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    Interview: Alvaro Albarracin
    Chief Executive Officer, Dialtone Internet

    HostIndex.com had an opportunity to conduct an interview with Alvaro Albarracin, the CEO of fast-growing Dialtone Internet. Here's what we learned....

    HostIndex.com: Dialtone Internet started in 1996 with three servers hosting 1000 virtual sites. Now you host over 2,500 dedicated IBM, Linux Value Dedicated Servers and Sun Linux servers for customers in 67 countries. How did you achieve such significant growth? What initiatives have you established to ensure continued success?

    Alvaro Albarracin: We provide our customers with excellent performance, support and quality at unmatched prices, and this accounts for our continuous growth. Our servers, network hardware, routers, backbone providers are all top notch, as are our technical support staff, which leads to extremely low churn rate. We lead in the adoption of ground breaking hardware and software innovation, thus providing unique value to our customers

    HostIndex.com: Dialtone Internet recently announced a strategic alliance with Advanced Communications to offer IBM Windows 2000 Servers pre-installed with Advanced's flagship product, Hosting Controller. What influenced your decision to team with Advanced Communications? What impact will the introduction of Hosting Controller have on your customers?

    Alvaro Albarracin: Dialtone has a proprietary server interface we developed for Linux, which has proven very useful to our hosting customers. Hosting Controller is the leading (if not only) multilevel interface for Windows Hosting, and as such it provides an invaluable value to web hosts using Windows technology. It allows Windows hosts to automate their services, create resellers and end users accounts without the need of an experienced administrator, and provides superior security as well.

    HostIndex.com: What are the challenges in hosting e-commerce sites, and how do partners such as Miva and Kurant help you successfully overcome those challenges?

    Alvaro Albarracin: Conducting business is a very demanding operation, requiring stable software that can be easily customized and scaled up. Both Kurant and Miva are leaders in their respective markets, and provide mature, feature-rich products, which run on our Cobalt and Linux Servers. From what we have seen, our customers are very happy with these products, and add them to all their servers.


    HostIndex.com: Dialtone Internet has gained the financial confidence of Crossbow Ventures and, more recently, Silicon Valley Bank. What qualities do you believe financial partners like these look for in a web hosting provider?

    Alvaro Albarracin: Just like any other business, investors like to see profitability and growth potential. Dialtone is net positive and is growing briskly (we are hiring at a time most dot coms are laying off). Our efficient operation and product leadership position is what convinced our investors to put their trust in us.

    HostIndex.com: It's been approximately six months since Dialtone Internet implemented the Hosting Director "AutoHost" from Sphera Corporation. What impact has this had on your Linux offerings? What response have you seen from your customers?

    Alvaro Albarracin: Dialtone is the market leaders in providing and supporting Sphera's HostingDirector. We experienced positive response from many users, and expect the latest release to be even more popular.

    AutoHost servers offer dedicated performance on a shared platform, automate and simplify server administration, and allow end user to provision applications and manage their accounts with intuitive web based graphical interfaces. These features result in a premium hosting experience while improving the host's bottom line. AutoHost servers complement our Linux servers.

    HostIndex.com: You have also recently partnered with IBM to offer their eServer systems. What factors led to you choose the IBM eServer? Has the eServer met your expectations? What has been your customer response to the eServer series?

    Alvaro Albarracin: IBM manufactures today's most advanced and reliable servers. Our customers are heaping praise about the eServer's superior performance, high stability and scalability. We chose IBM's servers both because of their excellent performance, and because IBM is a leader in providing Linux solutions for both web hosting and brick and mortar businesses. We have been very pleased with the availability of Linux solutions from IBM, and with our ability to run our homegrown software on these servers.

    HostIndex.com: It's been almost one year since you opened the data center in Mexico. What obstacles and/or challenges did you experience? What are the advantages of operating a data center in Mexico? When can we expect to see more data centers in other locations?

    Alvaro Albarracin: Opening our Mexico City data center was an exciting experience for us. We adjusted our business model, because in Mexico business is conducted personally, whereas our U.S. operations are conducted by email, fax and phone. We have not experienced any obstacles or challenges.

    Having a physical presence in Mexico City shows how committed we are to that country, and customers are responding positively to that commitment. This gives us an advantage over companies who serve the Mexican market with data centers in the U.S.

    You can expect to see us open at least one more data center by the end of this year, and several more next year. The order of opening in United Kingdom, Germany and Brazil is still under consideration.

    HostIndex.com: We appreciate your time in sharing your marketplace objectives with us.



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