Whether you’re looking to go Google, need help with user training or are searching for software that allows your company to get more out of Google Apps, a reseller can help! BetterCloud partners with the world’s top Google Apps resellers to provide our growing customer base even more value.
This week I heard from David Hoff, CTO at Cloud Sherpas, a leading North American reseller, to find out more about his organization.
Company: Cloud Sherpas
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Market Served: Enterprise, SMB
BetterCloud: When was your organization founded?
Cloud Sherpas: Cloud Sherpas started in 2008 as one of the first Google Enterprise partners. In just six years, the company has grown from a three-person operation to a nearly 600-person company with employees on 4 continents that offers cloud solutions from Google, Salesforce.com, ServiceNow and a host of other best-in-breed cloud providers.
BetterCloud: What led to the founding of your company?
Cloud Sherpas: We noticed that many companies were spending too much time and money on the IT upgrade treadmill. Organizations were essentially forced to spend valuable time upgrading IT infrastructure, just to “keep the lights on.” Doing so added no real business value, it was just expected to move from version 2000 to 2003 and so on. Then in 2005, I was introduced to Salesforce.com; I was able to meaningfully organize the information and business processes of our sales team while letting someone else take care of the technology side. This experience was galvanizing for me. As the cloud started to gain traction, it was clear to me that it was going to cause a massive disruption in the way IT services would be delivered. And the traditional firms were ill-equipped to deliver this new technology to their clients.
BetterCloud: How has the market changed since you started as a Google Apps reseller?
Cloud Sherpas: Not long after we founded Cloud Sherpas, the economy crashed. It might not have seemed like a good time to start a new company, but it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Because IT budgets were slashed radically in 2009, people were willing to entertain solutions that would allow them to cut costs. At $50 per user per year, Google Apps was a third of the cost of traditional solutions, but the enterprise controls were limited. Only very progressive IT leaders were willing to make the change.
Now, the price is still the same, but the product has expanded from low-cost email to best-in-breed enterprise collaboration platform.
BetterCloud: Does your company have a certain speciality?
Cloud Sherpas: We’ve enjoyed success across such a wide range of industries, locations and customer segments, that the only commonality is a desire to leverage the value of the cloud. The cloud is a great equalizer in this respect; the same tool that we’ve helped big companies like Office Depot use world-wide is the same exact product that we use to help our SMB customers.
BetterCloud: Can you tell us one thing about your company we wouldn’t find out from your website?
Cloud Sherpas: The company culture at Cloud Sherpas is very unique. Whether it’s attending a weekly lunch-and-learn or participating in a Harlem Shake video, fondly dubbed a “Sherpa Shake,” everyone enjoys displaying their Sherpa pride.
BetterCloud: What is your favorite FlashPanel feature?
Cloud Sherpas: For me personally, I love being able to view the dashboard and see who is consuming Google Drive storage. It helps for two reasons; first, I can proactively go add storage just-in-time, before users hit their quotas, and second, it helps me identify the passionate Google Apps users who can act as internal experts. Lately, I’ve started to get more use of the several reporting features as well; the ability to quickly export the data I need without having to dust off my admittedly rusty API and coding skills is a great time saver.
BetterCloud: What do you hope to see from FlashPanel in the future?
Cloud Sherpas: We are really excited to see new features added to help both resellers (in the FlashPanel Reseller Console) and administrators. Our cloud management team is constantly looking for ways to save time for admins, and the instant seat purchase in FlashPanel will provide real-time access for our customers to their new licenses in the same tool that they’re already using to set up new accounts.
BetterCloud: What do you hope to see from Google Apps in the future?
Cloud Sherpas: The recent launch of APIs to manage Google+ created a bunch of opportunity for enterprises to look at expanding their social tools, so that’s very exciting. And while it’s not Google Apps-related specifically, I think we’re going to see lots of growth around Chromebooks and Google Cloud Platform services.
BetterCloud: What are your company’s plans for the future?
Cloud Sherpas: Much of our work focuses around expanding our scope. We are doing it both in terms of our strategic partnerships and geographic coverage. We now have more than 14 offices around the world, and we are continuing to work with our customers to define what it really means to be the world’s leading cloud services brokerage.
BetterCloud: Favorite cloud service your company uses, other than Google Apps?
Cloud Sherpas: I’m dodging the question a bit, but for me, it has been our internal deployment of Chromebooks. They provide a fundamentally different way to interact with the web. I think they will impact people the same way that the cloud has. There is no reason that employees should be subjected to time and effort lost maintaining a computer. It should just happen automatically; truly great technology is when the user isn’t even aware that it’s happening. You can see the contrast in this video.
BetterCloud: What’s the best thing about working at your company?
Cloud Sherpas: The best thing about working at Cloud Sherpas are the people by which you’re surrounded. Everyone at Cloud Sherpas is highly motivated and driven towards doing the best possible work for our customers. When working in a team with other Sherpas, there is no doubt that everyone is putting in their best effort.
BetterCloud: Why should someone looking to ‘Go Google’ work with you?
Cloud Sherpas: Cloud Sherpas was named the Google Enterprise Partner of the Year for 2011 and 2012 and is one of the world’s leading cloud services brokerages. One of the very first Google Enterprise Partners, Cloud Sherpas has extensive experience helping organizations of all sizes and across all industries adopt, manage and enhance the Google cloud. Cloud Sherpas has a reputation for high customer satisfaction and for being among the most trusted Google partners.
For more information on all of our partners, visit flashpanel.com/partners.