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Stock market shrugs off short seller’s Tucows analysis

Stock market shrugs off short seller’s Tucows analysis 1
A short seller publishes critical analysis of Tucows.

Yesterday, a short seller posted a critical analysis of Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX). Shares in the company dropped before quickly recovering and ending the day in positive territory.

It’s not the first time a short seller has targeted Tucows with a report. But this one is more level-headed, avoiding the extreme hyperbole and anonymity of the prior report.

Kerrisdale Capital Management titled its report published on SeekingAlpha “Tucows: 3 Terrible Businesses In 1.”

Tucows’ three businesses are domain names, mobile service and fiber internet service.

I know the most about domain names, so let’s start there.

Domain Names

Kerrisdale writes:

Tucows’ Domains business is suffering similar stagnation. Industry-wide, growth is abysmal. GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) and VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) have been suffering low single-digit growth, while TCX’s own revenue CAGR has been 1% over the last 3 years as it’s been losing market share. The business is highly commoditized, with little to differentiate any individual firm other than price. TCX has been boosting prices to inflate growth metrics, but this will simply accelerate churn and share loss.

This is a reasonable assessment of the domain name market right now. Domains Under Management (DUM) metrics are just barely inching upward at large registrars. There’s some differentiation beyond price, but price is a critical factor. And Tucows did raise prices on domains, which will undoubtedly lead to some customer loss. How much? I’m not sure, but I suspect the domain business’ overall margin contribution will remain the same or better.

The author notes that another challenge on the margin side is potential wholesale .com price increases. Tucows has previously pointed out that the company earns basically the same amount on .com no matter what the wholesale price is. The registrar market is competitive and all registrars will pass the price increases on to customers.

Where Tucows (and some other registrars) might have exposure is if prices for .com get so dear that domain investors drop their marginal names.

Tucows isn’t the only reseller-model registrar facing industry-wide challenges, and the company has made smart acquisitions of its competitors in recent years.

Despite slow organic growth, domains deliver great free cash flow.

A significant milestone for the company will be rolling out a new backend platform for Enom and OpenSRS. Enom has some major issues, and this platform upgrade can’t come soon enough.

Mobile

Tucows did something smart when it realized the high-growth days of domain registration were coming to an end. It looked for other opportunities and expanded into mobile service as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).

Called Ting Mobile, the original idea was to leverage Tucows’ reseller network and expertise to sell mobile service. That didn’t work out, but Tucows understood that one of its core strengths was missing in the mobile business: customer service. People hate their major-brand mobile companies, so Tucows doubled-down on a simplified pricing structure and great customer service in which someone actually picks up the phone when you call (imagine!).

As Kerrisdale points out, Ting is facing headwinds. It depends on the major carriers for the network and resells their service. A Sprint/T-Mobile combination could hurt.

When I look at the Ting Mobile model, a few things worry me. I draw parallels to the domain business.

Tucows depends on a small number of prominent mobile operators. It reminds me of when domain parkers relied on just Google and Yahoo for ads.

It also reminds me of the reseller domain business. As mentioned earlier, Tucows raised the prices it charges domain resellers. Some will leave, but there aren’t that many options for other reseller platforms these days. Tucows has gobbled many of them up. It might be hard for Tucows to negotiate better deals with the few remaining megacarriers, just like it can be difficult for domain resellers to negotiate better deals with the few remaining reseller platforms.

Fiber

Ting Internet makes big outlays to light up fiber and bring service to customers. It then recoups that over time through monthly internet service fees.

This is a long term business. The further out your projections, the harder it is to target. I also worry about how changes in wireless technology could change the fixed-line internet market.

Kerrisdale makes some comparisons that I don’t think are particularly helpful, though. For example, it uses cost numbers from Verizon. But Ting is cherry-picking its locales because of their economics. That makes a big difference in the numbers.

I think one of the commenters sums it up nicely:

The Ting Fiber business is likely going to decide how investors fare. You make a strong case for the risks. And those risks are real. It takes a huge investment of capital to put in place the infrastructure. That results in a business that can be very sensitive to the adoption rate. If adoption rates turn out to be below Ting’s expectations, and more in line with yours, will greatly harm long term returns. The profitability for each new marginal customer is large so if there are surprises on the upside the returns could be very large.

Final Thoughts

There are lots of things about Tucows’ business to like. Its domain business its fairly predictable and throws off cash.

Whether the mobile and fiber businesses ultimately deliver is an open question. The business is relatively easy to model, and everyone can plug in their assumptions to figure out what they think the company is worth.

Tucows’ share price has soared from $12.47 five years ago to almost $90 before pulling back this year. It closed yesterday at about $60.

I don’t know if it is fairly valued or not. But I do know that Tucows CEO Elliot Noss is all in. He has more than 100% of his net worth in the company’s stock; he has borrowed against his stock holdings to exercise options and cover his taxes on them. That’s a good sign for investors.

I do not hold shares in individual publicly-traded domain name companies.

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NTT Company Secure-24 Buys US-based SAP Managed Service Provider

Stock market shrugs off short seller’s Tucows analysis 2
Secure-24, a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications since April 2018, with 18 years of experience delivering application hosting, managed IT, and cloud services to enterprises worldwide, has acquired Symmetry – a company managing complex SAP implementations on a global scale for more than 200 of the world’s leading enterprises. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Mike BeDell
“The acquisition of Symmetry allows us to strengthen the comprehensive managed services we provide to our customers, while opening doors to new opportunities,” said Mike BeDell, Chief Executive Officer, Secure-24.

NTT Com is focused on delivering managed IT infrastructure solutions. Its subsidiary Secure-24 has been playing key roles for delivering ‘digital transformation’ capabilities especially in the U.S. market.

Symmetry would possess extensive expertise in SAP managed services, which it delivers to large enterprise clients in diverse industries including consumer products, life sciences, manufacturing and high-tech in the U.S., the world’s largest market for managed services. Symmetry also offers migration and operations services for SAP S/4 HANA, a flexible, high-speed platform, which is expected to be widely deployed.

“The acquisition of Symmetry allows us to strengthen the comprehensive managed services we provide to our customers, while opening doors to new opportunities,” said Mike BeDell, Chief Executive Officer, Secure-24. “With the combined expertise of both companies and Symmetry’s extensive portfolio of managed SAP services we are now in a position to deliver greater value to our customers around the world.”

SAP Certified Hosting & Cloud

Secure-24 is an SAP certified Hosting, HANA, and Cloud Partner, a Microsoft Gold Partner and an Oracle Gold Partner managing Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Hyperion applications across all industries for businesses of every size.

An SAP partner since 2005, Symmetry is certified in SAP Hosting, Cloud and SAP HANA Operations. Symmetry is based in Brookfield, Wis. with locations across North America and Europe.

The transaction is expected to close in 2019 and is subject to regulatory approvals. Through this 100 percent acquisition, Symmetry’s “unique” strengths will be fully integrated into the NTT Com ecosystem, including its total managed IT service, as well as cloud, network and data center services.

“For more than 20 years, Symmetry has been committed to delivering the highest quality SAP cloud hosting and application management services to the market and our customers,” said Pete Stevenson, Chairman and CEO of Symmetry. “We look forward to delivering even greater value to our customers with the expanded offerings and global resources that Secure-24 offers, without sacrificing the high touch support and commitment to success our team executes on and our customers have come to expect.”

Overview Symmetry

Corporation: Symmetry Holding Inc.
Established: 1998
Chairman and CEO: Pete Stevenson
HQs: Wisconsin, USA
Business: IT managed services focused on SAP
Main industries: Consumer products, life sciences, manufacturing, high-tech

Read more at NTT Company Secure-24 Buys US-based SAP Managed Service Provider on Website Hosting Review.

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DataGryd and maincubes Align to Provide Bi-Continental Data Center Solutions

Stock market shrugs off short seller’s Tucows analysis 3
New York City based data center provider DataGryd and European data center provider maincubes announce a partnership to provide cross-Atlantic data center capabilities. The collaboration would offer customers of both data center operations “a broadened geographic coverage featuring flexibility, low-cost connectivity options, 100% SLAs and more.”

“DataGryd and maincubes share a commitment to quality, availability, data protection and security while providing outstanding value for our customers,” said Tom Brown, President and CEO of DataGryd. “This partnership will forge deeper data center and connectivity opportunities between Europe and North America and facilitate increased global reach for our customers.”

Part of German construction conglomerate Zech Group, maincubes is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It’s an expanding data center company with colocation data centers located in Frankfurt, Germany and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Their Frankfurt facility, FRA01, is a greenfield location, offering tenants 4,200 square meters (SQM) with 6MW IT.

Oliver Mentzel
“DataGryd and maincubes have a lot in common, our combined data centers on both sides of the pond feature the highest, enterprise-grade availability and security levels,” said Oliver Mentzel, CEO of maincubes.

The maincubes AMS01 data center in Amsterdam has recently undergone a significant upgrade and modernization through an investment of more than 10 million euros, providing 4,400 SQM and 4.7 MW of IT power and a mixed retail/wholesale utilization. Both maincubes facilities feature an energy-efficient Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) figure while lots of efforts were put into the deployment of data center security details.

DataGryd’s New York City facility, located at the iconic 60 Hudson Street carrier-hotel, is one of the largest available data centers in Lower Manhattan, serving customers with a minimum commitment of 250kW up to 5MW. The location currently has MegaSuite 6, a secured data suite, under construction. MegaSuite 6 is expected to be completed by the end of Q’2 2019 and will offer either a single tenant or multiple tenants up to 1 MW of IT power with access to direct feeds of up to 5 MW.

Data Center Suites

Just as DataGryd, maincubes offers a variety of data center suites, including two large, private suites of 900 SQM with 1.3MW of IT power and 1,100 SQM with 1.7 MW in maincubes AMS01 in Amsterdam. These suites are currently available with the power infrastructure already in place. Both maincubes data centers are ISO 27001 certified.

“DataGryd and maincubes have a lot in common, which makes this alignment a strong partnership,” said Oliver Mentzel, CEO of maincubes. “Their 60 Hudson Street data center in New York offers multi-floor colocation space. So does our data center in Frankfurt, Germany. Their New York facility features an energy-efficient data center design, and our data centers in Europe, in Frankfurt and Amsterdam, are also designed for the highest energy-efficiency rates. Besides that, our combined data centers on both sides of the pond feature the highest, enterprise-grade availability and security levels. Security, availability and reliability, but also energy-efficiency were actually key criteria for Daimler AG when selecting maincubes FRA01 for housing their IoT focused server infrastructure.”

DataGrydDataGryd’s 60 Hudson facility in Lower Manhattan provides up to 60,000 square-feet of available colocation space and “state-of-the-art” power and cooling infrastructure for data network, telecommunications, cloud and large enterprises.

“Another important feature we share with DataGryd is the fiber-density of our data centers,” added Joris te Lintelo, Vice President Sales at maincubes. “The 60 Hudson Street data center in New York is located at a fiber-dense US Internet hub, while our Amsterdam AMS01 and Frankfurt FRA01 facilities are located at the world’s most connected Internet hubs, in close proximity to the Internet Exchanges DE-CIX and AMS-IX.”

Read more at DataGryd and maincubes Align to Provide Bi-Continental Data Center Solutions on Website Hosting Review.

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STACK Expands Data Center Presence in Chicago

STACK INFRASTRUCTURE, the data center company built from the ground up to address the technology infrastructure needs of rapidly scaling enterprises and hyperscale businesses, recently announced plans to expand its Chicago data center campus.

The new development will be adjacent to STACK’s existing Chicago facility, which currently delivers 13MW of power and 221,000 square feet of space. The expansion campus, which spans 4 acres, will eventually house a multi-story data center that offers at least 20MW of additional critical capacity, bringing STACK’s Chicago data center campus to at least 33MW of critical power. The development will offer room for additional power to keep pace with the expanding demands and burgeoning growth of STACK’s hyperscale and enterprise clients.

“Chicago is one of a number of important and growing markets for our clients, and as a result, it is a key market for STACK. We’re committed to investing here so that we can continue to support our clients and stay ahead of their needs,” said Brian Cox, Chief Executive Officer of STACK. “In keeping with our core commitment to being a trusted partner, this project delivers on our promise to strategically evolve and align or offering with our clients’ growth trajectories.”

STACK is dedicated to serving as the data center industry leader in building and delivering flexible critical infrastructure solutions that meet the complex requirements of enterprise and hyperscale deployments. STACK addresses the full stack of its clients’ infrastructure needs, today and into the future, delivering a comprehensive suite of wholesale colocation, build-to-suit, and powered shell solutions in six markets.

The Company’s offering includes hyperscale campuses and build-to-suit data centers (“HYPER STACK™”), immediately available wholesale colocation and private data suites (“READY STACK™”), and powered shell options (“POWER STACK™”). STACK’s six markets currently include Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Northern Virginia; Portland, Oregon; and Silicon Valley, California.

For more information about STACK, please visit: www.stackinfra.com.

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PacketFabric’s Network Extends to Sydney, Providing Transpacific Capacity

PacketFabric, the leading Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform and member of the NantWorks ecosystem of companies, recently announced that it has expanded its platform to Sydney, Australia. Now available at the Equinix SY4 International Business Exchange (IBX), the PacketFabric platform offers easy-to-consume transpacific capacity with availability from any location on its multi-terabit footprint. This Sydney point of presence (PoP) joins the company’s current fabric, which spans more than 150 locations in 20 metro markets throughout the United States and Europe, and is the first data center in the Asia-Pacific region on the company’s network.

“Extending our unique transport network from the United States to Australia and the Asia Pacific region is an important milestone in our goal to establish a global, secure cloud infrastructure to rapidly and securely share information from point to point,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, Chairman of PacketFabric. “The applications across multiple industries, particularly in data-heavy medical science and healthcare, are endless.”

PacketFabric announced a strategic partnership with Hawaiki earlier this year, enabling PacketFabric to offer on-demand transpacific capacity that is available on month-to-month terms from any location its network reaches. To achieve this newest PoP and effectively interconnect Sydney with the United States, PacketFabric is leveraging the Hawaiki Transpacific Cable System, which is the fastest and largest capacity link between Australia, New Zealand and the West coast of the U.S. PacketFabric’s network enables clients to quickly build private networks, reach additional customers and interconnect with a wealth of service providers within its ecosystem. By connecting to PacketFabric in Sydney, clients will gain instant access to PacketFabric’s extensive U.S. network and beyond.

“Our partnership is a strategic, mutually beneficial agreement for both Hawaiki and PacketFabric,” said Remi Galasso, CEO of Hawaiki. “The combination of the PacketFabric platform and Hawaiki connectivity allows customers access to transpacific capacity in the most flexible way. We’re excited to expand the reach of their platform into Sydney.”

“We’re enabling transpacific capacity within easy reach of everyone on our platform,” said Chad Milam, President and COO of PacketFabric. “We’ve created a seamless and easy way for our clients in the entertainment industry, or any industry, really, to securely move data between Sydney and the United States. Creating a virtual connection anywhere on our platform can be done and in just a few minutes, ordered and provisioned immediately through our web portal and RESTful API.”

To learn more about PacketFabric and its solutions, please visit www.packetfabric.com.

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Synergy Research: Top-20 Metros Generate 56% of Global Retail Colocation Revenues

Stock market shrugs off short seller’s Tucows analysis 4
New data from Synergy Research Group shows that just 20 metro areas account for 56% of worldwide retail colocation revenues. Ranked by revenue generated in Q1 2019, the top five metros include Tokyo, New York, London, Washington and Shanghai, which in aggregate account for 25% of the global retail colocation market.

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It is particularly noteworthy that the global colocation market remains concentrated around the most important economic hubs, reflecting the importance of proximity to major customers.

 

The next 15 largest metro markets account for another 31% of the market. Those top 20 metros include eight in North America, seven in the APAC region, four in EMEA and one in Latin America.

In Q1 Equinix was the retail colocation market leader by revenue in 14 of the top 20 metros, with NTT being the only other operator to lead in more than one of the top metros.

Data Center Wholesale Market

In wholesale colocation there is a somewhat different mix and ranking of metros, but the market is even more concentrated with the top 20 metros accounting for 71% of worldwide revenue. North America features more heavily in wholesale and accounts for eleven of the top 20 metros. Digital Realty is the leader in eight of the top 20 wholesale markets and Global Switch the leader in three others, according to Synergy Research. Other colocation operators that feature heavily in the top-20 metros include 21Vianet, @Tokyo, China Telecom, CoreSite, CyrusOne, Interxion, KDDI, SingTel and QTS.

Over the last twelve quarters the top 20 metro share of the worldwide retail colocation market has been relatively constant at around the 55-56% mark, despite a push to expand data center footprints and to build out more edge locations, stated Synergy Research.

Among the top-20 metros, those with the highest retail colocation growth rates (measured in local currencies) are Sao Paulo, Sydney, Beijing, Shanghai and Frankfurt, all of which had a rolling annualized growth rate of over 15%. While the US didn’t feature among the highest growth metros for retail colocation, on the wholesale side both Washington/Northern Virginia and Silicon Valley are growing at double-digit rates.

Synergy Research Group“We continue to see robust demand for colocation across the board, with the standout regional growth numbers coming from APAC and the highest segment-level growth coming from colocation services for hyperscale operators,” said John Dinsdale, a Chief Analyst and Research Director at Synergy Research Group. “It is particularly noteworthy that the market remains concentrated around the most important economic hubs, reflecting the importance of proximity to major customers. Hyperscale operators often focus their own large data center builds away from the major metros, in areas where real estate prices and operating costs are much lower, so they too will increasingly rely on colocation providers to help target clients in key metros. The large metros will maintain their share of the colocation market over the coming years.”

Read more at Synergy Research: Top-20 Metros Generate 56% of Global Retail Colocation Revenues on Website Hosting Review.

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SaaS Company MediPortal Selects Pureport’s Multicloud Networking Connectivity Platform

Stock market shrugs off short seller’s Tucows analysis 5
MediPortal, a software company providing physicians and practices with a suite of patient centric cloud based tools, has selected Pureport’s Multicloud Fabric platform to orchestrate private connectivity between its customers’ medical sites, patients, and payors.

Rich Lee
“Our platform allows companies of all sizes to create private connectivity in just minutes, compared to the weeks and in many cases months it takes to leverage a carrier’s cloud onramp solution,” said Rich Lee, CEO of Pureport.

MediPortal needed a cloud connectivity solution that could solve major pain points associated with adding new customers to its Patient Engagement Suite. Leveraging Pureport to privately connect customers to the Patient Engagnement Suite supports aggressive company growth plans and uses company resources more effectively.

“MediPortal’s goal is to interconnect as many patients, healthcare providers, and payors as possible,” said Edwin Vargas, CIO of MediPortal. “As our customer base grew, we began experiencing a variety of growing pains including delays in customer onboarding due in part to IP address conflicts between customer locations.”

MediPortal hosts its SaaS-based platform in Amazon Web Services (AWS Cloud), and requires its customers to create a connection from their facility to MediPortal’s AWS environment. Pureport’s Multicloud Fabric platform enables organizations to “securely” deploy multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-site connections “within minutes” without the need for additional hardware or infrastructure. Now, MediPortal can orchestrate private connectivity between hospitals, physician sites, and its AWS Cloud environment, “in just minutes,” through Pureport’s self-service console.

Cloud Connectivity

Pureport’s platform includes a full-mesh backbone and a distributed cloud router allowing MediPortal customers to simply connect through a VPN, via an IPsec tunnel from their remote site to one of Pureport’s regional gateways, and then to AWS via Direct Connect. This would deliver faster performance at the edge, and eliminate the need to provision a private line from a carrier.

MediPortal stated it was able to provision its first customer’s connection “within ten minutes,” and onboard this customer to their network “in less than three hours.” This network was connected without the need for custom appliances and leveraged MediPortal’s existing Customer Premise Equipment (CPE).

“After seeing demonstrations of many cloud connectivity solutions in the marketplace, only Pureport’s platform was able to onboard new customers in minutes, which included resolving any IP conflicts,” added Mr. Vargas. “Now, with Pureport our customers are able to privately connect to AWS through Direct Connect, which allows us to lower egress costs.”

Pureport’s Multicloud Fabric orchestrates private connectivity to AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and IBM Cloud.

“Pureport is disrupting the way companies connect to the cloud,” said Rich Lee, CEO of Pureport. “Our platform allows companies of all sizes to create private connectivity in just minutes, compared to the weeks and in many cases months, it takes to leverage a carrier’s cloud onramp solution. Pureport’s self-service Console, paired with our distributed multicloud router, enables MediPortal to establish and manage private connections to the cloud in a way that is now much faster, easier, more cost-effective, and doesn’t require new equipment or deep networking experience.”

Read more at SaaS Company MediPortal Selects Pureport’s Multicloud Networking Connectivity Platform on Website Hosting Review.

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Birmingham’s Tech Bounty: Why the Alabama Market Will Benefit From Data Center Investment

Originally posted to DC BLOX

In the city of Birmingham, Alabama, the god of metalworking, Vulcan, famously keeps watch. Vulcan stands as the world’s largest cast iron statue (reflecting the location’s renowned history as an iron and steel producer), and his effigy is dwarfed only by the Statue of Liberty. As of late, however, new giants have been gaining traction in Birmingham — tech giants, that is. The city has recently found itself in the midst of an impressive business and technology boom, and as a result has earned a reputation for being the “Southern Silicon Valley.”

Birmingham’s business and technological renaissance has spurred success stories like that of Shipt, an internet-based grocery delivery service that was acquired by Target for $550 million in 2018, and Evonik, a company specializing in drug delivery technologies.

This growing success can be attributed to the city’s focus on being an incubator for new and on-the-rise startups. Birmingham’s empowerment of its growing startup and tech scene is epitomized at the Innovation Depot, a 140,000-square-foot building in the city’s downtown, home to the largest tech startup program in the Southeastern U.S. Over 60 companies from across healthcare, artificial intelligence, pharmaceuticals, the food industry, manufacturing and more can be found here, leveraging the shared resources, community and programs to accelerate their growth and performance. The local innovation ecosystem is also bolstered by its proximity to assets like the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), which boasted $538 million in research expenditures in 2017, and Southern Research, a nonprofit promoting advances in pharmaceuticals, engineering and energy.

To read the full article please click here.

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Managed WordPress Provider WP Engine Acquires Flywheel

Stock market shrugs off short seller’s Tucows analysis 6
WP Engine, a global managed WordPress hosting company posting an annual recurring revenue of $132 million at a growth rate of more than 30 percent, has acquired Omaha, Nebraska-based managed WordPress hosting company, Flywheel. Combined, WP Engine and Flywheel will now serve more than 120,000 brands and agencies in 150 countries while counting nearly 900 employees across seven offices globally.

Flywheel was founded in 2012 by Dusty Davidson, Tony Noecker and Rick Knudtson, all of whom came from web development backgrounds at agencies. They were focused on creating “targeted and innovative” products to help agencies grow their business on WordPress. Flywheel numbers more than 200 employees around the world and complements WP Engine’s employees and customer base in North America, Australia and Europe.

Heather Brunner
“On behalf of the WP Engine team, we couldn’t be more excited to join forces with one of the most respected brands in WordPress,” said Heather Brunner, Chairwoman and CEO of WP Engine.

Flywheel serves more than 28,000 customers globally. In 2018, Flywheel was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States and as the fastest-growing company in Nebraska. Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed.

“On behalf of the WP Engine team, we couldn’t be more excited to join forces with one of the most respected brands in WordPress,” said Heather Brunner, Chairwoman and CEO of WP Engine. “I personally welcome each employee and customer into the WP Engine family and I’m excited about the opportunities we will create in the years to come. This powerful combination furthers our vision to be the most relied upon platform for WordPress. Our continued investment in WordPress, our shared values and culture, our enterprise-class technology and support, our community of agency partners and most of all our people will be a powerful driver to bring our customers’ breakthrough digital experiences to life.”

Managed WordPress for Agencies

The WP Engine Agency Partner Program comprises more than 2,500 agencies dedicated to delivering enterprise-grade solutions in WordPress including 10Up, CrowdFavorite, Droga5, Edelman, GSD&M, Huge, Ogilvy, R/GA, The Richards Group and W20. Flywheel’s Agency Partner Program includes 2,000 agencies. Once integrated, WP Engine’s Agency Partner Program will serve more than 4,500 agencies around the world, making it the largest in WordPress.

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WP Engine

“We founded Flywheel with the belief that in order to help creatives do their best work, we needed to create an internal culture that encourages our employees to do the same,” said Dusty Davidson, CEO and co-founder of Flywheel. “That philosophy has led us to build an incredible company and some of the most well-loved products in WordPress, supported by an impressive group of talented people and the most remarkable open source community in the world. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved to date, or more excited for what the future holds for us working together!”

Founded in 2010, WP Engine is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has offices in Brisbane, Australia; Limerick, Ireland; London, England; Omaha, Nebraska; San Antonio, Texas and San Francisco, California.

Read more at Managed WordPress Provider WP Engine Acquires Flywheel on Website Hosting Review.

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DreamHost Adds Staging Environments to Its Managed WordPress Solution

Stock market shrugs off short seller’s Tucows analysis 7
John Robison
John Robison, DreamHost’s Director of Product, Managed WordPress.

Global Webhosting provider DreamHost has released the latest version of its ‘DreamPress’ managed WordPress platform. In addition to a variety of under-the-hood performance improvements, DreamHost’s DreamPress managed WordPress packages now include access to an isolated website staging environment.

DreamPress’ staging environment is a private WordPress installation that allows WordPress designers, developers, and content creators to “safely” preview their website changes and additions before copying those alterations live to a public production environment. This provides a private website preview buffer and brings a virtual safety net to WordPress website development.

DreamHost also now includes automated WordPress backups, created on each staging push to production. In the unlikely event that live content doesn’t match its staged counterpart, changes can be rolled back at a moment’s notice.

Managed WordPress

DreamPress’ latest release sets the stage for our users to do great things!” said John Robison, DreamHost’s Director of Product, Managed WordPress. “WordPress’ most passionate users have told us that the safety and security of a WordPress staging environment is essential to their workflows, and we’re proud to deliver it today as a standard feature of all our managed WordPress packages.”

Founded in 1997, DreamHost has offices in Los Angeles and Orange County, California and in Portland, Oregon. Since its launch in 2013, DreamHost’s DreamPress solution has brought managed WordPress web hosting to the masses backed by “the power of” the company’s open source cloud platform, DreamCompute.

Read more at DreamHost Adds Staging Environments to Its Managed WordPress Solution on Website Hosting Review.