Cloudreach & Blackstone - Staying at the Top
"Getting to the top is hard, but it’s harder to stay there". You’ll find a lot of different quotes to this effect (and presumed authors too) if you search the internet. Although I’m not a big fan of using tired, cheesy, pseudo-inspirational statements, I believe this one accurately illustrates what I’m about to describe below.
Today, Cloudreach announced it will become part of Blackstone’s portfolio of companies. Although you might expect me to say something along these lines (I work here!), I truly believe we might be witnessing the start of a new breed of IT services company. This investment partnership will combine cloud-native culture and massive scale for the first time in history.
We have all seen how successful cloud-native companies have been given their different approach and non-reliance on legacy revenue streams. In the IaaS space, Cloudreach is the undisputed leader with wider geographic reach and double the workforce of its nearest competitors. Blackstone’s vision for Cloudreach is to build the world’s number one cloud enabler, creating a large-scale software-enabled consulting, development and managed services provider. The differentiator here is to do so while maintaining the "cloudy" approach that our customers have grown to know and love.
It was great getting to the top. It’s extremely exciting to now supercharge our growth, not only staying at the top, but truly outpacing the competition.
What does it mean to the market?
So, is this just about Cloudreach and Blackstone’s megalomaniac desire to rule the cloud world? Of course not! This is all about building something that addresses customers’ needs and doesn’t exist in the market right now. If you ask the cloud platform providers (AWS, Microsoft, etc) and their large customers about the main blockers to cloud adoption at scale, two things will most certainly come up at the top. They will mention a "skills gap" in terms of experience available in the market, but will also tell you that they need to change their organisations’ cultures and encourage innovation. This often leaves organisations with a difficult choice.
On one hand they can partner with a large systems integrator, who can reassure them of being able to carry out large transformational programmes, but who they feel will not bring the depth of experience in cloud or the innovative approach and tooling needed to change the culture and foster innovation. The other alternative is partnering with a cloud-native business who can bring the latter, but often sparks questions about their ability to scale to customer and market demand.
At Cloudreach this challenge is partially addressed through what we call "Intelligent Cloud Adoption", which materialises in our ‘brainpower before manpower’ message. However, we are not blind to the fact that large enterprises increasingly need a robust partner to help them, both in terms of size and capabilities.
Cloudreach and Blackstone will together build a software-enabled cloud services provider that will help organisations adopt cloud at scale by providing end-to-end capabilities. What does this mean to our customers and the market in general? It’s great news! In fact, a large portion of our existing and prospective customers have been asking over the years how we can help them more. They will get the same Cloudreach they love with extended capabilities in software and services, as well as more muscle to cover all their needs, wherever they are.
What does it mean to me?
If you made it this far, thank you. I’m not so self centered to assume the reader will want to know about my personal feelings on the matter. Instead, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what this looks like from the inside. You might even want to join us on this incredible journey!
I have been fortunate enough to take part in the shaping of Cloudreach for the last 5 years and I can promise you there’s never a dull day here. Our core values and our culture is what keeps us moving forward. Smart people and hard work are a very powerful combination and we never stop learning from each other. Our achievements so far demonstrate it, and I couldn’t be prouder of our teams for that.
The partnership with Blackstone and future vision will enable us to maintain our culture and our values, while getting further expertise and resources to build something bigger and better. Doesn’t get more exciting than this!