After more than 3 years in development, VentraIP Wholesale officially launched today and the following is a message from our CEO:
It is my pleasure to welcome everybody to VentraIP Wholesale, and to introduce you all to our Wholesale System. The system is the end result of more than 3 years of hard work that brings together the ability for customers to resell domain names, SSL certificates, software licenses, online SMS and will soon include web hosting.
Over the last year or two we’ve had many launch dates that never came to fruition and I would like to take this opportunity to give a small insight as to why this happened. When we first embarked on this project back in 2009, our aim was to offer a simple wholesale service that was primarily focussed on .au domain names and web hosting services, that would be integrated in to our existing systems and simply offered as an addon for our existing web hosting resellers.
As development on the system progressed and we were able to achieve accreditations with many other registries around the world, it became clear that the system was starting to take on a life of its own and within a few months we re-evaluated the purpose and decided to proceed as a fully fledged wholesale platform – knowing full well it was going to take a lot longer to complete. Once we became auDA accredited in September 2010, the wholesale system effectively went live with our retail operation its only customer, and the idea that we would be able to test for bugs and issues within the system without having to launch it as a working beta (sound familiar?).
While we were going to be able to launch with a bunch of domain name extensions that we were the registrar of, all of our gTLD’s would have needed to go through another provider as we were not ICANN accredited. At the time we consulted with various companies regarding ICANN and were told that it was “near impossible” and “not always worth it” which cast a lot of doubt in our minds as to the financial viability of achieving this status.
After a couple of months of testing we were ready to launch with what we thought was going to be it, but with the unfortunate demise of Distribute.IT our thoughts returned to the ICANN accreditation to ensure that we were the central point of contact for our customers, and if the same type of scenario were to happen with our chosen gTLD registrar it would create a mess for both us and our resellers that we would have no control over. It was at this time we made the decision to go ahead with the ICANN accreditation, a process which took nearly eight months from start to finish and in March 2012 we officially became ICANN accredited.
During this time we continued to obtain as many domain name accreditations as possible that did not require ICANN as a prerequisite, and formed a valuable partnership with Trustwave to become their Premier Partner for Australia and New Zealand. We also formalised our agreement with Telstra Wholesale to provide online SMS services, and became the Australia’s third cPanel Authorised Distributor and Australia’s only cPanel FastUpdate provider.
The final hurdle has admittedly been one that we created for ourselves. The online interface for the Wholesale System was originally built as a very basic and simplistic service that would do what it needed to do and nothing more, but as we began to add new services and new accreditations in to the mix it became clear that we needed something far more advanced. In February 2012 we hired our first full time web developer, Mitch, who completely redesigned the interface using a variety of techniques that have delivered a system that is simple, functional and beautifully presented.
So after 3 years, we have all of the following:
auDA accreditation (for all .AU domain names)
ICANN accreditation (for all gTLD’s including .COM, .NET, .INFO, .BIZ, .ASIA and .ORG)
Further domain accreditations with .ME, .SO, .IM, .FM, .US, .UK, .NZ and .LA
Trustwave Premier Partner for Australia and New Zealand for SSL certificates
cPanel Authorised Distributor
Australia’s only cPanel FastUpdate provider (meaning all cPanel updates come directly from us)
WHMCS authorised reseller
Authorised distributor for CloudLinux, Softaculous and Installatron
Telstra Wholesale for online SMS
Anybody who knows me will know that I’ve never been one to blow my own trumpet, but I think that represents an outstanding level of commitment and achievement while still being able to operate and continue to expand our retail service offering.
Our focus is now firmly on the future and just because the system has now been released it doesn’t mean development has stopped – far from it. We will continue to achieve accreditations for other domain name extensions, forge new partnerships with service providers that our customers can resell, and the system itself will continue to grow in line with the demands from our customers.
I wanted to touch on the costs associated with our Wholesale services. The pricing model that was have ultimately chosen is one that represents balance and fairness to all resellers, regardless of whether they have 10 domains or 1,000 domains with us. The reason behind this comes from our own experience as a reseller, where we were always told we were getting the best prices from one particular company, where we were also confirmed as being their second biggest client, only to find out months later after the acquisition of another company that they were getting better pricing then us because they knew one of the owners. We think this behaviour is outrageous and it is not a business model that we subscribe to, and we guarantee that all of our wholesale customers are on a level playing field.
Our Wholesale System has a yearly fee of $149.00 that applies to all resellers, while our services are all sold at cost or near cost price. Customers on our waiting list will receive a $50.00 discount on their first year as a thank you for waiting patiently.
And finally, while our system provides a web interface and a fully documented API, we also have domain name and SSL modules for WHMCS. The SSL module has been ready for months, however the domain name module is still not complete. This has been delayed due to the recent changes being made at WHMCS since cPanel took an interest in the company. Their development time has not allowed them to fulfil their obligations to us and we have been advised that it will still be another 2-3 weeks until the module is complete. Once it has been completed, it will be available for download and it will also be included by default with the next release of WHMCS.
We are exceptionally proud of our Wholesale System and it is my pleasure to welcome customers on board. Please note that we have hundreds of people that are on our waiting list who will be notified later today that the system is now open, and we will be getting through new applications as quickly as possible but it may take some time until we’re able to process every application so please be patient!