ICONZ-Webvisions targets Asia ISVs, midsize firms

Following its merger, the Web hosting company is now focusing on cloud services and hopes to provide IaaS and SaaS offerings to Asia's independent software vendors and midsize companies.

SINGAPORE--Rebranded ICONZ-Webvisions will now focus on providing cloud services to independent software vendors (ISVs) and midsize companies in Asia to grow its business.

The result of a merger between New Zealand-based Web hosting and cloud service provider, ICONZ, and its Singapore counterpart Webvisions, the company unveiled its new branding this week. 

Speaking to ZDNet Asia in an interview Wednesday, Poh Mui Hoon, group CEO of ICONZ-Webvisions, said one of her main goals following the merger would be to bring together the staff from both entities and tap their core competencies. In doing so, the company will now focus its energies on the "advanced hosting" part of the business.

Poh said: "Advanced hosting includes cloud hosting, dedicated servers, collocation, and managed services. The move allows ICONZ-Webvisions to harness the core competencies of both companies, and deliver consistency in services and seamless experience to our customers across every single country in the region."

The company's  existing shared hosting business , including simple domain, e-mail, and Web hosting services, will be grouped under a new brand which will be announced in due course, she added.

ICONZ-Webvisions currently employs some 200 staff and has multiple hosting presences in more than 15 cities across 7 countries--Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and India.

Its data centers serve more than 600 business customers in cloud hosting and managed services, said Peter Hendry, CTO of ICONZ-Webvisions, who sat in on the same interview. He added the company is partnering with Hewlett-Packard to offer cloud infrastructure products, while VMware and Microsoft are the notable software partners the company is working with.

Pan-Asia value proposition
Given its footprint in various Asia-Pacific markets, Poh said the "culturally-diverse" IT vendor is now well-positioned to help companies deploy their compute infrastructure or software across multiple markets at the same time. Its cross-border reach is a compelling factor over other cloud services providers such as SingTel or Amazon, for instance, she noted.

Zooming in on ISVs, the CEO said the concern for many of these market players is deploying their software to as many customers, and in as short a time as possible. They can cut down on time-to-market concerns by leveraging ICONZ-Webvisions' infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings and publishing their apps on the vendor's appstore, she explained.

The appstore is currently being developed and likely to be introduced by the second quarter of 2013, she noted.

The company is also now talking to various ISVs on hosting their software on this platform, but Poh said participants will be curated to identify the best vendors that provide software suitable for ICONZ-Webvisions' existing business customers.

In terms of markets, New Zealand and Singapore currently generate the majority of the company's revenues, contributing 65 percent to 70 percent of overall sales. she noted. However, Southeast Asia and China will be the long-term growth areas as these markets mature and companies start adopting cloud services , she said.

China, especially, is an "interesting" market given its growth rate in cloud adoption. Citing a KPMG report, Poh said the Asian powerhouse only makes up 3 percent of the global cloud market, but this will rise to 19 percent in the coming years.

E-commerce and online games operators are two potential customer demographics in the Chinese market she said would help boost uptake of cloud services, particularly for IaaS offerings to power their online portals.

Poh added while China only contributes some 5 percent of the company's revenues today, it is likely to grow to 30 percent in the next five years.