OpenSRS: Reseller Friendly since 1999

Meet our Reseller:

The logo from Hoster.byWe’re back with another OpenSRS Reseller profile – this time we talked to, the largest hosting provider in Belarus.

We’re happy to be working with who came to OpenSRS about a year ago and have been growing their business quite rapidly. They not only provide hosting services to individual, small and mid-sized and even some of the largest enterprise customers in Belarus, but they also recently took over the operation of the .by ccTLD.

You can read more about here.

Come meet us at Parallels Summit 2012 APAC

Greetings! OpenSRS has made some pretty amazing inroads into Asia for a while now and I wanted to give everybody a better idea of what we are keeping ourselves busy with. My name is Caleb and I handle business development for OpenSRS here in Asia based out of Singapore. Some of you may have already met me on my Asian tours or at industry events such as WorldHostingDays in Bangkok. We’re planning on attending much more of these events throughout Asia in the future and we hope to see you there!

The whole of Asia is going through a period of tremendous growth. The rapid development of national infrastructures coupled with booming population growth presents many possibilities which are yet untapped.

We are here to empower resellers to simply go out and capture these opportunities with the knowledge that you are being supported by a stable and established provider in OpenSRS.

By first listening to resellers, we hope to be able to understand the challenges you are facing, then try our very best to support these endeavours. Every reseller is unique in their own ways, so we want to be able to help you navigate not just the business but also cultural aspects here in Asia.

ccTLDs in Asia

OpenSRS currently supports ccTLDs from 17 countries in Asia. We are actively working on multiple fronts to add support for more countries while at the same time improving service for existing supported ccTLDs. As we are expanding this portfolio, we also want to hear from resellers which ccTLDs from Asia are important to you so that we know how best to deploy integration resources.

Parallels Summit 2012 APAC, 21 & 22 September in Singapore

Since 1999, OpenSRS has hundreds of resellers spanned all across Asia who have been counting on us to power their domain name registrations. These are exciting times as OpenSRS now has additional Domains and Trust services which help resellers break into new revenue streams.

We are also bringing the benefits of strategic partnerships which OpenSRS has with leading service vendors to Asia. One perfect example of this is our tight integration with the Parallels Automation line of products such as Parallels Plesk Panel and Parallels Business Automation.

OpenSRS is sponsoring this year’s Parallels Summit 2012 APAC in Singapore. The event will take place September 20-22. We want to meet you to understand how we can help your business be even more successful in Asia. As sponsors, we are pleased to invite you to attend the summit at no charge. I am also available to meet before or after the conference to understand better how we can work together. Please see our event page for the registration code and to book a meeting.

Rethinking SSL Marketing

I’ve talked in the past about starting the sales process for SSL certificates “upstream” – that is, offering the appropriate certificate to your customer after assessing their needs, rather than immediately going to a lower cost domain validated certificate.

You can have a look at that post if you missed it, but the basic premise is that domain validated certificates are great for individuals, while organization and extended validation certificates should be the default certificate that you sell to your business customers.

SSL marketing – some new ideas

Expanding on that a bit, I want to get into how SSL is marketed these days and hopefully give you some ideas that you can use to stand out from the crowd and do things a little differently.

Those who sell SSL generally know the difference between a domain-validated certificate and an organization or extended validated certificate. But do your customers who are buying SSL know the difference, and more importantly, do they really need to know?

I’ve looked at a ton of sites selling SSL lately and I noticed that the vast majority of these companies sell SSL certificates using buzzwords, comparison charts and acronyms. It’s OV vs. DV and EV, UCC/SAN, multi-domain this and dynamic vs. static seal that.

Spec sheets are great for people who understand specs, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t have one on your site – some customers will be looking for that information and it’s good to have it. Apple keeps things simple when it comes to buying a MacBook Pro, but if you want to know which processor and how much L3 cache there is, the info is just a click away.

But the average certificate buyer will end up skimming over all this info they don’t understand and hitting on the one thing they do understand: the price. But without that understanding of what makes the products different, they won’t know why a TrueBusiness ID certificate is more expensive than a QuickSSL.

Educate or simplify

You have a couple of options to counter this: spend time educating customers on the differences (SSL 101), or take the confusion out of your marketing.

In my travels around the web, I also found a couple of examples of companies taking a bit of a different approach to selling SSL:

You’ll note some similarities – gone are most of the buzzwords and acronyms. Instead both examples provide easy-to-understand guidance. Are you a small business? Then the Premium or Business plan is for you.

Most buyers will understand Standard vs. Pro vs. Business SSL and self-select the right certificate for their needs. But if they don’t, one provider offers a nice interactive simulator that asks a few questions and tells the user what they should buy (in some cases, it’s the inexpensive Standard cert that is suggested – the goal, remember, is to sell the appropriate certificate for their needs).

Selling the right SSL certificate to the customer is job one

Take a look at your own marketing for SSL and see if you can do things a little differently. Maybe the goal is to move your small business customers to an organization-validated certificate from a domain-validated product (and push up your margins a bit in the process). A little effort around education and simplification of your marketing might be all you need to do to accomplish that.

Ensuring that your customer gets the appropriate SSL certificate for their needs should be priority one.

Holiday Hours for Labour Day September 3, 2012

Next Monday, September 3, 2012, is Labour Day here in Canada which means some special hours for a few departments here at OpenSRS. Our Technical Support team continues to be available 24/7 to assist you.

Hours by department:

Department Dates and Hours
Reseller Support Regular hours
Payments Email support:
Compliance Closed September 3rd (Monday)
Service Bureau
(for transactions requiring manual processing)
Closed September 3rd (Monday)

In Canada, the Labour Day marks the end of summer vacation for the kids – Tuesday it’s back to school and parents everywhere rejoice. But whether it’s a three-day long weekend where you are, or just a regular old two-day affair, we wish all of our resellers a safe, relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

On-demand webinar: Hosting Industry Market Overview (mid-2012)

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a webinar for our resellers with Phil Shih from Structure Research. He gave his “state of the hosting industry” presentation and got us all up to date on the trends that are shaping the industry as we pass the mid point of 2012.

Like all of our webinars, we recorded the presentation for those who weren’t able to attend live. Check it out, embedded below.

Meet Our Reseller: WebsPlanet

We’re back with another reseller profile – this time we’re looking at WebsPlanet.

This company, based in Israel and the US, provides easy-to-use, yet powerful online presence creation tools to companies servicing small and mid-sized business. The company just recently became a reseller in order to offer domain registrations, email and other services to compliment its existing suite.

You can read the full profile here.

We’re thrilled to be working with WebsPlanet!

Free webinar with Phil Shih from Structure Research

I’ll be hosting a free webinar this Thursday, August 9 at 11:00 A.M. (EDT) with Phil Shih from Structure Research.

If you weren’t at this year’s HostingCon conference in Boston, then this is a great opportunity to get informed and educated about the state of the hosting industry as we move through the second half of the year.

Phil Shih is the founder and Managing Director of Structure Research. Phil has covered the hosting infrastructure space for over a decade in various publications such as, Computerworld, InfoWorld, Bizjournals, The Houston Chronicle and The E-commerce Times.

He’ll be providing a 45-minute long, third party overview of the state of the hosting and cloud infrastructure service industry and a projection of its future. The session will feature detailed discussion of industry trends, proprietary market share data and analysis and helpful advice on how to succeed in a rapidly changing marketplace.

As with all OpenSRS webinars, this is a free event and open to all to attend.

Register here

Learn more about Structure Research at their website.

ccTLDs of the Week for August

The ccTLD of the Week promotion continues on with great deals. Here’s what we have planned for August. If you’ve been waiting for a particular ccTLD, let us know in the comments and we’ll see what we can do.

Upcoming ccTLDs of the Week:

ccTLD Dates Details Cost/year
.CZ Aug 6-Aug 12 Czech Republic $12/year (normally $20)
.SE Aug 13-Aug 19 Sweden $13/year (normally $20)
.TO Aug 20-Aug 26 Tonga $35/year (normally $40)
.LU Aug 27-Sept 3 Luxembourg $18/year (normally $30)

New Ting phones, more Offers options and Ting for Business

For our resellers in the US who are either already offering Ting phone service through OpenSRS Offers, or thinking about it, Ting recently added a whole bunch of new phones to their device line-up including the latest addition which happened earlier today – the Samsung Galaxy SIII.

The Galaxy SIII is one of the hottest Android phones around with a super-bright 4.8″ display, dual-core processor running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. And it’s also the first smartphone offered by Ting that works with Sprint’s new and ultrafast 4G LTE network (where available).

It’s available for pre-order through Ting now, with delivery to customers expected in about 3-6 weeks.

The Galaxy SIII is definitely at the top of the smartphone technology heap, but remember that Ting has a wide variety of feature phones, smartphones and data devices at various price points so your customers can get the right device for their needs. Check out the Ting blog for the latest news.

Ting for Business

We’re also getting ready to roll out a whole bunch of new content to help you make the case that Ting is great for small business users – things like being able to have multiple devices on a single account (with truly pooled usage to help save money), easy-to-use management features, and travel-friendly mobile devices that help your business customers cut costs.

We’ll have much more about how Resellers can effectively offer Ting for Business in an upcoming webinar early in September, so stay tuned.

New options for Resellers in OpenSRS Offers

Last but certainly not least, you may have missed the recent addition of some new options for Resellers using OpenSRS Offers to bring Ting to your customers. At launch we had a single offer of $50 off a device purchase and a 25% revenue share for Resellers for two years and that remains for those looking for a nice balance of savings for your customers and a new recurring revenue source for you.

We listened to feedback and added three new offers to give you more choices in how you reward yourself and your customers:

New, one-time payment options:

  • $50 off a device purchase for your customer, and a $50 one-time payment for you on activation.
  • $25 off a device purchase for your customer, and a $75 one-time payment for you on activation.

New, higher revenue share option:

  • $25 off a device purchase for your customer, and a 30% revenue share for you for two years.

As always, visit the Ting OpenSRS Offers page, and the Ting website for more information.

Holiday Hours for the Civic Holiday, August 6, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012 marks the second long weekend of summer here in Ontario, Canada where the OpenSRS offices are located. In some parts of Canada, the first Monday in August is known as the Civic Holiday. However, in beautiful Toronto, we celebrate the Civic Holiday as Simcoe Day, in honour of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.

It seems that the rest of Canada has the City of Toronto to thank for this August long weekend (much to the chagrin of our fellow Canucks in Vancouver, who don’t think anything good every comes out of the city at the Centre of the Universe). Toronto’s City Council is credited for coming up with the idea for a summer day of recreation way back in 1869.

The first Civic Holiday was celebrated in Toronto in 1875 and the idea spread across the rest of the nation in the years following.

Holiday Hours

Putting the rest of the history lesson aside for a moment, Simcoe Day really means most of the staff at OpenSRS will have the day off. That said, Reseller Support will be here to help you out as usual throughout the weekend, and holiday Monday as well.

Here are the hours of operation during the holiday:

Our Reseller Support team continues to be available 24/7 to assist you.

Hours by department:

Department Dates and Hours
Reseller Support Regular hours
Payments Email support:
Compliance Closed August 6th (Monday)
Service Bureau (for transactions requiring manual processing) Closed August 6th (Monday)

More about Simcoe Day

John Graves Simcoe was a British soldier who distinguished himself during the American Revolutionary War, earning an appointment in 1777 to lead the elite Queen’s Rangers regiment. In 1781 he returned to England, where he was later elected to the House of Commons. He arrived in what later became known as Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1792 and established the provincial capital – known then as Newark.

The threat of invading Americans right across the narrow Niagara River led him to look for a more secure capital. He found a great spot not far away on the north side of Lake Ontario near the abandoned French fort of Toronto.

In June 1793, Simcoe and his entourage arrived in Toronto on three ships, having sailed across the lake from Newark, and established Fort York. Each year on Simcoe Day, there are historical reenactments at the Fort (pictured above), which still stands as a National Historic site just a few minutes’ walk from the Tucows offices.

People Love Ting

The People Love Ting page on the Ting site delivers two clear, important messages to any of you out there selling Ting or thinking about selling Ting.

  • Your customers will be treated well. People are shocked by the accessibility and quality of our customer support and all the little ways (in our pricing, policies, rapid responses and improvements, etc.) that we simply do right by customers. Also check out our Facebook page, our Twitter mentions and this recent Yahoo! Answers thread.
  • We are getting some high profile press and tons of great blogger reviews. This means some of your customers will have already heard of us. It also means that those who research us after your recommendation will like what they see. All this makes your job much easier.

Happy 2nd Birthday, .CO!

Last week marked the two-year anniversary of the relaunch of the .CO domain extension.

It was July 20, 2010 when .CO officially set its sights on becoming the go-to web address for the world’s entrepreneurs, innovators and next great businesses. Although there was some skepticism as to whether the world needed yet another domain extension, the market showed a real hunger for a space where creativity and innovation could thrive.

In those two short years, over 1.3 million .CO domains have been registered…and .CO continues to grow! .CO has proven to be a global success story. Just over half of .CO domains were bought by registrants in the US and Canada, the UK, Australia, India and China all are well represented amongst the more than 200 countries where a .CO registrant can be found.

The most used .CO domain is probably one you see yourself quite often: This single-letter .CO domain is used by Twitter as its built-in URL shortening service, exposing .CO domains to the millions and millions of Twitter users around the world every day.

Two years of .CO, ten dollars in savings! Sign up today!

To help celebrate two years of .CO, we have a special promotion underway at OpenSRS. Between now and September 30, 2012, .CO domains are priced at just $15 (that’s $10 savings per domain off the regular price).

Click here to view the terms and sign up to take advantage of this promo.

To help you learn more about .CO, the registry created this awesome infographic. Feel free to use it in your own marketing efforts along with a discounted price to highlight .CO and to drive sales. Click the image to get the full-sized version.

HostingCon 2012: Profiting from Changes “Right of the Dot”

Given the mainstream media coverage, chances are you’ve heard of the changes coming to the domain name space over the next two years. Thanks to ICANN’s decision to vastly expand the number of domain name extensions available, there’s a good chance we’ll have an entirely new view of how domain names are used as Internet addresses by 2014. I’m looking forward to previewing these upcoming changes in my HostingCon 2012 session next week, titled “Profiting From Changes ‘Right of the Dot’”.

A sneak peek

While I don’t want to give away the whole presentation, some of the major topics I’ll cover include:

  • What today’s domain name landscape looks like compared to what it will look like in the future. When I talk to our resellers about carrying more domain name extensions, they often ask me how many countries they should carry, and what to do when customers want more. This challenge is going to morph into something much greater as customers are to choose domains based on country, city, state, region, community, interest, or possibly even brand! (Hint: it sounds complicated, but it’s actually good news.)
  • An overview of the 1,409 new domain name extensions that were applied for. These applications can be divided into several categories: Generic (like .web or .blog, for instance), Brands (everything from .apple to .zippo), Communities (such as .irish), Internationalized Domain Names (like קוֹם – the Hebrew equivalent of .COM), and Geographic extensions (such as .london and .paris). We’ll talk about what applications may be successful, and which ones might look good on the shelves of web hosting companies.
  • An overview of the applicants themselves. Applicants for these new extensions ranged from investment groups to brand owners, and everything in between – including web hosting companies, registrars and even Tucows. I’ll cover who the players are and what their goals may be.
  • What happens after the application phase. Submitting an application is just the beginning – there’s phases for application reviews, contention, and possibly even an auction if multiple bids for the same extension are approved. And all that is before the extension is even made live on the Internet!

With a sold-out floor and some fantastic sessions on the schedule, I’m really looking forward to the biggest and best HostingCon yet. I hope you’re able to join me Monday, July 15 at 1pm. See you there!

40+ New ccTLDs Added to OpenSRS

We’ve added another batch of ccTLDs to OpenSRS today. That brings the total to well over 100 ccTLDs available for you to sell.

Some of the more popular extensions in this round:

  • .ru – Russia
  • .hk – Hong Kong
  • .cz – Czech Republic
  • .no – Norway
  • .ro – Romania
  • .to – Tonga

The full list of TLDs along with pricing can be found on the Available TLDs page of our website. If you haven’t looked at that page lately, you’ll note that we’ve redesigned it to include more information about things like transfer rules, trades and redemption rules. We’ve also broken out pricing for third-level registrations where the pricing differs from second-level registrations.

TLD Reference Guide Updated

The handy TLD Reference Guide has also been updated with even more detailed information about the various TLDs you can sell – things like residency requirements, available terms and whether WHOIS Privacy is available is all detailed. You can grab that here (PDF format).

New Ting Offers Available

We have added three new options in OpenSRS Offers to sell Ting mobile phone service to your customers.

At launch, we had a single offer:

  • $50 device purchase credit, with a 25% revenue share for the reseller (for two years)

The new offers now available are:

  • $25 device purchase credit, with a 30% revenue share for the reseller (for two years)
  • $25 device purchase credit, with a $75 one-time payment for the reseller
  • $50 device purchase credit, with a $50 one-time payment for the reseller

The idea here is to provide a variety of compensation models to suit your needs. Some resellers asked for a payment up front, others wanted that revenue share for two years. And some resellers told us that they didn’t need to provide as big an incentive to their customers, so we provided those options as well (with an appropriate increase in the reseller share).

Feel free to utilize any or all of the Ting Offers, depending on your specific circumstances or customer needs.

New marketing resources

We also recently added a few new resources for you to use. You’ll find some print-ready device information cards for all of the devices we currently carry. They are available in PDF format and look great printed on a 5.5” x 8.5” card.

Download Ting marketing resources.

And, in case you missed the blog post a couple of weeks back, we also now have a Ting savings calculator that you can embed in your own site, or even on a Facebook page.

Learn more and get the code.

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