When we speak about a modern organization’s ‘infrastructure’, we’re no longer talking about the physical one; rather we’re referring to their IT environment. Today’s IT infrastructure revolves around the interconnectivity of cloud solutions, software, network components, and more. We’re bringing to you Codero Hosting, a managed hosting and cloud solutions provider serving the critical IT infrastructure needs of more than 3,000 worldwide customers. The difference with Codero is that it just doesn’t provide the support people 24/7/365, but instead, it has your support people.
We’re introducing Bill King, the President and CEO of Codero. In an interview, we got a better understanding of Codero.
Tell us a little about Codero
Codero has, in one incarnation or the other, been in business for more than 25 years. The company started in 1992 as a small computer and software provider in San Diego. Until 2009, the company operated as Aplus.net, providing internet access, shared hosting, domain registration, and web design. In 2009, the company sold its shared hosting and domain registration business, along with the Aplus.net name, to Hostopia. It retained its core hosting business, assumed the new “Codero” name, and focused its efforts on its core competencies of dedicated, cloud, and managed hosting services. In 2015, the company was acquired by a group of 32 Rural Local Exchange Carriers (RLECs).
Why did the RLECs acquire Codero?
The RLEC acquisition was both an offensive and a defensive move. Let me tell you about RLECs -- they trace their roots back to the traditional telephone industry. Changes in technology, regulations, and customer demands have profoundly altered the business landscape on which these companies operate. They are generally well capitalized, operate in markets often ignored by larger players, and have deep ties to their communities. However, increased competition for their core offerings – voice and broadband communications – are forcing RLECs to expand their service portfolio to include data center and hosting services.
Although we have several very large RLECs within our investor ranks, most lack the market opportunities necessary to warrant the capital and human investment needed to offer the types of services Codero provides. The 2015 acquisition was the realization of efforts by the buying group to enter the hosting industry on a collaborative basis.
How has Codero’s ownership impacted its business vision?
RLEC ownership has not changed our business vision! In fact, the support and resources of our RLEC owners have allowed us to weather the inevitable ups and downs of the industry and allowed us to focus on the long-term. I view the RLECs as a specialized and unique channel for Codero. At the present time, the RLEC channel represents less than 2.5% of our total revenues so it is fair to say it is a fertile and largely untapped channel. But we are not letting the tail wag the dog. Our strategy going forward is focused on developing product and service offerings that are relevant to our traditional customer base, which is e-commerce providers, SaaS developers, value-added resellers, website designers, and e-entrepreneurs.
What services does Codero provide?
We offer four general categories of services. Our largest offering is traditional do-it-yourself or managed “Infrastructure-as-a-Service” hosting services, which we provide from our enterprise-grade, Tier III data centers in Phoenix and Dallas.
Second, we provide managed private and hybrid cloud hosting, as well as managed public cloud services through our affiliations with Microsoft and AWS. Third, we resell the services of select third-party solutions providers including collaboration, disaster recovery, back-up, storage, and security.
Fourth, we offer advanced services to assist our customers in architecting and integrating their infrastructure solutions. That said, the most important service we provide is making it all work for our customers – consistent, reliable, and affordable.
In today’s competitive world, how does Codero compete with the Hyper-Scale providers such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google?
We recognized a few years back that we did not have enough zeros in our bank account to compete with hyper-scale providers. As a result, we adopted an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach and partnered with both AWS and Microsoft. Where we can compete with the big boys is through personalized services, particularly to small and medium businesses and e-entrepreneurs. The industry is rapidly moving towards multi-cloud environments where workloads are divided up between on-premise, hosted, and private/public clouds. Architecting, integrating, and maintaining these environments are where Codero can shine.
What is your favorite part about working at Codero?
The people! That may sound cliché, but it’s the people that make the difference. Sure, I get excited about the technology and the challenge of making it all connect, but it’s the dedication and passion of our employees that are both most important and rewarding. In 2016, we relocated our Phoenix data center, a hugely challenging and grueling process. The unbelievable commitment and hard work of the entire team was nothing short of amazing. As time goes on, I believe technology will become increasingly commoditized making service and the people that provide it the most important differentiator.
Where will Codero be in five years?
From a technology perspective, I can speculate with the best of them but, frankly, I have no idea!
I have learned over the years that if I try to predict the future, particularly with respect to technology, I am likely to be wrong. The fundamental business premise of Codero is to avail our customers of the benefits of scale. Historically, those benefits have been realized in the form of compute, storage, and technical services at all-in rates well below what our clients could replicate. Going forward, I believe the cost of compute and storage will all but disappear, such that, the only means to continue to derive profits will be to bundle these base infrastructure offerings with specific service offerings, whether that comes in the form of back-office managed services or turnkey solutions targeted toward specific customer verticals.
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Bill King, President and CEO
Bill oversees Codero’s operations, which include enterprise class, Tier III data centers located in Phoenix, Arizona, and Dallas, Texas. Bill’s experience includes over 25 years as the President and Managing Principal of JSI Capital Advisors, a specialized investment banking and financial services firm serving the strategic transaction needs of the owners and management of rural local exchange carriers, independent wireless carriers, broadband communications providers, video providers, managed service providers and other communications, and IT oriented companies. Bill was a founding shareholder of Codero Holdings, Inc., orchestrating the acquisition of Codero Hosting in 2015.
"The most important service we provide is optimizing in-house and hosted systems for our clients —consistency, reliably and affordably."
"The unbelievable commitment and hard work of the entire team was nothing short of amazing."