Category Archives: Parallels Business Automation Standard

How Important is Online Store Design and Usability to Your Sales? Extremely.

Lessons Learned: Online Store Design Makes a Huge Difference to Order Completion and Conversion Rate.


Back in 2008 I was managing a hosting company in Russia. Our operations were fully automated by Parallels Business Automation Standard (PBAS), we were offering a full range of state-of-the-art hosting plans, and all of our hosting plans were competitively priced. Our sales were decent, but not spectacular, and they definitely weren’t growing as quickly as we wanted.


So we launched a research project to better understand our customer’s shopping experience and to pinpoint any problems. It shocked us to learn that for certain products up to 70% of our customers were not finishing their purchase. Clearly, something was happening during the purchasing process that created a barrier to completing transactions.


At the time we were using the standard store integration in PBAS, which was not necessarily designed to “sell,” but rather to show PHP code and PBAS API usage. User interface decisions made by programmers with knowledge of the internal code structure were perplexing to customers trying to use the store in a real-world environment.


To go deeper with our research we added a Kayako online chat button into every page of our online store.


Here are the main discoveries we made, and the changes we implemented to address these issues:

1. Customers don’t like to make difficult choices, and were simply “opting out” and leaving our store. We believed our typical customers were more or less “system administrators with degrees in Computer Science.” We wanted to impress them with flexibility and lots of interesting options, but when we started chatting with them we realized some of them, had no clue what “SLM memory limit” meant. So we reduced the number of options, renamed our resources and added simple descriptions. In short, we had to redesign our store so any person could understand and use it.

2. Multiple Call-To-Action elements were confusing and scaring regular customers away. Many customers were clicking on buttons and menu items in the shopping cart, which lead them away from the purchase process and even away from our web site. We wanted our customers to be 100% focused on the purchase, and determined that any additional information was simply defocusing clients from completing the purchase process.

3. Our customers’ emotional reaction to our web site was the fundamental driver in their purchasing decision. It became clear that long registration and configuration pages in our store were significantly reducing our sales.

4. A very slow shopping cart experience will make some people leave. Why? Because customers conclude that if the hoster’s own store is slow, their hosting will be even slower. So we had to increase our store performance.


It took us two months to make all these changes in the standard PBAS store, but the following results were well worth the effort. In the six months following the store changes:

•    Abandoned shopping carts were reduced by 57%
•    Online store sales increased by more than 150%


We shared all this information with Parallels PBAS developers who used the feedback, as well as feedback from other PBAS customers, to improve online store usability and functionality.


Today, PBAS Store is a ready-to-use and powerful tool. Released this month as part of Parallels Business Automation Standard 4.3.4, which includes:

•    Simple, single-page order processing to reduce ordering time
•    Redesigned, simplified, and streamlined interface
•    Easy-to-add online chat services
•    Ability to choose which resources are visible and add meaningful descriptions to them

•    Support for stand-alone deployment on a high-performance dedicated server to increase store performance
•    Many other enhancements

These enhancements demonstrate how Parallels learns from customer’s feedback to help its Partners grow their business. I am very proud to be part of this company.

I invite you to learn more about Parallels Business Automation Standard by visiting the PBAS web page, checking out the new store demo, viewing our recent webinar and upgrading to PBAS 4.3.4 today.


~ Alex Goncharov, Sr. Director, Product Marketing, Parallels


Partner to Partner: The Value of Integrating Parallels Plesk Automation and Parallels Business Automation Standard

Guest blog by Ehsan Mirdamadi, CEO at Cirrus Tech Ltd.  (


Web hosting companies today live in a world where our clients are looking for solutions to their business problems, not just a bunch of raw technology. But providing a broad variety of solutions and tailoring them to each client’s needs creates management inefficiencies, drives up costs, and drives us crazy. If only there were a way to seamlessly automate and manage all these components…

Integrating Parallels Business Automation Standard and Parallels Plesk Automation has been a crucial component in helping us to manage this complexity. Parallels Business Automation Standard automates our billing and business processes, while Parallels Plesk Automation does the same for hosting and related services. We think that Parallels Business Automation Standard and Parallels Plesk Automation are probably the most comprehensive solutions out there, and, while they are effective individually, bringing them together was a vital part of our strategy to enter the era of solutions.

Using these two systems together has enabled us to take control of our services while giving our customers an unparalleled level of flexibility. Our customers are thrilled. We’ve even heard from people who didn’t know this amount of flexibility existed. Suddenly, there’s less of a need for expensive IT consultants, because our solution makes it possible to build a service like CirrusOne, our cloud server offering, independently.

Our CirrusOne scalable cloud platform is powered by Parallels Cloud Server, and uses Parallels Plesk Automation to automate services for customers, which are in turn billed through Parallels Business Automation Standard. We feel that this integrated approach delivers a better experience for customers.

Here are five reasons we like using Parallels Plesk Automation and Parallels Business Automation Standard together, and why we think they’re the right answer for our customers. Using these products together allows us to:


1. Deploy services faster and create natural upgrade paths to new services
2. Easily add services such as MightyCall from Infratel and SmarterMail
3. Establish greater control over a large service range
4. Secure data by separating administration from customer servers
5. Reduce expenditures on server licenses


Before the Parallels Business Automation Standard and Parallels Plesk Automation integration project, many of our customers had to use three different platforms for three different service types. Closing the gap between traditional shared hosting and enterprise class hosting has meant using more services, and spending more time managing them. But now, with the help of Parallels products, we can deploy services fast, and administer them from a convenient place. It’s made our business more flexible, more efficient, and more profitable.



Customer Success Story: Cirrus Tech


For Cirrus Tech, bundling services together from different platforms was a complex task. In some cases, customers were asked to use three different platforms for different service types. The company required a way to bring a wide service range together, making management more efficient.


Cirrus Tech discovered Parallels Plesk Automation, a solution that could bring automation of web hosting, emails, domains and more to a single management node. Even as services continue to expand and the number of servers in use continues to grow, administration remains convenient. Parallels Plesk Automation was integrated with Cirrus Tech’s existing Parallels Business Automation Standard implementation, creating a highly automated system that was more flexible for administrators and customers alike.


Read the complete story.