Google Analytics (and why we we don't use it)
Every time you visit a website that uses Google Analytics a small cookie from Google is set in your browser. The cookie contains a unique identification number that identifies your web browser. Because there are so many websites that use Google Analytics (more than 26 million websites worldwide, among them 72% of the 10'000 largest websites) Google is able to track you through your internet journeys. Surely you have wondered why you suddenly see Google Adwords promoting a product that you have just recently searched for. That's because Google knows what you are looking for through their Analytics cookies!
Veeting Rooms tracks traffic on its website too. As with any other business it is important to us to know about our customers. We do not use Google Analytics though. We have installed a tool called Piwik on our own servers. Using this we can find out if visitors return to our website or not. But we do not know anything else about what they do on the web. At the same time we do not share any of this data with other services. For instance, Google will not know if you are visiting the Veeting Rooms website or not.
Sunny, cloudless (and why we don't use the cloud)
From a technology perspective a cloud infrastructure makes a lot of sense. De-coupling the software from the hardware through an extra layer in between allows website and web service businesses to scale. For instance, if a website serves a lot of customers during office hours but hardly any during the night the cloud allows the web service to run on multiple servers during rush hours and smoothly scales back to a single (or even half a) server over night. This obviously saves costs.
An other great advantage of the cloud is that it allows the very same service to be run on servers in different locations. For instance, if you access the Amazon book store from Switzerland you are most definitely served by servers in Europe whereas if you access Amazon from Singapore for instance you most probably are served by other servers geographically closer to you. This solves network latency problems.
We run a service for Veeting Room that checks the response time of our servers around the world. To give an example of how network latency effects the user experience let's look at our own data. If you access our website from Germany, you can expect a response time of roughly 80 milliseconds. If you access the very same server from the USA it takes about 550 milliseconds for the data to reach you. That's still rather fast. But look at the response time for a Brazilian customer: 1063 milliseconds. That's more than 10 times longer than from Germany. If we were using the cloud we could offer a fast response time all over the world.
So, why are we not using the cloud? Because we care about your privacy and your business data! Using the cloud our servers could be anywhere around the world, also in jurisdictions with weak data protection and privacy laws. We would lose control over your data, we would offer you a false sense of security. We believe that all businesses want to know exactly where their data is stored and under which law it is regulated. That's why we have carefully selected a Swiss hosting provider who values privacy as much as we do. Our hosting partner operates all its servers exclusively out of Switzerland, therefore under Swiss law. The extra cost that comes with using Swiss services are an investment well worth the price for the sake of knowing that your business data is stored in a jurisdiction that values your need for confidentiality.