Posted on Tuesday 13 December 2011 by Ulster Business
Image (Above): Deputy Lord Mayor Ruth Patterson joins Spiral Hosting’s MD Peter Armstrong to open the company’s new office
One of Northern Ireland’s biggest web hosting providers has moved to new offices in preparation for enhancing its workforce and growing its business.
Signalling that the company is defying the difficult economic circumstances out there at present Spiral Hosting officially opened its new office on Belfast’s Lisburn Road last month.
Managing Director Peter Armstrong says the company has big plans for the future.
“Over the past few years we’ve made several acquisitions and at the moment things are moving quite fast and we’re looking to expand a lot over the next year, both through organic growth and further acquisition,” he said.
“We have new offices on the Lisburn Road and that is so we can employ more people, particularly marketing people to help with the marketing side of the business and PR campaigns which we’re planning to run, as well as on the technical side. At the moment we are just a small team but we’re hoping to get a good office going here.”
Armstrong has been working in the web hosting industry for eight years. He bought the client base of a former employer in Dublin and re-launched it as Spiral Hosting in Northern Ireland in March 2007.
The company is already very much an international business, with Armstrong estimating that only about 5% of its customers are in Northern Ireland.
“We have a lot of customers in GB and the Republic and about 25% of our customer base is in the US. While we have opened a new office and are trying to concentrate on expanding in Northern Ireland, at the same time we are marketing internationally,” he explains.
“At the moment we sell in euros, dollars and pounds, but we’re getting ready to launch a new website that will support a lot more currencies. There are so many different markets we can get business from it would be silly not to try to do that.”
In terms of the business it is targeting the company hopes to attract anything from SMEs to entrepreneurial students with start-up businesses, and is appealing to that younger demographic using social media.
Its acquisition of rival web hosting company Aventure Host earlier this year has also given Spiral an avenue into the Cloud market. Aventure were the first cloud web hosting provider in Ireland.
“Cloud is still a developing market that is constantly changing but it is certainly a big selling point for us that we are able to offer cloud hosting,” says Armstrong, noting that a lot of clients still want normal web hosting on dedicated servicers and virtual servers.
Spiral Hosting knows it is operating in a very competitive marketplace, but their MD is confident that by providing a good service they will be able to prosper. He is hoping to attract good quality staff, both graduates and experienced people, to help grow the business.
“It is competitive. In Northern Ireland we would be the largest hosting company as far as I’m aware, but there are a lot in the Republic and GB, which is why we concentrate on offering a personal service with a dedicated account manager who would keep in regular contact with customers,” he said.
“We try to go the extra mile for businesses and because we are a local Belfast-based company they can call us 24/7. We do have a lot of customers coming over from other companies who wouldn’t offer the same level of support and assistance when they need it, meaning ultimately the companies themselves have to hire technicians to fix problems that are generally quite simple.”