Web hosting specialist NetRegistry last week announced an alliance with Microsoft distributors Express Data, Electronic Resources and Tech Pacific to give Office 2000 users free access to its services.
Giles Donovan, NetRegistry's communications director, said the distributors found the deal irresistible despite the fact it is apparently an attempt to capitalise on the success of Microsoft Office 2000.
"Distributors are always looking at ways to add value to products to make them more attractive to buyers. This accomplishes that so we simply called them up and they said yes," he said.
Expanding on this apparently simple plan, Donovan attributes NetRegistry's coup to the company's focus on service.
"We have a limited portfolio because we feel strongly about service so we don't make mistakes. We are specialists," claimed Donovan.
NetRegistry is offering $258 worth of Web-hosting services, including the establishment of a Web site, the first month online free and a .au.com domain name with every purchase of Office 2000.
Donovan is hoping to utilise the exposure the deal will generate to facilitate increased brand recognition of NetRegistry's .au.com domain space and increase the number of companies registering sites with the host organisation. "We want to make .au.com ubiquitous and position ourselves as a Web- hosting company," he said.
Sheer volume alone could realise this goal with Donovan calculating that "40 per cent of office users plan to upgrade within a year. So if only 10 per cent of potential Office 2000 users were to take up our offer and maintain their subscription we would realise 40,000 more subscriptions."
Donovan believes that a lot of the demand for Office 2000 and Web-enablement is coming from small businesses. He anticipates this initiative will help NetRegistry tap into this market. "We see a huge rise in Microsoft FrontPage Web sites as many smaller businesses and home users take their first steps towards a successful Internet presence. Our offer is being carried by this demand."
NetRegistry will also use this opportunity to align itself with the high end of the channel, and is already using resellers to promote its products and services. "This is the first in a number of steps to foster relationships with distributors and hardware manufacturers," Donovan said.