March 15, 2012
I was speaking with some folks in the cloud services game the other day about the state of the industry and the key theme in our conversation was that it’s absolutely a land grab out there. Cloud is a nascent but rapidly growing field and if the predictions that everyone is making come to fruition there is going to be a ton of money to be made in the services area over the next few years.
In order to move fastest in this landgrab period however, services companies need to grow to scale as quickly as possible – this is one area that slow organic growth simply will not cut it. It won’t be long before the incumbent services companies start to muscle in on the cloud services space and newcomers need to grow to maturity before that happens.
Which is why the recently announced mergind og Cloud Sherpas and GlobalOne makes so much sense. Clodu Sherpas, a company I’ve written about at length, is a pure play Google Apps partner that has been acquiring Google Apps resellers around the world over the past couple of years. They even acquired a small Google Apps reseller in my neck of the woods – WaveAdept, a deal that was particularly satisfying to me since I initially introduced the two parties.
GlobalOne is a pureplay Salesforce partner that has been growing to scale since its inception in 2007. It now boasts of offices throughout the US as well as in Asia.
The new organization, to be called Cloud Sherpas – has a comfortable dual focus on Salesforce and Google Apps – and from what I’m hearing off the record about imminent developments within Google Apps, that looks set to be an even better fit in the short to medium term.
At the same time as merging, the new organization has picked up $20M in funding from Columbia Capital, the firm that last year invested $15M in GlobalOne. The investment is said to be earmarked for growth with particular focus on expansion into new geographies, development of vertical solutions and expansion of its cloud-based application portfolio. The new organization will have individual presidents of the two divisions, but will come under one CEO, former GlobalOne CEO David Northington.Speaking on the synergies between the two organizations, Chairman of Cloud Sherpas Jon Hallett said that;
The CSP [Cloud Service provider] business model is different than traditional professional services. The merger broadens our capabilities, enabling us to help our customers capture the benefits of continual technology innovation provided in the cloud. Partnered with a CSP like Cloud Sherpas, customers can make incremental bets over time to consistently align technology to their business, reduce risk and deliver significantly higher value.
As proof of this view towards additional offerings, GlobalOne has developed an offshore delivery center based in the Philippines and recently acquired a mobile app development team from Vodafone.
Cloud Sherpas stands as a direct competitor to Appirio another mover and shaker in the cloud service provider space – I’d expect to see some moves from them relatively quickly as they respond to this growth move from GlobalOne. Cloud is hotting up – the emergence of these uber-CSPs is a proof point for this.