OpenSRS: Reseller Friendly since 1999
 

Ting First Customer Bonus

PrintIf you’ve been thinking about promoting Ting to your customers, now is a great time to start because we’ve added a new bonus. When you sign up your first customer to Ting using your Offers referral URL code, your OpenSRS account will be credited a bonus $50.

But I know some of you are thinking, “Darn, I just signed up my first customer to Ting last week.” Don’t despair, the computer code behind the bonus is going all the way back to March 1, 2013.

Please note, regardless of when your first customer signs up, the bonuses will be applied at the beginning of each month when the process runs.

If you haven’t experienced Ting yet, or are unsure of network coverage in your area, but would like to before recommending it to customers, sign up for the Taste of Ting trial and we’ll get you set up. We have a bit of a waiting list, but we’re working our way through it as quickly as possible.

.PW Now Available

OpenSRS is pleased to announce general availability for .PW domains to all of our resellers. Pricing is $10/year for new, renew and transfer.

whd-2012

.PW is the namespace for individuals and businesses who want a professional presence on the web. There are no restrictions, so anyone can own a .PW domain name. .PW domains are affordable, available, secure and reputable.

Why .PW?

When you get online, you want to project a professional image. Whether you’re a business or an individual, you want the world to know that you are a part of a reputed network – the Professional Web. .PW gives you all this and more:

  • It’s Open – Anyone can register a .PW name
  • It’s Available – A completely new namespace, with unlimited domain options
  • It’s Affordable – Get a quality name at a reasonable price
  • It’s Secure – Best industry practices: UDRP, Trademark friendly

Ting co-op print ads

tingprint

It has come to my attention that not every reseller visits our Marketing Resources every day. So I wanted to quickly highlight some co-op print ads we created to help those of you that promote Ting.

We have three versions, highlighting different benefits. Each come in two layouts – a standard magazine and a half-page horizontal newspaper. Each focus on the significant savings that businesses and families could realize by switching to Ting.

There is a blank area for your “Authorized Reseller” logo and a call to action that should be customized to include your unique URL. We provide PDFs for easy viewing, EPS files and the Ting font file.

Enjoy! Please let us know if you find these useful and if there is anything else we can do to help.

See you at WorldHostingDays.global 2013

WorldHostingDays.global
WorldHostingDays.global 2013 happens next week at Europa-Park, in Germany. OpenSRS will be at WHD.global again this year and we’re looking forward to meeting many of our resellers face-to-face.

If you are attending the show this year, you’ll want to take note of a couple of events that you won’t want to miss.

  • Monday, March 18th, 18:00-20:00: We are hosting a cocktail reception along with our friends from the .CO registry. Drop by the Commedia dell’ Arte in the lobby of the Hotel Colosseo to enjoy a drink or two and start off the week with some good, relaxed conversation. No need to RSVP – Thorsten and the rest of the OpenSRS team will be there between 18:00 and 20:00.
  • Wednesday, March 19th at 17:15 (in La Sala Bianca): Adam Eisner, Director of Product Management, OpenSRS, will be presenting How New TLDs and New Rules Will Change the Domain Game. Make sure you mark your calendar for this session. Adam will be talking about New gTLDs and what impact the coming expansion of the domain name space will have on your business.
  • All week: OpenSRS will be exhibiting in the hosting.FAIR throughout the week. Look for us at booth A16 and come by to say hi. See the hosting.FAIR floorplan.

If you have any questions, or if you want to schedule a meeting, email sales.emea@opensrs.com.

Safe travels to all attending and we hope to see you there next week!

The Internet Infrastructure Coalition

imagesIf you’ve spent any time reading us or drinking with us, you have almost certainly heard a member of the Tucows herd singing the praises of the Open Internet and vowing to either enlighten or destroy its enemies. It’s sort of our thing. We are thrilled and humbled by what can be achieved when billions of people have access to information and a vehicle to communicate, collaborate and co-create. We are increasingly wary of large corporations that are willing to compromise consumer experiences and impede progress to protect their market shares. We are similarly concerned about politicians that legislate on the Internet without truly understanding the world they are affecting.

So we were thrilled when some friends approached us about an organization called the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition). The i2Coalition launched about six months ago to provide a voice in Washington, D.C for the folks who “power” the Internet – principally web hosting companies and services, like ours, that support their efforts. After the SOPA and PIPA fight over a year ago, industry experts recognized the need for continued leadership in the ongoing public policy debate about the Internet. Tucows proudly joined with more than 40 other industry allies to be a founding member of the i2Coalition to help educate Congress and protect Internet freedoms.

The i2Coalition has experienced a great deal of success since its official launch last September. The i2Coalition recently hosted Internet Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, where they educated lawmakers and opinion leaders about the Internet and how it works. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), as well as Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), joined the i2Coalition at an educational event focusing on just how the Internet works.

Since its launch, the i2Coalition has been a leading voice in many domestic and global policy discussions, including cybersecurity, privacy, and patent reform as well as continuing to work with lawmakers to promote how the nuts and bolts of the Internet work.

The i2Coalition stands ready for the next legislative battle and is recruiting allies to join the fight.  They’re kicking off a membership drive with a webinar “12 Reasons to Join the i2Coalition: What You Get and Why It Matters” on Tuesday, March 26 from 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM CDT. Sign up to learn about membership or visit www.i2coalition.com/join to become a member today.

We think the i2Coalition is doing great work to represent and protect many of your interests in Washington, D.C. We also think many of you would have great ideas and expertise to bring to this initiative. Please check out their website, attend the webinar and consider supporting their efforts.

goMobi Update Coming March 12

Note: goMobi has pushed back this release to March 21.

gomobi_iphone-rOn March 12 March 21, goMobi plans to release an update to the goMobi mobile website service. Full details on the new features and enhancements to goMobi are available in a PDF provided by goMobi. You can view that document in this article in the Release Notes area of our Help & Support Portal.

Some of the highlights of this release include:

  • New feature: Find Us feature – adds “Verify Map Location” in the dashboard when adding your location to the site
  • New feature: New sharing options – business social network LinkedIn has been added
  • New feature: Added the ability to add any 3rd-party source code to features that have a WYSIWYG editor
  • New feature: New Site Cookie notification feature (for EU privacy compliance)
  • Usability improvement: ‘Create Page’ character restriction removed so users can create pages with more content
  • Usability improvement: Activated features will be displayed at top of Features list for easier editing

The update will happen automatically for all goMobi sites. There’s nothing you need to do to enable access to these new features on sites.

Help & Support Portal Updates

With the new OpenSRS Help & Support Portal now fully up and running for a few months now, I thought it would be good to show you some of the places where we are sharing important information with you.

Announcements

  • Upcoming Maintenance: we’ll post things like registry maintenance announcements and planned OpenSRS maintenance here. We’ll continue to provide realtime updates via OpenSRS Status.
  • Release Notes and Change Logs: Starting on February 28, 2013, we’ll be posting a changelog for OpenSRS Services. This posting will detail the changes made to OpenSRS services, the API and Control Panels in the last month. Going forward, this log will be posted on the last Thursday of the month. You’ll also find release notes for things like goMobi, SiteLock and other services that are provided by third-party vendors when available.
  • Service Bulletins: In the event of unplanned outages or other disruptions of service, we endeavour to provide a summary of the reasons behind the disruption and what we are doing to prevent a reoccurrence. You’ll find those bulletins within a day or two of the conclusion of the outage or interruption. We do our best to be as open and transparent about any issues as possible and we invite your comments if you have any.

Services Knowledge Base

OpenSRS Help & SupportThose visiting the portal on a regular basis will note that we’ve been steadily adding articles to the Services Knowledge Base. It is our intention to continue to add content here to help answer some of the questions that you might have without requiring you to open a ticket.

The search function in the new portal is pretty effective and if you create tickets directly in the portal, you’ll be given suggestions for articles that may hold the answer to your question.

Over the last couple of months we’ve created dozens and dozens of new articles in the various categories. You’ll also note that we’ve moved content related to specific policies and documentation for certain ccTLDs to the Services Knowledge Base in the Domains category.

Community Forums

Last but not least, we’re seeing increased activity in our Community Forums since moving from the old forum software into the new, unified portal. Feel free to drop in and ask any questions that you might have there. Unlike our previous forums which were primarily user-to-user, our support staff are monitoring things fairly closely and are happy to step in and answer your questions there.

Holiday Hours for Family Day, Monday, February 18, 2013

Our Toronto office will be closed on Monday, February 18th, 2013, for the annual Family Day holiday here in Ontario. This is a mid-winter holiday celebrated in most Canadian Provinces. The idea is to give people a long weekend break in February, and a day off work and school to spend time doing stuff as a family.

Most of us will be doing just that (including Payments and Compliance), but some staff will still be in the office to help you out if you need it. Reseller Support will be available as usual (by phone and live chat between 8am and 8pm EST, and via email) despite the holiday.

We wish a happy Family Day to our resellers in Canada, and also a happy President’s Day to our friends south of the border.

New gTLDs and OpenSRS

By now you’ve heard about the new gTLD program in the works at ICANN; concerning the text right of the dot. It has been in the works for quite a while now and looks like it will be another year or two before all the dust settles on the initial 2,000+ applications. So far we haven’t really talked about it, unlike some of the other registrars, because frankly there isn’t a whole lot of actionable news yet to share. We have however been following the developments quite closely, and like the rest of our domain business we’re going to bring our resellers as many of the new public gTLDs as possible.

In the meantime, we’ve set up a new page on the site explaining our position and outlook, along with a high-level overview of the roll-out timeline. We’ll be updating the page as new major developments come out, and when we get closer to actually having a new gTLD in the OpenSRS platform we’ll make sure you know about it in advance. We also invite you to hop into our community forum and ask us and the community any questions you have about the new gTLDs.

Which Site Seal do People Trust the Most? (2013 Survey Results)

We just found some interesting third-party research from the Baymard Institute regarding consumer’s perceptions of SSL and Trust seals. The survey, from January 2013, specifically focused in on e-commerce websites and gave the following results, showing Trust seals outpacing all of the SSL seals with the exception of Norton.

Its an interesting article and I recommend clicking through to read more about the results and some of the implications. Including their suggestion sites show multiple seals to increase perceived site security; while also of course improving site security.

Survey of SSL Seals

The Channel Partners Conference & Expo

We are checking out a new industry show this year that we think could be relevant to a lot of you.

Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas at The Venetian & Sands Expo Feb. 27-March 1.

It looks similar to the hosting conferences where we tend to meet many of you. Companies like us with products and services to offer come to meet companies like you with end user relationships to offer. This event is focused on the telecom industry. We will be talking mostly about Ting and a bit about our email service. If you offer mobile, VOIP and other telephony solutions to your business customers, this could be chance to learn a bit about the latest trends and products and connect with some of the providers. If you have not ventured into this world much, it is a chance to gauge the opportunity.

It sounds like it will be well attended. We would love to see some of you there.

You can register here.

Use our code, exh13, for a free pass to the Expo Hall or $50 off the Conference and Expo Pass.

 

 

 

Ting Offers: Updated for BYOSD

Great news! We’ve updated the backend of Ting Offers to now include customers who bring their own Sprint device to Ting; including phones purchased through Glyde. Previously customers who chose those options didn’t receive an account credit and the resellers who referred them didn’t receive credit for the account. As of Monday, we’ve updated the Offers system to support those customers who will now receive a $25 service credit on their account and resellers will receive their referral credit in the same fashion as new customers.

In regards to the end-user experience for BYOD; we know it still needs some work to provide a cleaner and clearer path for customers. Rest assured, if a user clicks through your URL to get the cookie, and then visits ting.com/byod, the end user will get a $25 credit and the reseller is assigned to that user for their bounty or revenue share. We are actively working to provide the end user a clearer path for this process so they know they’re getting the discount throughout the process.

Just a reminder the Ting offers have changed as well today, as we’ve mentioned before. Please make sure you’ve updated your communications to reflect the changes.

As we continue to develop Ting and the Offers plan for resellers, please continue to send in your feedback.

The platform: key to the hosting sector’s future

Editor’s Note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts by Phil Shih, founder of Structure Research.

The hosting business is young and has a bright future ahead of it. But the market is getting tougher and big names like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are circling the sector. What can hosters do to fend them off? What are the keys to competing and winning long-term?

platformsThe best place to find the answer is to look at the sector’s success stories. In the cloud we only need to look as far as Amazon Web Services. In dedicated hosting SoftLayer went on a massive run with its automation mantra and in shared hosting we have seen hosters succeed by unlocking the up-sell challenge. What do these three success cases have in common? They were driven by a platform.

What is a “platform”?

What do we mean by a platform? In a nutshell, a platform is a unified and consolidated infrastructure delivery system built on a single back end (provisioning, management and billing) and consumed by the end user on-demand and in a highly automated fashion.

Amazon’s platform might not be the easiest thing in the world to use but for technical users it is a highly cohesive set of virtualized infrastructure services available through a single set of APIs. SoftLayer does the same but with a much better user experience and for a much wider range of infrastructure types (dedicated, virtual, cloud). And in shared hosting the providers that have prevailed have grown ARPU by enabling existing customers to easily buy additional services. A good example of a platform in the shared hosting market is Parallels Automation, which is user by hosters to deliver hosting infrastructure and SaaS applications from one back-end with a single front-end user experience.

Why Platform?

Why is the platform so crucial? Because it is the foundation of the two main ingredients for hosting success: backend efficiency and an enjoyable end user experience. Backend efficiency translates into margins. And margins mean more available resources for investment in marketing, customer support or product development. An enjoyable and efficient user experience means happy customers that renew and buy more services. It also means easier and faster up-sells. All this translates into margin and higher ARPU, which reinforces customer stickiness.

Make no mistake. The platform is the key to the sector’s future. Hosters have to continually be ruthless about efficiency and margins and the platform ensures that. There are well-resourced challengers encroaching on the sector and hosters will not be able to leave anything to chance. With an increasingly competitive landscape and tightening prices hosters will also have to boldly differentiate. The platform is uniquely positioned to solve that problem by creating user experiences that convince customers to eschew other options.

Platforms are not a new thing and they are far from revolutionary. But the sector will need to continually perfect and refine them in order to keep the challengers at bay. For those hosters with messy and legacy-oriented backend systems they should be thinking now about how to integrate them into a platform. The good news for hosters is that there are few fundamental game changes in hosting. The sector moves at a deliberate and evolutionary pace. There is time for hosters to get this right and remain a viable and valuable option for infrastructure service delivery.

Beware of DNS services “invoices”

A company by the name of DNS Services Corporation is apparently sending out letters to domain registrants that look very much like an invoice for DNS services. They are likely scraping public WHOIS records to get the names and addresses of registrants to do this.

Like the Domain Registry of America (DROA) and Domain Registry of Canada (DROC), DNS Services seems to think it’s perfectly reasonable and ethical to get their customers through these types of practices.

A scan of the letter that they send out is shown below (click it to see a hi-res version). We’ve taken out any personal info, but you can see it has been made to look very much like an invoice, and the text indicating it isn’t an invoice is very easy to miss.

dns-services-letterThere are two great ways to protect your customers from getting letters like these.

  1. Use Contact Privacy. We provide it for free on all domain registrations (where the registry allows it). With Contact Privacy info shown in the public WHOIS, we’ll end up getting these letters instead of your customers. We already get a ton of them from the Domain Registry of Canada which we properly dispose of for recycling.
  2. Educate your customers. Let them know about these types of practices and explain that they should simply discard the letters, or get in touch with you if they have any doubts about any payments or invoices they receive. Your customers will very much appreciate this help – it’s a great part of the service you provide to them.

If you or your customers run into any other examples of these types of practices, feel free to send them our way through the Community Forums at our Help & Support portal, or email Reseller Support. We’ll let your fellow resellers know so we can reduce the effectiveness of these types of mailings and hopefully make the whole practice go away.

Thanks to very much to Nancy from Aardvark & Associates for bringing this to our attention and shame on DNS Services for using this tactic.

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