Cable & Wireless Optus and WebCentral have signed a supplier agreement through which the carrier will rebrand WebCentral's NT hosting services for sale to SME and corporate customers.
The services will be rebranded "PowerHost Accelerator", with the customer relationship being maintained by Optus and the technology services provided by WebCentral. Optus plans to start offering the service by March.
Cable & Wireless Optus already offers a range of high-end Unix-based hosting solutions, but were in need of a Windows NT hosting service to attract a wider customer base to its hosting business. According to David Stokes-McKeon, director of e-solutions at C&W Optus, the WebCentral partnership was chosen due to the ease with which a customer can manage the hosting service through WebCentral's online management tool, Mission Control. Users are able to manage features such as domain names, e-mail, Web site statistics; e-commerce order collection, billing security and control access from one location.
"The synergy is that Optus maintains the relationship with its customers, while WebCentral will maintain responsibility for the Web hosting aspects of service and supply," said Stokes-McKeon.
WebCentral's marketing director Stephen Johns said he had a great deal of faith in Optus' customer service abilities and in the next two months the partners will put a support and sales process in place through which they would work together to solve customer issues. Johns said WebCentral's wholesale "rebrandable" products are easy to redesign and deploy to a variety of resellers, even large telecommunications players.
"This is a natural extension of what Optus currently does," he said. "They already sell very high-end Unix hosting and needed something to satisfy the other end of the market that would be quick and easy to deploy."
Photograph: WebCentral's marketing director Stephen Johns.