Webscale’s Head of Strategic Partnerships, Adrian Luna, recently got chatting with Frank Thomson, VP of Marketing and Sales at leading ecommerce agency Accorin, for their podcast series E-Commerce Answers. You can check out the full session here, otherwise here’s a quick summary of what you missed.
Frank: What’s your elevator pitch now since you have evolved from being a hosting provider to a lot more?
Adrian: Webscale provides the safest cloud platform for ecommerce. By “safe” we mean security in the public cloud, be it AWS, GCP or Azure, from the most sophisticated of attacks. We are a cloud-native company, led by automation, and we deploy with built-in enterprise-grade security, predictive auto-scaling, and blazing-fast performance capabilities. Our SaaS-delivered model allows us the flexibility to work with merchants with different needs.
Frank: Your SaaS model allows you to work with enterprise customers as well as nimble startups?
Adrian: Yes, absolutely. I even hesitate to use the word “startup.” We’re seeing startups launch and become ridiculously successful overnight because they’ve been really smart with how they’ve marketed themselves, who they’re targeting and who they’ve chosen to partner with. Startup or enterprise, we believe our customers should focus on their business while we manage their infrastructure.
Frank: Beyond hosting, what are some of your offerings that are very important for ecommerce businesses today?
Adrian: To start with, our predictive auto-scaling technology, so there’s never any unplanned downtime, whatever the traffic. Another is 360-degree security that offers the industry’s most comprehensive protection, from the front end all the way to the back end, to our new offerings around security at the traffic edge, for any hosted commerce cloud or headless/PWA deployments, or on-prem applications. The visibility and control the Webscale Customer Portal offers merchants into their traffic, events, and infrastructure, allows them to take critical decisions before they’re too late.
Frank: Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the whole of last year when ecommerce grew exponentially is when your customers may have really got to appreciate what Webscale offers?
Adrian: The heart of why ecommerce is different, is those traffic fluctuations. There’s not just Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and seasonality, but now you have these marketing campaigns which have evolved into social media campaigns that, at any point, can run wild beyond what the merchant was expecting. Our responsibility is to provide the auto-scaling and the elasticity that extends throughout the year. Availability and performance go hand-in-hand, so that’s a huge aspect of what we do. I mean, how good of a job are we doing if we keep a storefront available online but performance is just going down the drain? So you have to continue to perform at scale, whatever the load on your site.
Frank: What innovations are you driving on the Magento Cloud front?
Adrian: We recently launched Webscale CloudEDGE Security, which acts as a security and performance add-on to Adobe’s Magento Commerce Cloud platform, which we can deliver without causing any friction with their existing stack. It’s already proving to be an incredibly useful tool for those merchants that are on Magento Commerce Cloud, that have no intentions of moving, but have some security, performance and maybe visibility gaps to fill.
Frank: Do you see performance remaining the focus and things getting faster for online shoppers so merchants can continue to add complex headless experiences, video experiences, animations, and real cool merchandising to their websites?
Adrian: There’s global competition out there. People can buy something from 5 or 5,000 miles away, and all they care about is how fast they can get to the site, get in and out, purchase, and how quickly it hits their doorstep. My kids are two and three times as impatient as I am. So yes, with the emergence of these PWA and headless technologies, it’s just going to push performance and speed even further with the flexibility and agility they offer.
Frank: Sounds like you can provide a lot of value early on while we, the designers and developers, are starting to architect the solution. It’s no longer a wait until the end when it’s time to get the quote for “hosting”?
Adrian: That’s 100% accurate. We’ve launched thousands of storefronts to date, and you don’t do that without learning a few things and being able to offer guidance and expertise. To me what’s most enjoyable is working with a merchant early, consulting on best practices and then helping them find a great partner, like you guys. Ideally we want to be able to say, “These are the responsibilities of the SI that you work with – here’s where we fit in – here’s the timeline of how things need to be built the right way – and here’s a partner in the same space that can help you avoid some pitfalls, and plan for success.”
Frank: Before we wrap up, I want to give you a chance to talk about any of your offerings that you think are really critical right now.
Adrian: I talked about Webscale CloudEDGE Security already. So let me talk about the flexible deployment models that Webscale offers. Don’t be afraid to come in to us and say, “I currently have a site on Shopify,” assuming that we’re going to want to rip and replace the entire environment and re-architect something using a different application than something that’s on-prem hosted. That’s how a traditional hosting company works, not us.
Bring us what it is that you have now, and what it is that you would like to be, and then let’s talk about our different deployment models, whether we need to offer security augmentation and whether that security augmentation needs to be placed out in front of an existing hosting provider or a fully hosted ecommerce platform like Magento Commerce Cloud or Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Or if you have a SaaS solution that you’re now in the process of building out a custom frontend for, to create a headless version of your online brand. Regardless of what it is, there’s a very high likelihood that Webscale has a deployment model, a product set, a plan, or some sort of add-on features that we could really create or help bridge any gaps that you might have as a merchant.
Frank: It’s really exciting to have a partner like Webscale that’s so flexible on the infrastructure side and able to add so much value in terms of performance and security while taking care of the hosting aspects of ecommerce in a SaaS-model. I think it’s really great.