Industry: Technology, Marketing
Challenges: When QWASI needed to meet increased volume, speed, and security requirements to launch its scalable marketing technology platform, the company knew its in-house hosting solution wouldn’t cut it. QWASI found its answer in Hostway’s managed servers, complemented by the certifications, applications, and partner network QWASI needed to operate efficiently and securely.
Solution: Infrastructure Scalability, Security, Database, Partner
QWASI had an idea, a plan and an audience for its premium mobile and social marketing services – it just needed an infrastructure that could keep up with it. Find out how this fast-growth SMB selected the technology behind their technology and became a preferred provider for a few very large enterprise clients.
QWASI (qwasi.com) was founded in 2004 to help companies create custom mobile marketing technologies attuned to help businesses and brands target mobile audiences. When QWASI introduced its new scalable marketing technology platform, they needed to meet the increased volume, speed, and security requirements of their fast-growing customer base. To accommodate this growth, QWASI moved their data from an in-house hosting platform to managed servers at Hostway, and was pleased to learn they could rely on Hostway to connect them with security partners that would complement their infrastructure. With Hostway’s help, QWASI has steadily developed its marketing service, helping a broad range of companies over the last 7 years and deploying more than 20,000 marketing center platforms. QWASI’s current range of premium mobile and social marketing services for very large enterprise clients is firmly based on what Hostway provides: reliability of platform and connections on a secure and flexible communications infrastructure.
In 2006, QWASI decided to deliver their award-winning innovative solutions to a growing market via a tool called the Mobile Marketing Center. This solution would help its clients communicate with customers 24/7, detect customer trends, preferences, and optimize their marketing strategies. QWASI’s testing and development initially took place on servers that QWASI managed and hosted themselves.
When QWASI was ready to make its new tool publicly available, they knew their hosting solution would need to scale rapidly to handle the increased traffic they expected.
“We weighed the costs of building upon our own ‘data center’ against the benefits of partnering with a hosting provider,” QWASI Chief Technical Officer Jon Thies explained. “It was immediately clear that a hosting provider would not only be more cost-effective, they would simply be better equipped to manage our infrastructure. We’re application guys – they’re hosting guys. We can accomplish more with them focusing on the infrastructure for us.”
QWASI had an employee who had previously worked for Hostway, and suggested the company’s decision-makers see what the hosting provider could offer.
“Hostway came highly recommended, and provided several unique qualities,” Thies explained. “We have servers with an uptime of over 1,000 days. It’s nice not to have to reboot a server for three years.”
The executives at QWASI were also impressed with the expertise displayed by Hostway’s personnel, both in helping them migrate to Hostway’s servers, and in adapting as QWASI’s needs changed.
Hostway’s partnerships with other technology companies helped QWASI meet technical needs beyond those they expected a hosting provider to address. Companies like R1Soft provided a backup solution, while StillSecure provided QWASI with additional resources and expertise for security. Internally, QWASI has migrated to Hostway’s hosted applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint.
When Hostway became SAS 70 Type II certified in 2010, this certification became a major selling point for QWASI’s prospective key enterprise customers.
“A lot of our competitors don’t offer the certifications that Hostway does,” Thies said. “First SAS 70, and now SSAE 16. We’re able to offer our clients the added confidence that certification brings.”
As their security needs continue to evolve, QWASI has come to Hostway with new challenges and has been impressed with the hosting provider’s willingness to adapt to meet their specific needs.
“When we bring them a challenge, they don’t say, ‘No.’ They say, ‘I’ll see how we can make that happen.’” Thies said. “I wish I could get that kind of service everywhere.”
From the time QWASI chose Hostway as their hosting service provider in 2006, the growth of their business has accelerated rapidly. QWASI now runs 13 managed servers at Hostway, and is adding an average of one to two servers each quarter.
“Two years ago in October, we acquired four servers to reach eight total, and we grew into that,” Thies said. “Then we added a couple more, and quickly grew into those. In the last few years we’ve grown from a company that could be hosted out of a garage to an enterprise that runs sophisticated data analysis for some of the world’s largest companies, and Hostway has kept pace with us every step of the way.”
Today, QWASI offers its technology solutions as a blend of social, local and mobile solutions, with the scalability for the world’s biggest brands to manage communication with their end mobile and social users. The scalability of the platform or server environment is important, as large corporations track how their regional and local marketing teams interact with various clients around the world. Managing the Big Data and analysis that is collected with all these conversations is important for producing the predictive analytics that allow brands to harness their international and local reputations.
“Our enterprise customers receive dedicated hardware, so there can be no impact on SLAs,” Thies said. “That’s basically how we’ve grown. The customer size and throughput requirements dictate the deployment of dedicated servers.”
This flexibility, combined with Hostway’s partnerships, skills and resources, has made Hostway an intrinsic part of QWASI’s success.
“We have been very fortunate to have found Hostway,” Thies said. “Backup, security, certifications, flexibility – they have met each need we’ve come up with.”