had the chance to sit down and chat with Arnaud Franquinet, CEO of Gandi, a domain name registrar, and provider of web hosting, email and SSL certificates with over 350.000 users.
We looked closely at the features that make their hosting plans stand out, and what key factors made an initially-small team of pioneers become an international business with 150 employees spread over three continents.
What products and services do you currently offer?
Gandi’s ambition is to offer a complete and useful range of products for online presence, from domain names to turnkey websites.
Our current offer:
- domain names with one of the most complete offers on the market +600 TLDs automatically from the website
- associated with these domain names, a DNS among the most powerful on the market (point of presence on the entire globe, listed in the TOP 10 for speed of execution, resilience guaranteed for 20 years)
- security certificates (SSL)
- bare-metal hosting, webhosting or VPS, or combined with key solutions such as Prestashop, WordPress, NextCloud, etc.
How does your mission differ from the competition?
Depending on who our competitor is, our points of differentiation may be different. However, I see 3 major points of differentiation:
- The possibility for anyone to retain full ownership of his data. Unlike online platforms, our customers retain total control over their data. In this respect, we have always been committed to not exploiting personal data, even before the emergence of the various regulations in this area, including the RGPD in Europe
- An extensive customer experience know-how, thanks to our customer care team present 24/7. We are working to make this team even more available in the coming months, by opening it up to the telephone
- We have one of the best-performing DNS on the market, as mentioned above, from the moment you purchase a domain name
Who are your target customers, and how have you tailored your features to their pain points?
We cater for a very wide range of customers, from individuals and small businesses to the self-employed and professionals. We offer a complete range of standardized products from our website. For more specific and customized needs, we have a sales team dedicated to key accounts.
For each of our products, it is possible to upgrade the service to meet a greater need:
- Access to all extensions
- Brand protection product
- Premium DNS for enhanced DNS security
- Premium and advanced certificates
- Mail pro
- Enhanced web hosting capabilities and performance to meet specific needs
Everything is accessible from our website, allowing you to upgrade the basic package to suit your needs, and we even offer a VIP telephone support service to help customers who need dedicated support.
What is the number one thing that sets you apart from your competitors?
Quality is certainly the word that sets us apart from many of our competitors:
- Quality of our DNS and infrastructure
- Quality of our customer care and support
- Quality of customer experience
For the 20 years we’ve been in business, we’ve always invested heavily to offer a premium level of quality, whether in our infra-structure, in the recruitment of quality support agents, or in our value proposition, while respecting personal data, Gandi’s true signature.
How do you ensure scalability for those clients that experience sudden traffic growth?
The company has been growing for 20 years, and we’re always investing to maintain our position and the quality of our infrastructure. For our customers, whether it’s email, SSL or webhosting products, we offer upgrades as standard to support their growth: pro product, premium product.
On the hosting side, it’s also possible to customize your instance as you grow.
How do you handle technical issues, server maintenance and upgrades without causing significant downtime?
20 years’ experience has taught us how to manage maintenance and incidents in a way that limits the impact on our customers, and is always transparent.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in the future of your industry?
The main challenge facing the industry is the development of cybercrime
. That’s why we’ve been working for many years to provide a secure environment and combat DNS abuse – we’re one of the most virtuous registrars in this field.
Lastly, what’s in your roadmap for the next 12 months?
Over the next 12 months, we’ll be launching the use of the telephone in customer care, and on the product side, we’ll be working to strengthen our offering by offering office365 for e-mail and a number of search and security functions
, by improving our website to give greater visibility to our various products, and by reworking our hosting offering to meet the needs of as many people as possible.