Cloudreach in Scotland: Our journey so far…
Tom Ray, General Manager for our Microsoft Azure partnership, reflects on the growth of our presence in Scotland over the past eight years and how we have continued to grow roots in the community to inspire the next generation of tech talent.
With Cloudreach turning 10(!) this year and our continued expansion into new territories and cities (we are now in Sweden) it seemed like a good opportunity to reflect on the great things we have achieved in one of our original homes – Scotland.
Cloudreach has had a long-standing, strong relationship with Scotland ever since we opened an office in Edinburgh just a couple of years after the company was founded in 2009.
The founders of our company, Pontus Noren and James Monico, both identified a need in the cloud market for Managed Services and wanted to find a competitive location to build out our first operations center. To make the selection, the company analysed 10 global cities, including Edinburgh, London, Warsaw, Pune and others against a number of criteria, namely cost, proximity to our clients, ease of doing business and access to talent.
Talent quality and availability was probably the leading factor in the decision-making process and, after a couple of months of analysis, Edinburgh was selected as Cloudreach’s second office (there are nearly 20 now!) and our first operations center (we now have a second one in Vancouver). We opened our first Edinburgh office on Albany Street in 2011. This was followed by moves to Kings Stables Road, Montgomery Street and, most recently, The Tun off the Royal Mile, as the team has continued to grow and thrive over the years.
Naturally, as we have grown we have been able to create more jobs, with our latest headcount in Edinburgh over 160. We fully expect this number to continue to grow and are committed to sourcing local Scottish talent. In fact, our last graduate cohort in the Edinburgh office was 100% sourced from Scottish universities and local code clans.
You can read Edinburgh native, Murray Black’s experience completing the Cloudreach FastTrack to the Cloud Programme here.
Aside from choosing Edinburgh as a home for our growing operations capabilities, our commercial involvement in Scotland has been wide and varied. We have numerous customers based throughout the country, supporting key industries and employers. This includes verticals ranging from financial services to central government, and of course that local bastion of food & beverage: AG Barr. Long live Irn Bru.
We have also committed to help inspire and train the next generation of Scottish tech talent, introducing initiatives into various educational institutions. Edinburgh’s Newbattle Community High School was one of the first schools to work with us on our Skills for Schools initiative. The school is Midlothian’s first Centre of Excellence in Digital. Skills for Schools is helping provide students with an interactive learning experience, providing coding and soft skills workshops to help inspire young people towards a career in STEM.
We have always harbored a strong relationship with Napier University, delivering lectures, workshops and career opportunities for graduates. We sit on the advisory board, helping the faculty to use current market knowledge to influence the content of their courses and understand in general what the tech community looks for in a rockstar graduate. We arrange opportunities for students to visit commercial environments and experience the day to day aspects of working at a technology company with the opportunity to ask questions specific to their courses. We also contributed to the development of Napier’s new DevOps courses, consulting on the philosophy and professional practices of DevOps and well as the technologies and tools.
Cloudreach has also strived to give back to Scottish communities, supporting a number of charitable organisations including Glasgow based Urban Uprising (Climbing and educational programmes in deprived areas), Byte Night (prevention of youth homelessness) and Leonard Cheshire (health & welfare).
Scotland will continue to be an important base for Cloudreach as the company grows. As our second home, we will always be looking for ways to give back to Scottish communities and use our expertise and resources to help educate and inspire.