The following is a summary of a contributed article, which originally appeared on VentureBeat. Read the full article here.
The cloud offers many benefits, but since 2000 there have been three predominant value propositions.
In the early to mid 2000s, companies moved to the cloud for cost savings. Cloud software was cheaper to implement, upkeep and upgrade. But, as the cloud grew more sophisticated and commonplace, software became commoditized and competing on cost alone was impossible. By the mid 2000s to 2010, allowing users to work from anywhere was the cloud’s most appealing benefit. The rise of smartphones and the prevalence of high speed wireless internet encouraged this trend.
Today, working from anywhere is a given in most companies. The cloud’s value proposition today comes from the ability to integrate multiple disparate SaaS applications either through out of the box connections, custom integrations or with the help of a third-party tool.
For more on the cloud’s changing value proposition, read the full article below.
I’ve promoted cloud … Read more →
Tomorrow is BetterCloud’s two-year anniversary and over the last two years we’ve established close relationships with many of our customers, some of whom have taken on very active and outspoken roles in the Google Apps administrator community.
While it’s encouraging to see some admins willing to share (and in some cases establish) best practices for operating on Google Apps, it’s typically the same fifty to sixty participating in forums, online communities and speaking at local and regional events.
We think there’s a huge opportunity and need for more admins to share their best practices for managing, securing and administering a Google Apps domain. After all, Google is constantly releasing new features and products that no one in the enterprise has seen before. Take for instance the launch of Google+ three years ago. When the new social network came out it didn’t come with a set of best practices for the enterprise – and there’s still really no set formula for deploying Google+ in a business or EDU environment. We need more active involvement from the community of Google Apps administrators to … Read more →
After nearly two years of focusing solely on Google Apps, we’ve decided to expand our vision beyond Apps and to the cloud at large. While organizations initially migrate to the cloud to gain collaboration, cost savings and scalability, once there they often find a lack of management and security capabilities. Cloud enabled companies are therefore forced to cobble together multiple management and security tools from various vendors or even build their own custom solutions to simply oversee the applications they rely on every day.
Today, we’re aiming to solve this dilemma by providing a single pane through which IT administrators can manage and secure their entire cloud application stack. To help us do so, we’ve closed a $6 million Series B round of funding from existing investors including Flybridge Capital Partners, Greycroft Partners, TriBeCa Venture Partners and BLH Venture Partners, bringing our total investment to $13.25 million.
This latest investment will go towards growing our existing engineering team to accelerate Google Apps development while also adding a new team dedicated to extending FlashPanel’s functionality to other leading cloud applications.
Remaining Focused on … Read more →
Today marks a major milestone in BetterCloud’s history – we’ve taken the beta tag off of FlashPanel. Earlier this morning I wrote an email to the team here to reflect a little (or a lot) on what the last two years have been like and what we can look forward to in the coming months and years. Because there are so many people who have supported us along the way (customers, partners, investors, peers, family, friends or just those rooting for us) I thought it would be worthwhile to publish the internal email on our blog. It’s long, and if you’d prefer to get the details about the launch of our enterprise plans, you can check out the press release here. We’re looking forward to this next chapter.
Today is an important day in our company’s short, yet very eventful, history. Taking the beta tag off of FlashPanel is a big move for us. Literally overnight we’ve changed how BetterCloud is viewed by our customers, our partners, our peers and the market as a whole. In 14 months, we’ve gone from a … Read more →
Prior to founding BetterCloud, a number of team members were working at a large Google Apps reseller. It was there that we learned the specific needs of each party in the Google Apps ecosystem: end users, admins and resellers.
Once we founded BetterCloud, we initially set out to meet the needs of IT admins, which we felt were the most pressing. Admins were asking for everything from user management, Drive security and much more, so we delivered this functionality with FlashPanel.
To help broaden the distribution of FlashPanel, we began working with Google Apps resellers from around the world. We spent a considerable amount of time training resellers on FlashPanel and ended up speaking with dozens of deployment and support specialists regarding the application’s functionality and Google Apps account management in general.
Through these interactions we realized that many of the needs we ourselves had back in our reseller days were still prevalent. In fact, as the resellers’ businesses matured over the years – specifically in the number of domains they were managing – the needs became even more urgent.
So about six months ago we began … Read more →
As our user base has steadily grown over the last year, we’ve made a concerted effort to stay in touch with as many customers as possible. Whether that’s through one on one training sessions, phone calls or our quarterly surveys, the success of BetterCloud is directly linked to the relationships we have with our expanding customer base. While ideally we’d like to personally call every FlashPanel customer, nearly 30,000 IT admins, that’s simply not possible. Instead, we’ve found the most efficient way to garner large scale and immediate feedback on our product and cloud adoption is through surveys like this one.
In this survey, we chose to focus on three key areas:
Profiling the Customer Mapping Out the Cloud Application Stack FlashPanel’s Role in Replacing Legacy Technologies
And here are some of the highlights:
The challenges of moving 100% to the cloud are becoming more surmountable and the benefits of doing so have evolved beyond cost considerations. According to customers surveyed, the length of time it will take before we reach full cloud adoption is not far off.
In a very short period, Google Apps has … Read more →
During my time in the Google Apps space – about 4 years – I’ve experienced hundreds of migrations, interacted with thousands of Google Apps administrators and have seen how millions of businesses benefit from the platform year after year. However, all too often, the move to Google Apps is seen as everything that comes before and up until the migration. But there’s so much more to be done once you make the move to the cloud. So here, in my own words is a comprehensive guide to rolling out Google Apps post migration. Please leave your own best practices in the comments section below.
While most readers have already gone Google, it’s important to keep in mind that once you’ve completed the migration – in other words “flipped the switch” – the work is not over. Not only does Google introduce hundreds of updates every year, but the makeup of your organization changes over time as employees come and go.
While the cloud definitely has its benefits, operating on a new platform changes the dynamics within your organization. Features that make the cloud so great, like the ability to … Read more →
Today, I am pleased to introduce paid plans for FlashPanel, which will go into effect September 12. For those of you who were customers back in February, you’ll remember the survey we sent regarding pricing – we read every single response (upwards of 2,700) and have taken that feedback to heart. This feedback has helped to ensure that our plans are affordable, simple and most importantly provide value to our users.
Table of Contents
Why Now Pricing Plans Pricing Explained What’s Next Final Thoughts Why Now
It was never a question of if we would introduce paid plans, but when. And it was always our foremost consideration to only start charging for FlashPanel when we could provide paying customers with the level of functionality they need and the support they deserve.
In fact, when we launched FlashPanel in the Marketplace last July, we knew we would be incurring the cost of providing a product to tens of thousands of domains for free. When running a business, especially a fast growing startup, there are times when you feel pressured to start charging, … Read more →
For BetterCloud, this year’s Google I/O was vastly different from the 2012 conference. Last year, I was the sole BetterCloud representative. This year, six team members attended. Last year, we had yet to publicly launch our product. This year, we have a product used by nearly 10 million people. Last year, we hadn’t established any formal relationships with Google Apps resellers. This year, we’re working with some of the leading resellers in the ecosystem.
While it was great to get a sense of the amount BetterCloud has grown and achieved in the last year, a few things about I/O remained constant – the sense of community and the inspiration I always come away with.
Am I guilty of sprinting to get into the epic three-hour keynote on the first day of I/O? Perhaps. Did I record the near stampede on my Google Glass? Maybe. Do I regret either? Not really.
During the keynote, Google launched Google Music, a likely Spotify killer, completely redesigned Google+ with new lightweight photo editing capabilities, introduce a … Read more →
Last week, BetterCloud’s New York team spent the week at our Atlanta office in the Atlanta Tech Village and it inspired me to put my thoughts about the city and the tech scene down in a blog post.
BetterCloud has always had two homes, one in New York City and the other in Atlanta. We knew from the beginning keeping the offices and teams connected would be a challenge, but after more than a year and a half of working at both ends of the east coast, we’ve maintained our groove. Our dev team calls Atlanta home while Marketing, Support and our leadership team have established BetterCloud’s headquarters in the Big Apple.
Atlanta has always had a special place in my heart – I graduated from Emory and spent 7 years working in the city before moving back to New York. Atlanta has incredible engineering talent, great schools, restaurants and culture, but the city’s underdeveloped VC scene has caused too many good technologists and entrepreneurs to leave the city…but that’s all changing.
Building the Atlanta Tech Community
While Atlanta hasn’t seen the same kind … Read more →