Cloud Sherpas/GlobalOne Merger Illustrates Growing Opportunity for New Generation of Cloud Service Providers

Posted on March 5th, by thinkstrategies in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Cloud Sherpas/GlobalOne Merger Illustrates Growing Opportunity for New Generation of Cloud Service Providers

Today’s news of the merger of Cloud Sherpas and GlobalOne not only adds a major new player to the rapidly growing Cloud consulting world, but also shows that there are plenty of new business opportunities for consulting and other value-added service providers in the Cloud.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Cloud Sherpas, it is one the largest consultancies focused exclusively on helping organizations adopt Google Apps and was recently named the Google Enterprise 2011 Partner of the Year. (Disclosure: I did a webinar in 2011 on behalf of Exoprise in conjunction with Cloud Sherpas.) GlobalOne has been quietly building a multinational consulting practice focused on, and is a platinum consulting partner.

The newly merged companies will adopt the Cloud Sherpas name, and will boast nearly 300 employees in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific (APAC) region working out of offices in Atlanta, Brisbane, Chicago, Manila, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Wellington.

They will also start with an installed base of over 500 service customers and 20,000 product customers from the original Cloud Sherpas side combined with GlobalOne’s over 150 mid-size and large-scale enterprise customers. In other words, they will be able offer services that span from small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs) to global corporations.

The new company also picked up $20 million in new funding from Columbia Capital, which invested $15 million in GlobalOne last year.  The new round of funding will be used to extend Cloud Sherpas’ reach into new geographic regions, develop new vertical market solutions, and expand its portfolio of cloud-based applications that encourage cloud interoperability.

I particularly like the quote in the merger announcement, which was shared with me before it was publicly released, from Jon Hallett, Chairman of Cloud Sherpas, that as a result of the merger, “customers can make incremental bets over time to consistently align technology to their business, reduce risk and deliver significantly higher value.” This is the fundamental value proposition of migrating to the Cloud which I refer to as “out-tasking”.

In addition to combining the highly synergistic Google Apps skills from the original Cloud Sherpas team with the skills of GlobalOne, the new company will also leverage GlobalOne’s offshore delivery center based in the Philippines and its recently acquired mobile app development team from Vodafone.

This announcement will not only capture the attention of the other key Cloud consultancies, including Appirio, Astadia, and Bluewolf, but will be noticed by the legacy firms like Accenture and Cap Gemini, as well as the key SaaS and ISVs, and telcos aspiring to become Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), including AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon.

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