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Scaling your Hosting Business Using Parallels Automation

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  1. Scaling your Hosting Business Using Parallels Automation Brian Shellabarger Chief Architect - SaaS, Parallels

  2. Agenda • The 5 major challenges of growing a hosting business. • The technology solutions available to address those challenges. • The future of Parallels Automation (Road map) Parallels Summit 2008

  3. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 1 Automating Complex Processes Parallels Summit 2008

  4. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 1. Automating Complex Processes Keys to Success Automate End-to-End Provisioning Using Workflows for Process Automation Single Console for Data-Center Management Parallels Summit 2008

  5. Automate End-to-End Provisioning Customer Meta-Data Run-time Environment Mail Accounts Customer Order Domains Databases • Orders for a plan are translated into service requirements • Individual services are provisioned automatically • Full support for roll-back on failure • Provisioning events are customer driven • Complex service bundles can be delivered in seconds DNS SQL Farm Virtuozzo Exchange Billing Provisioning Gateways Parallels Summit 2008

  6. Using Workflows for Process Automation • Ordering workflows act as a logic tree for order-handling • End-result of workflow is either a fully-provisioned customer or a rejected order • Transitions between steps can be automatic, manual, or based on an automated decision • Separate workflows can be defined for all order types: Billing, Cancellation, Downgrade, Payment, Resource, Renewal, Sales, Transfer, Upgrade • Resellers can have their own customized workflows, independent from their parent service provider Order Placed FraudScreening Success No Yes Charge Credit Card Mark OrderAs Suspect Wait For Approval Approved Provision Services Yes No Notify Customer Reject Order Parallels Summit 2008

  7. Single Console for Data-Center Management Manage Physical Servers IP Address Allocation Pools IP Address Translations Capacity Management Updates and Upgrades Users, Staff Members, and Roles Background & Periodic Task Management Reseller Management Resource Management DNS Parallels Summit 2008

  8. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 1 Automating Complex Processes 2 Keeping up with Billing Parallels Summit 2008

  9. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 2. Keeping Up With Billing Keys to Success Allow Customers to Manage their own Billing Automate the End-to-End Billing Process Flexible Billing Terms Parallels Summit 2008

  10. Allow Customers to Manage Their Billing Billing Self-Service is the key to: • Happier Customers: Services can be ordered and delivered in real time • More revenue: Up-sells and add-ons can be sold as impulse items • Lower Costs: Service providers using automated billing self service save significant amounts of money on people and resources • Compete Effectively: Customers are more likely to choose a service provider that keeps them in control • Customers Can: • Make Payments • Subscribe to additional plans • Renew plans • Buy more domains • Renew domains • Buy additional resources • Upgrade / downgrade plans • Make a payment • Modify payment method • View payment history • View invoice history • Submit support tickets • Create users (delegate billing mgmt) Parallels Summit 2008

  11. Automate End-to-End Billing Processes • Parallels Business Automation is a true carrier-grade ordering & billing system • Major accounts-receivable capabilities are included. • Full support for multiple payment processing centers (including Paypal, direct-debit, checks, and more) • Full underlying API for integration with external systems Manage / Approve Orders Create Service Plans (Products) Manage Pricing and Overage Fees Communicate with Customers Manage Marketing Campaigns Manage Resellers & Sub-Resellers Manage Market Brands Manage Payments, Invoices, Credits Run Reports and Forecasts Parallels Summit 2008

  12. Flexible Billing Terms Service Terms Credit Terms Statement Cycles Customer Classes • Defines how expired services are handled • Service terms include the ability to define a grace period, a hold period, and a destroy period. • Service terms can be assigned individually to customers or in groups. • Defines how aged invoices are handled • Credit terms include the ability to define when invoices are due, a payment grace period, and a hold period. • Credit terms can be assigned individually to customers or in groups. • Defines when invoices are generated • Supports “day of month” billing and “anniversary” billing • Different customers can be assigned to different statement cycles • Provides a common set of terms and parameters to groups of customers • Customer classes can be used to define which customers require printed invoices • Discounts can be applied globally to an entire customer class Parallels Summit 2008

  13. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 1 Automating Complex Processes 2 Keeping up with Billing 3 Reacting to the Market Parallels Summit 2008

  14. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 3. Reacting to the Market Keys to Success Deliver Products as Modules Manage Reseller Channels Comprehensive Product Catalog Management Parallels Summit 2008

  15. Deliver Products as Modules • Hosted services are delivered as modules. • Choose the modules you need now. Leverage your investment to add more modules as your business expands. • Future hosted services will be deployed as modules for Parallels Automation • Service Gates can be leveraged to provision other services. Parallels Automation Shared Web Hosting Dedicated Servers Virtual Servers Domain Reg. Service Gates MS-Exchange MS-Sharepoint MS-CRM Parallels Summit 2008

  16. Manage Reseller Channels Basic Resellers Advanced Resellers Affiliates • Affiliates receive a commission (or referral fee) for bringing customers to the hosting company. • System tracks affiliate referrals and reports on payments due. • Does not own relationship with customer. • Fully white-labeled product offering including a custom store-front • Sells the products defined by the parent provider at set prices. • Owns the relationship with the customer • Collects payments using the service provider’s payment gateways • Manages their business using the same screens and interfaces as the service provider (limited control). • Creates their own products and manages their own pricing • Pays parent service provider based on resource consumption or pre-purchased “bulk resources” • Uses their own payment gateways • May even have dedicated hardware. • Manages their business using the same screens and interfaces as the service provider Parallels Summit 2008

  17. Comprehensive Product Catalog Management Create a Service Template Attach Plans to Service Templates Define Resource Rates Define Resources • Resource rates define the cost to the customer for going over the limits in their service template. • Resource rates are attached to individual resources • Rates include setup fees (for buying more), subscription fees (for a-la-carte purchases), and overage fees. • A resource is any individual item in your data center that you want to provide to your customers • Examples include: Mailboxes, disk space, bandwidth, IP addresses, mobile devices, application licenses, CPU time, memory, applications, and more. • Service templates are a “bundle” of resources • Templates define limits on the number of resources the customer can consume (e.g. disk space limits, mailbox limits, etc.) • Templates also define what parameters must be collected in the order form to deliver the service • Service Plans are the pricing terms on top of a template. • Subscription periods are defined here (1-month, 3-month, 6-year, 1-year, etc.) with each period having different setup, recurring, and renewal fees • Trial plans can also be created 4 3 2 1 Parallels Summit 2008

  18. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 1 Automating Complex Processes 2 Keeping up with Billing 3 Reacting to the Market Managing Customer Requests 4 Parallels Summit 2008

  19. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 4. Managing Customer Requests Keys to Success Automate Order Processing Deliver Comprehensive Self-Service Automate Communications Parallels Summit 2008

  20. Automate Ordering Processing Design Your Screens & Templates Define Product Ordering Scenarios Publish Products to Store Create a new Store-Front 1 2 3 4 • Service providers can create multiple store-fronts, each with a different brand, language, currency, or product focus. • Design your own templates, screens, & layouts • Embed product ordering into your existing web-site • Define the ordering steps and product-specific data collection • Choose which products should be published in your various stores Parallels Summit 2008

  21. Add Hosting Plan Add Resources Collect Payment Data Add Domain Name 3 Store Front: Final Result • Full support for in-line domain registration • Full support for payment collection • Real-time invoicing and “provision while you wait” capabilities. 1 2 2 Parallels Summit 2008

  22. Deliver Comprehensive Self-Service Resellers Customer Admin. Service End-User • Manage stores, products, pricing, and branding • Manage customers • Full payment and invoicing • Full sub-reseller management • Manage users & privileges • Manage applications • Delegate service management to other employees • Manage billing and payments • Purchase more services • Change password & account information • Manage application settings • Adjust preferences (e.g. display language) Parallels Summit 2008

  23. Automate Communications • Create notification schedules that define when customers should be alerted about events pertaining to their accounts. • Create notification templates to customize the formatting and wording of the communications to your customers (Resellers can create their own). • Send automated alerts to customers based on their account activity reaching certain thresholds Bandwidth usage warning – HTML version Order Accepted High Bandwidth Usage Notify Customer (email) Notify Customer (email) Manua Process Complete Automated Process Complete Parallels Summit 2008

  24. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 1 Automating Complex Processes 2 Keeping up with Billing 3 Reacting to the Market 4 Managing Customer Requests 5 Integrating with Other Systems Parallels Summit 2008

  25. The 5 Challenges of Scaling a Hosting Business 5. Integrating With Other Systems Keys to Success Integrate with Processing Centers and Registrars Standard API Interface to Service Delivery Platform Event Management Parallels Summit 2008

  26. Integrate with Processing Centers and Registrars • About 30 plugins are supported out of the box with the platform • Full SDK for creating domain registrar plugins and payment processing plugins • Plugins support complex scenarios, such as multiple payment processing centers (e.g. sending all Visa requests to one processor and all Amex requests to another). Parallels Summit 2008

  27. Standard API Interface • Full underlying API interfaces are provided to connect to Parallels System Automation and Parallels Business Automation • APIs are well documented and easy to integrate • Allows for full connectivity to third party systems Customer Control Panel Reseller Control Panel Online Storefront SOAP Plesk Control Panel ProvisioningSystem Virtuozzo Containers Reseller Billing Ecommerce Marketing CRM Support Trouble Ticketing System SOAP SOAP Custom Application AccountingSystem Parallels Business Automation In-House System Domain Registrar Core Services 3rd Party Application Payment Gateway SOAP Parallels Summit 2008

  28. Event Management • Event-management can be used for real-time integration with third-party systems • Events are triggered in the provisioning or billing systems (71 possibly events on the billing side, 47 possible events on the provisioning side) • Events trigger one or more actions (sending notifications or launching external scripts on remote systems). • All actions are logged as “tasks” and tracked by the system. Parallels Summit 2008

  29. Summary: Automate Complex Processes Keep Up With Billing React to the Market Integrate With Other Systems Manage Customer Requests Parallels Summit 2008

  30. Future Roadmap: • Parallels Roadmaps not available online • Parallels Partners may contact their sales representative regarding roadmap availability Parallels Summit 2008