TL; DR: Modern hosting providers often compete on services and features, not necessarily price. That’s why Singapore-based Oryon delivers a useful mix of services, including web and email servers and even integrated Office 365 and Google Suite licenses. Oryon’s business model focuses on customer service first, with exceptionally high satisfaction scores over more than 16 years in business. Looking forward, Oryon aims to address the automatic scaling of servers and high-available resources — two enhancements that will benefit SMBs.
Although most businesses don’t think about it, the technical infrastructure underpinning the modern hosting industry has evolved considerably over the last two decades. Perhaps the most significant change has been the commodification of services.
Price points for typical configurations have largely standardized across the market, so hosting providers must find other ways to differentiate themselves and add value.
Oryon, founded in Singapore in 2004, focuses on the enterprise and SMB markets with a comprehensive product offering that helps businesses move seamlessly to the cloud. Ryan Chua, Executive Director of Oryon, said he believes that service and features — rather than price points — have been the key driver for his company’s success.
“Hosting prices have been falling all over the market,” he said. “It’s almost absurd to argue that you gain value by cutting the prices of your services. We believe in quality service for our members because customers like having a partner instead of doing everything by themselves.”
The migration to cloud computing has been slow but steady over the last decade. It started with tech companies and progressed with other enterprises looking to shed their in-house datacenters for managed solutions.
The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic hastened some companies’ adoption of cloud-based computing because it allows them to manage a virtual infrastructure from anywhere. There are no on-prem servers, so no employees are needed in the office to manage them. The pandemic disruption prompted an estimated 18% growth in consumer spending on cloud-first solutions.
Many providers offer a stock set of tools targeted at the most common business use cases. Oryon, by contrast, provides a variety of solutions for different needs, including licenses for common productivity tools from Microsoft and Google.
That means Oryon can support SMBs with a broader range of services than a typical cloud provider, including provisioning and managing volume-based software licenses.
Optimize Workflows Through Cloud-Hosted Business Components
Some hosting providers tout their hardware ownership, implying that companies using upstream vendor cloud offerings can’t compete on service and customization. Oryon takes a different approach — one the company believes is aligned with a broader shift in the cloud-provider ecosystem.
“The biggest trend we’ve found so far is moving most of the hosting providers from dedicated servers to cloud servers,” Ryan said. “Many hosting providers run on top of the macro providers, including Google, Microsoft Azure, and AWS. So this is the main difference, where the traditional web hosting company actually jumps on the cloud itself.”
Oryon works with customers and major cloud infrastructure providers to deliver a more diverse range of services that help enterprise and SMB clients. For example, Oryon’s managed-cloud service offers transparency regarding macro providers (Equinix or AWS), supporting a variety of CPU, disk, RAM, and bandwidth choices. That includes the location of the servers, which may be necessary for customers in regulated industries or countries with strict data-privacy laws.
However, a company that owns its own hardware may never disclose the locations of its datacenters or even reveal which specific server houses that customer’s data — at least, not without a support ticket.
That transparency extends to all of the software in Oryon’s portfolio. The company’s web hosting product runs WordPress and scales to the number of websites managed by the account.
Its email and office products include an in-house, standards-based email server plus pass-through configuration and Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Server or Google Workspace email management. The managed VPS product offers Windows- or Linux-based virtual machines, plus a cloud-based SQL server and an enterprise hosting meta-package optimized with load balancers, auto-scaling, and shared Elastic NFS file systems provided by AWS, Huawei Cloud, or Microsoft Azure.
Oryon also manages domains, SSL certificates, SEO and discovery suggestions, and volume licenses for Microsoft Office 365. A typical company can use Oryon as its complete vendor partner, simplifying the tech infrastructure and minimizing cost and complexity.
Because all of Oryon’s tools work well for enterprise customers, SMBs benefit from the partnership with the major providers and the company’s service-first approach with all of its customers.
Service is a Key Differentiator in a Crowded Hosting Market
Hosting providers often vary on product quality, service quality, and feature sets. Oryon delivers niche sets and robust customer service. It’s rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, while Google users give the company 5 out of 5 stars. Many public reviews highlight the length of time the reviewer has remained an Oryon client.
“Our customers look for great service, and because a lot of hosting products are so similar, the only thing that differs between hosting providers is the quality of the service itself,” Ryan said. “So we pride ourselves on what we think of as a hosting concierge service.”
Part of that strategy includes multi-channel communication. Oryon offers 24/7 access to support through Whatsapp, phone, web chat, email, and even Facebook Messenger in addition to a knowledge base on the web,
“We try to get as many channels as possible for customers to reach out to us,” Ryan said.
Multi-channel service meets customers where they are and reduces the friction in accessing help for common problems. One common criticism of the hosting industry is that customer service is often an afterthought. Many hosts offer ticket-based systems with limited access to personal, dedicated assistance unless users pay significantly more for it or post a scathing review to the company’s Twitter account.
“We show the customer that, regardless of what they pay, we will exceed their expectations,” Ryan said.
He suggests that the biggest value driver of Oryon is that the service, and not the products, are what matters. Because many cloud providers offer a commodity, individual customers shop for the vendor that will streamline the setup process and respond to problems quickly and consistently.
Oryon: A Complete Hosted Solution for Efficient Operations
The sheer variety of services that Oryon supports — virtual servers, Google and Microsoft productivity suites, email, DNS, databases, enterprise intranet systems — puts the company in a different market position than most other cloud providers. Oryon integrates business-essential services in a way that most blank-slate providers cannot.
Because cloud services have converged on industry-wide pricing tiers for similar services, hosting providers often differentiate on aspects other than cost. Oryon emphasizes customer service. The company has been in business since 2004, making it a seasoned player in the market. Its emphasis on multi-channel service, coupled with high satisfaction ratings reported by Google and Trustpilot, suggests that its clients are quite happy with its service.
The product road map for 2021 doubles down on enterprise features, including automatic scaling and high-availability servers. SMBs also benefit from that level of high-end fine-tuning. A small business may not need a solution that scales automatically as load increases, but high reliability works to every customer’s advantage.
“The direction that we are moving toward covers auto-scaling and high availability,” Ryan said. “This is what I believe most of the enterprise customers are looking for.”
The solution relies on technologies like Kubernetes, an open-source framework for orchestrating multiple containers. The value of Kubernetes is that it automates the management, deployment, and real-time scaling of containerized applications.
Every additional unit of efficiency that supports an enterprise customer also benefits SMBs that rely on Oryon’s platform to run a streamlined business in the cloud. With Oryon, businesses of all sizes find a complete cloud partner with a concierge-service philosophy.
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