CHARALAMPOS TOULKARIDIS (CEO IpHost): “Spirit, passion, devotion, and a pinch of risk”!

“Spirit, passion, devotion, and a pinch of risk”, there is no magic or secret recipes for IpHost. Definitely, the deep knowledge and highly motivated team are the pillars that drive IpHost success.

With more than 18 years of presence, IpHost has established a remarkable network of partnerships. Would you like to tell us about the beginning and consolidation of your company?

In 2001 we built a company called Site Effective for the purpose of building websites. Having the need to host these websites on a server, we identified a big gap that existed in Hosting in Greece and especially in the data center services. Thus, we became one of the first companies with privately owned hardware for web hosting in Greece. After a few years, we became leaders in .gr domain registrations by being the only company that offered direct automatic registrations. This gave us a big marketing boost and as hosting services demand was increasing rapidly, we put aside the construction of websites and focused on only providing hosting services and domain registrations. Our extensive and proven experience in the field, along with strategic collaborations that followed, established and strengthened our position in the market.

Could you share with us an overview of IpHost’s activities and services? What is its current presence-contribution in the field of digital development?

IpHost services focus on domain names registration as well as hosting services. More precisely, for the hosting services, an all-levels variety is provided, from entry-level shared hosting to even the option of renting multiple dedicated servers to build high availability cluster services. Nowadays, the 1st step for digital development is considered to be the registration of a domain name and the purchase of a hosting package on the net to create a personal/corporate website. We can provide both but essentially, we stand out by taking people by the hand to guide and facilitate them in these first steps. We maintain a consulting, friendly attitude with most customers, rather than a supplier attitude.

What are these characteristics that have contributed and continue contributing to the viability of your business?

The main reason for our robust growth and performance is innovation. From our first steps we have been trying to make things different from the competition and we often ended up being copied. We invested early in our own equipment and ensured to create reliable solutions with high efficiency. We currently have the largest influx of our customers through word of mouth, which means that the way we decided to evolve has paid off.

What was the biggest challenge you faced and how much did it affect you? Can you briefly refer to something you learned from a failure or a misjudged decision?

In 2015 we acquired a similar company with a large clientele and a quite different infrastructure from ours. At the same time, capital controls were imposed and there was an inability to pay foreign suppliers. As you understand, the timing was quite difficult as most of our suppliers were overseas, and combining it with the large-scale implementations that had to be made to our infrastructure to support the new clientele, stress and uncertainty prevailed. Of course, our insightfulness and organization proved us right since our failsafe cases worked, confirming that we were moving at the right place and in the right direction.

What is one thing that differentiates you and makes more and more customers favor you? Is it quality of services, trained team, professionalism, or something more?

We are extremely proud of the level of technical support we offer to our customers. Very often we go above and beyond to serve our customers even in matters that go beyond the scope of our services. Extreme support is the flagship of IpHost, which, along with the high level of infrastructure makes more and more customers appreciate us.

In a time of great challenges, such as the crisis and later the pandemic, how has the digital landscape changed? Is there room for business opportunities?

The pandemic triggered massive changes in a very short time. The biggest one of these was the digital transformation that most companies had to do in order to learn to operate remotely. Of course, such changes also bring great opportunities for development. Ours was through a partnership to provide online space for educational purposes on a Moodle platform. We offered it for free for almost 2 years to the affected companies and our customers appreciated it a lot.

In recent years we experience strong mobility to support new ideas from start-ups. In your opinion, are there any points on which Greek entrepreneurship should focus more?

In my opinion, Greece can take advantage of the many opportunities in the field of tourism. Tourism is our core business industry, and it still has plenty of room for development. At the same time, I’m glad to see that many steps are being taken in our country in the field of fintech. Finally, it is noteworthy that many initiatives have been taken by the state itself to modernize and digitize its services.

Digital transformation: What do you think will be its contribution to the economy, are there any points that need attention?

Digital transformation also means automation. And where there is automation there is evolution. Many jobs will be considered unnecessary, however, at the same time, the same number of new ones will be created. There is a huge demand for jobs (e.g. developers) and there is no correlating supply. People will need to be trained in new subjects and this means that whoever has difficulty adapting will inevitably be left behind.

How “digitally” ready are the Greek consumers for the transition to the new era?

I would confess that the new generation is totally ready for the digital age because it was born in it. The older ones do not have the friction needed to welcome the change but fortunately, our society is such that this burden is warmly borne by their descendants.

What are your strategy and goals for the coming years, is there anything new that you are preparing?

For the last 2 years, IpHost has been constantly growing its workforce and this will continue unabated. For the first time this year, we will attempt a large-scale digital promotion of our services through an internet marketing campaign. Finally, we have a plan to move to new sophisticated offices by the end of the year.

Is there something you would like to share or advise our readers?

Do not compromise! Perfect is the enemy of good and, with the speed that the technology is improving, perfection is never met. Adapt while times change because those resistant to change will be left behind.

And of course, for any questions that you may have (always related to hosting/domain services) please do not hesitate to contact IpHost’s Extreme Support Department or send me a direct message on Charalampos Toulkaridis

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