For web hosting companies who resell dedicated servers, SingleHop’s new Tandem program offers a benefit that can’t be found anywhere else among reseller hosting programs: free SSL certificates. The new offer will have significant impact on the SSL certificate industry’s structure and distribution channels.
By offering free SSL certs to their reseller hosting clients, SingleHop provides a significant way for server resellers to increase their margins—they can continue to offer the SSL’s for a charge to their own hosted clients, while absorbing the discount. The Tandem program is designed specifically for reseller hosting clients, who purchase dedicated servers from SingleHop. The Tandem reseller hosting program is the largest of its kind in the server reseller industry, and free SSL certs are among a number of free offerings that the Tandem program features.
Because SingleHop’s Tandem program is on the forefront of the hosting industry’s strategies to resell dedicated servers, it is likely that these free SSL certificate offers will become more commonplace among other reseller hosting programs from dedicated server hosting providers. Because SingleHop’s Tandem program is driving a new reseller hosting industry standard, it will contribute to the increasing commoditization of the SSL industry.
In addition to the effects of SingleHop’s reseller hosting program, it is also notable that the SSL certificates and product offerings of many different industry players looking more homogeneous and indistinguishable. SSL certificate creators will be forced to differentiate and augment their product offers, perhaps through product bundling, product innovation, or diversified or specialized product offers. These alternative methods of building value for customers will enable SSL certificate providers to further differentiate their service and maintain their growth, even as webhosts and the resellers of dedicated servers begin offering their products as program incentives and giveaways.