloud solution because it has high demand from companies migrating from the cloud. Thomas said it is a great alternative to AWS and Azure because of its privacy and affordability. He estimated the solution is up to 40 times cheaper at equal performance. The Infomaniak team has also integrated AI into its platform, which Thomas said was a game changer.
“We have a webmail that we developed 100% in house. It will allow you to automatically answer your mails, proposes IDs for your mail, and fixes your mistakes in English or any other languages with a sovereign AI. It will help you to make more with less time,” said Thomas.
Infomaniak Creates Tools Users Need
Infomaniak values customer feedback and continuously looks for ways to improve its solutions. As it happens, prioritizing customer satisfaction has helped the company find success. It is the leading hosting company in Switzerland and has been growing steadily in other parts of Europe, including Germany, Italy, and France.
“What we see from other big hosting companies is that the goal is to make as much money as possible with available technologies and not to develop anything more, as soon as long as it works. And this is not the mindset at Infomaniak,” said Thomas.
The Infomaniak team is nowhere near finished rounding out its feature list. Its ambitious road map includes mobile apps, a Kubernetes-as-a-Service solution, and a brand new environmentally friendly datacenter that will fully repurpose the energy it consumes to heat up to 6,000 households as early as March 2024. Thomas said all of this innovation is a testament to its support team and customers.
“Every day our support team shares with us feedback about customer needs, frustrations, and improvements, and so on. So I’m really happy to work for this company because it’s a human-first company and it’s focused on the customers,” said Thomas.