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Messaging Security and the Need for Consolidation. E-mail and IM in the enterprise are both a necessity and a liability. Companies need to rethink commonly deployed messaging security strategies. Read more.

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Interliant Sheds, Interland Grows
By Jim Wagner

October 29, 2001

Continuing with its goal to capture the small- to medium-enterprise (SME) Web hosting market, Interland, Inc., officials announced its plan to buy up some of competitor Interliant, Inc’s customers Monday.

The move suits both revenue-challenged companies as executives on both sides of the bargain look for ways to streamline their operations to core competencies and gain market share in their niche.

Officials were not available for comment on the cost of the customer acquisition.

Bruce Graham, Interliant president and chief executive officer, said the move won’t disrupt service to any of his current customer’s Web hosting accounts.

“We will work closely with Interland to provide a seamless transition for our retail Web hosting customers,” Graham said. “During the transition period, the servers will remain in Interliant’s Atlanta data center, while Interland migrates the customers to its data center, also located in Atlanta. The process is expected to take approximately two to three months.”

Interland, bought out by PC manufacturer Micron in March, continues its plans to dominate the SME market despite financial hiccups along the way.

The company, the combination of Interland and Micron’s former Web hosting division, is still working on ways to get its operations profitable. It’s fourth quarter report, released Oct. 9, shows the company is in the middle of a shakedown, posting a net loss of $147 million, including a $5 million write off of one of its investments.

According to Joel J. Kocher, Interland chairman and chief executive officer, profitability can be reached through acquisition.

“Interland is seizing this opportunity to leverage our strong cash position by strategically acquiring Web hosting accounts that will allow us to more rapidly achieve the scale needed to accelerate our drive to cash flow profitability,” he said. “By adding new customers and revenue without acquiring additional assets, we are significantly improving our operating efficiencies. This deal should be immediately accretive to gross margins.”

Interliant is also in the midst of a revenue shakedown, as it sheds the unprofitable portions of its operations to fend off insolvency. Last week, as it restructured $126 million of its debt, officials narrowed down the companies core competencies to four areas: security, messaging, branding solutions and managed hosting.

“The sale of our retail hosting business – one of our non-core business areas — is another step in the execution of our restructuring strategy,” Graham said. “Interliant will continue to be a major player in the Web hosting sector through our Branded Solutions offerings.”

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