Not even looking

I like to consider myself in touch with technology, but with the world ever changing and new apps, companies, and to forth coming out everyday it is impossible to stay up-to-date with everything.

But two companies recently came to my attention when I wasn’t even looking for the, they just sort of appeared to me, due to working relationships with others.

The first is a cloud hosting company, called ProfitBricks. I have used “Bare Metal” hosting from companies like ServerBeach and I’ve used cloud hosting from Rackspace and of course Amazon’s EC2. There are advantages and disadvantages to each company and their offerings, but ProfitBricks so far seems to be amazing. They are cheaper than all the rest and when you’re talking about hosting, let’s face it, price matters. But so does quality, but given that hosting is very commoditized, one expects a certain level of quality, so then it becomes about the additional things like tools and interfaces that the vendor offers, once you’ve got prices that are relatively close.

For me, Amazon’s EC2 was a little daunting, but I didn’t get immediately discourages by all the choices/bells-and-whistles, whereas I had friends that did not care for Amazon because their interface was too daunting and otherwise too cumbersome for them. And Rackspace has had overall better quality for me (in terms of server instances going rogue and so forth), but they are more expensive and do not have a ‘pause’ option, so your machine is either ON or it is DELETED (you best have made a backup), whereas Amazon has an option to ‘pause’ the server instance and therefore stop the billable charges.

ProfitBricks is shaping up to have the quality of Rackspace, an interface that is easier to use than Amazon and the ability to pause a server, also I almost forgot to mention, server sizing. You can size the server instance more to what you need vs having to pick a ‘cookie cutter’ number of CPU/Cores and Memory (RAM) sizes.

I had a call with their sales staff and discussed my immediate project needs and was offered the option to do a reseller or referral agreement, as I have clients that need hosting. I will likely take them up on both of them.

The second is a payroll related company, ZenPayroll.  For my own consulting company I have been using ADP’s RUN application to run my payrolls. I stand to save about 20% annually by switching to ZenPayroll from ADP and I will get all the same features. Rather than paying PER payroll, I will be paying a monthly fee, so this price savings may end up being more or slightly less for others (I do quarterly payroll runs currently, but given that ZenPayroll doesn’t charge me for payroll runs, I will probably go back to a monthly model).

My client is using ZenPayroll and I believe they will receive a referral credit of some kind for my joining up.

I look forward to finding out what other kinds of tech are out there that I just haven’t been looking for that I ‘organically’ will come across in my digital travels or that I discover as part of a specific search for a missing piece of the puzzle.

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