Cloud Consulting Firm Hopes Lightning Can Strike Twice
Cloud consulting start-up CloudTP reunites colleagues from Cambridge Technology Partners, including co-founder Chris Greendale.
Mon, January 31, 2011
Network World — Cambridge Technology Partners rode high on the client-server wave in the 1990s, and now its founders are planning to bring their magic to cloud computing with a new firm called Cloud Technology Partners.
Cambridge co-founder Chris Greendale is launching the consulting venture today to help midsize and large enterprises plan and execute the migration of business processes, applications and data to a cloud computing environment.
"CIOs of enterprises are now beginning to get very serious about cloud computing, whether it be private clouds or public clouds. This is the time to start a consulting organization to help them navigate to cloud," he says.
The target market is enterprises with $500 million to $2.5 billion in revenue, and Greendale expects customer engagements will run one to three years and be priced around $1 million per year.
"This is not about coming in, building an application and leaving. This is about building a cloud strategy or road map, and then going through systems development, application implementation and application transformation. That takes time," says Greendale, who for the last seven years worked as a venture capitalist.
The start-up faces plenty of competition in the cloud consulting marketplace, including firms such as Accenture (ACN), PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, as well as from the services arms of tech vendors IBM (IBM), HP (HPQ) and Dell.
Greendale's track record will be an advantage, says Jeff Kaplan, managing director at THINKstrategies. "People always gravitate toward the people they know, and Chris and his team come with a very strong Rolodex and reputation among a sufficient set of enterprise-grade customers to get them started."
Timing is in CloudTP's favor, too, since enterprises need help evaluating and eventually implementing cloud computing technologies. "There's nothing more confusing than cloud, and therefore no greater opportunity in the technology field than to provide consulting services in this sector," Kaplan says.
While people have been talking about cloud computing for years, it's just beginning to gain real traction. Enterprises have started down the path of cloud computing by taking advantage of public services for computing capacity or application development, for instance. Now they're weighing the advantages of making over their data centers to replicate the functional capabilities of those public clouds, Kaplan says.
"That means transforming data centers to become much more flexible, elastic, user-friendly and self-provisionable," Kaplan says. "Traditional data center environments weren't built with those qualities in mind. They were built to be highly centralized and controlled in a very hierarchical fashion, and now we're asking them to be the exact opposite."