Hans Nijholt | 1&1 IONOS | TechWeek18

Avatar Ben Fower | 20/12/2018

Hans Nijholt from 1&1 IONOS joined us at TechWeek18 to talk about the new section of 1&1 called IONOS and the plans they have for this part of the business. Hosted by Will Spalding

Will: I’m happy to be joined by our next guest Hans Nijholt. So, Hans, you are the head of product management and professional business 1&1 IONOS. Did I get that the second part right? I know its brand new.

Hans: So, it’s really a brand new as well. We rebranded 1&1 2 weeks ago. So, we have been in a web hosting market for many years, of course as a number one in Europe and worldwide we’re third. I think we are a big name already in the web hosting industry. After the acquisition last year of a startup here in Germany, which has German Cloud products, Proper Bricks. We acquired that last year in July and we want to bring the real Cloud also to the other countries. That’s why we decided to do a rebranding and focus not only on web hosting but also on cloud and server infrastructure in the future.

Will: So, how new is IONOS then to 1&1? What time scale are we talking?

Hans: It has been launched two weeks ago.

Will: Two weeks so it’s a baby. in comparison to 1&1. So, a lot of people know you guys for, you’ve got your sole traders, local businesses, cafe owners. They know 1&1, but you guys do a lot in terms of big data and then also cloud-based technologies as well. Tell us a little bit about that area that you deal with.

Hans: Yeah. So just to correct your little bit is not that we are a subsidiary of 1&1. It’s the old web hosting part of 1&1 has been rebranded together with the cloud part into 1&1 IONOS. We focus not only on small businesses but also on medium and enterprise business with our German-based Cloud product to be an alternative for the hyper scalers out of the U.S.

Will: It’s an interesting point. I think we spoke very briefly yesterday actually about the slight issues that the European market is having versus the U.S. hyper scalars. What do you guys do which competes against the U.S hyper scalers?

Hans: I think there are two things which are a big difference. So foreign hyper scalars, they all come from the U.S they have to support the Cloud Act of course, which allows the U.S government or other government authorities to provide data, even if the data is stored on servers here in Germany or in Europe. The German data regulations, but in general the European data regulations, the GDPR is much more secure so there is no access for any in anyone else other than the customer themselves. So that’s the first big difference I would say. The second big difference I see with the hyper scale is that they are very feature-rich. They have a solution for every use case which is a big advantage of them. But at the other end, it’s also creating a lot of complexity if you are a small or medium-sized business. What you buy, where to enter, how to do the cloud transformation and that complexity can be solved by an enterprise, maybe, because they hire a consulting company, but a medium sized business doesn’t have the budget to hire Accenture or other consultants to help them do the onboarding in the cloud. So what we try to do is to make the cloud ready for them. So, it’s no longer the case that we say okay, please medium-sized company prepare yourself for the cloud. No, I think it’s our task as the cloud industry to make the cloud ready for them that is easy to use, easy to on board and use the flexibility and the advantages the cloud brings.

Will: I mean, that’s a really interesting point I think GDPR is as we all know, we’ve got numerous emails into our own personal e-mail account to tell us a lot about it. It is interesting to talk about that against the hyper scalars with GDPR and the main differences, especially within the strict laws within Germany as well with data protection. So, it’s always pretty interesting.

Hans: The interesting thing is that of course, if you are a hyper scale out of the U.S. you have to comply with the GDPR if you are in Europe as well. So there’s some contradiction in the in the GDPR regulations compared to the Cloud Act. So I do expect some legal topics coming up. That, on one hand, a hyper scaler has to be compliant with GDPR but then the other hand they also have to be compliant with the Cloud Act and they don’t match.

Will: It’s all quite mind-boggling for me to even get my head right now. So that’s one conversation I think I’ll live but my head in the sand for actually, even though it’s my job to interview people about it. So, what can we expect from 1&1 at TechWeek18? What are your main goals to get out of this fantastic expo?

Hans:  For us, it’s, of course, this is our first presence since the rebranding that we are now combined with an enterprise cloud product to go the market. So, it’s to tell the story, what we are standing for and that we are there, and of course we have a very interesting product portfolio on offer. It’s I don’t think we should be here in a TV commercial as such, but the real thing is to make the cloud easy make it an easy onboarding process even if it is a big step to do public Cloud, maybe it’s best to do a private cloud first. We recently launched a completely flexible model even for dedicated hardware, for example, wherein the past you always have minimum contract terms for dedicated servers, which are also not very easy to integrate in the cloud. That’s has been launched recently where you also pay a dedicated server by the minute without any setup fee or contractor.

Will: Oh, so you offer a rolling contract, essentially?

Hans: Yeah.

Will: That’s pretty interesting. So, you know all in or tied down. So, we’re going to go off-topic slightly, we’re going to go less tech-related. We’ve got a few quirky questions for you.

Hans: Now it is becoming interesting.

Will: Well, I’ll be nice to you don’t worry. So, the first question is. So, if you had to choose Hans between having a shirt that is two sizes too big or one size too small. What would you go for?

Hans: Okay, I would go for two sizes too big, I think.

Will: I mean I’d have to go the same. Going too tight, we wouldn’t want that. .Good choice and the second one, this is more tech related actually, right if you had to live your life in VR land but all your dreams come true. We’re going all sci-fi here. Or living in the real world. What would you have to go for?

Hans: Oh, I definitely go for the real world. Even sometimes it’s a hassle. But give me just reality.

Will: I don’t think we’re in the right place for that. I think I feel like I’m in a VR land here already.

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