Different Horses for Different Courses – EarthLink’s Rolla Huff Speaks at Bloomberg’s ‘Next Big Thing’ Summit

“Different horses for different courses” was the end note on the panel, “How Software is Eating Everything & the Future of the Network” on Monday, June 18, where EarthLink’s Chairman and CEO Rolla P. Huff joined Michael Gregoire, CEO at CA Technologies, and Sanjay Poonen, President and Head of the mobile division of SAP AG, in a fascinating discussion about the outlook for software development, the cloud, mobile technology and the security issues they raise. Special thanks to Bloomberg’s Peter Burrows for moderating the panel.

What’s the next best thing to actually being there?

Throughout his 22 minutes on stage, Rolla’s participation highlights EarthLink’s exciting transformation as he shared advances in cloud and virtualization. He shares that, “We were a consumer ISP and that’s probably now 20% of our business. 80% of our business is serving mid-size business customers in the cloud, infrastructure management, and networking,” to showcase EarthLink’s transformation strategy to IT services and businesses in the cloud. Rolla goes on to state, “I think from a small to mid-size business perspective, we are at the early stages of moving those kinds of business models into the cloud. There is not a lot of skill set in these small businesses to actually move their models to the cloud securely. We are really trying to put together a portfolio of services that allow these companies to variablize their cost structure to consume IT as a service versus going through the cycles of buying hardware and software.”

Rolla Huff also shared his thoughts around IT services, cloud, mobile and security:

Do you think the industry is serving the small and mid-size companies as well? (Jump to video)

“I think it’s at the very beginning stages of serving the industry. There is lot of marketing motion above Fortune 500. But below the Fortune 500 there is not. 80% of the typical IT org is built around production, so a Fortune 500 company would hire the enterprise organization to help them think through how to move more of the business into the cloud. But the gentleman that owns a 200 terminal trucking company in the SE, you just don’t have people to help you think through that. There is a real need there. Everyone understands the fact that they need to get the cost structure up there, but helping them get there is a real tough model. I think people that can bring that to life without hand-holding 24/7 put a control point up there so applications are up there that you don’t need an IT staff to manage – I think there is real promise there and that is where we are focused.” – Rolla Huff

What are the trends in tablet vs laptop? Are the BYOD trends picking up? (Jump to video)

“We like the idea of giving business the ability to let their employees bring whatever device they feel most comfortable into the office and securely putting their desktop no that device. So once again, we think there is a real positive momentum around business saying “I just want to keep my data secure, if people can bring their devices from home, we don’t have to buy them.” They are happier. Otherwise, it’s always a food fight as to which iOS or Android device they will use. And we feel that is where it’s going.” – Rolla Huff

Question from the Audience: Emergence of the cloud – mobile and how these things are coming together. What would be the next technology out there that would be as disruptive as the cloud/mobile? And what is slowing the adoption of the cloud? (Jump to video)

“Security is slowing down adoption in the business market. Everyone is concerned and there is a lot of effort being put into it. But the other cold reality is that if you believe that we’re in a period of flat GDP growth, the cost of technology is going up. There is only one thing that can fix that for most businesses and they need to have their IT organizations part of a federal enterprise-class platform. Even though security scares everyone to death, there is a push to take business into the cloud – no doubt. I hope that security is the next big thing that comes out. Because with everything that’s moving into the cloud, it’s absolutely critical and I think there is huge opportunity there.” – Rolla Huff

Stop 3 Common URL-related Issues with EarthLink Web Hosting

urlHaving a website to promote your business is necessary nowadays, but there are small annoyances that come along with having a web presence that you’d rather not deal with. EarthLink Web Hosting is here to help you eliminate three of the most common:

Unwanted Communication
Whenever a domain name is registered, the personal information (name, address, email address) of the buyer is displayed publicly. Anyone wanting to look up a URL can see this information. But EarthLink offers private registration that hides your personal information,, which helps protect you from unwanted communications and spam!

Domain Guard
If you own a domain, chances are you’re going to spend money making sure people remember the web address in the hopes they’ll visit.  Sadly, often other businesses can register similar domain names (either to try and swipe potential business, or because they’re not aware of your site existing), and this can be confusing to your current and prospective customers.  But EarthLink Web Hosting offers “Domain Guard,” which alerts you when a domain name similar to yours is registered so you can respond to protect your trademarks, copyrights, and branding efforts!

Domain Monitor
Did you have to register a “.biz” instead of a “.com” or settle in some other way because the domain you wanted was already purchased, but not being used?  EarthLink’s Domain Monitor tells you when an existing domain name becomes available so you can get the URL you really want!

Show Up in Google Search Results with an eBusiness Card

Business cards are the traditional way to spread your name throughout the business world, but times are changing.  Printed business cards can only be useful in face-to-face environments, and they have zero connection to the source most people use to search for businesses: Google. Of course, you can put your URL on the card, but what if someone you spoke with remembers your name, but not your specific business website?  EarthLink is here to help!

Using EarthLink’s eBiz Card, you can easily show up in Google search results. Your “card” establishes a search engine presence centered around your name, which can generate relevant business inquiries. Generate more call and website traffic and make it easy for prospects to find, contact and buy from you!

Here’s how it works:

When a prospect uses google to search for your name, your “eBusiness card” appears as a sponsored link in the Google search results (just like the graphic above!).  They will see you at the top of the results, along with the message you include “on your card” (which is actually a powerful Google ad).  Your Google ad can include a brief description of your services as well as a link to your business website (need help getting a website?  Click here). You can also include your phone number to make it easy for prospects to call you.

Why would you not want to have a sponsored ad promoting yourself on Google?  Get your eBusines card today!  (You can also call us to find out more: 1-800-201-8615)

Affordable Web Design is at your Fingertips

Building a website for your business can be daunting. Is it better to risk a lot of money on a designer or a lot of time on a built-it-yourself option? Too often, designers are prohibitively expensive, and website builders can look unprofessional.

EarthLink Web Hosting makes your choice easy with two solutions: an affordable, professional-grade do-it-yourself design tool, or an affordable professional designer. Let’s compare them…

Independent Designer / Design Firm

PROS:

  • Design is their only product (so it’s likely good!)

CONS:

  • It could be difficult to get one-on-one time
  • Turn-around may be slow
  • This is the highest-priced option
  • Designers may have an esthetic they don’t like to deviate from

Designers Within Your Web Hosting Company

PROS:

  • They are invested in your business (for example, EarthLink offers web design services to compliment their web hosting plans, and prefer to support you in all areas instead of only supporting hosting)
  • They have incentive to keep you as a client (ex. If a designer loses your business, he only loses your deign business; if a hosting company loses your design business, they will probably also lose your hosting business!)
  • Pricing is lower than design-only options
  • Other services (such as internet marketing) can also be added to your account (and costs are cheaper bundled!)

CONS:

  • Turn around time may be slower than desired

Yourself, With Easy-to-Use Tools

PROS:

  • EarthLink offers tools (ex.Net Objects Fusion) that let you to create your own website on your own time with no design experience required
  • Turn around time is up to you (and you can alter it at your discretion)
  • This is the most affordable of your options

CONS:

  • You will spend a little bit of time learning how to use your chosen tool(s)