Cloud Sherpas, GlobalOne Merger Makes Google Apps, Salesforce.com Shop
In a megamerger of cloud software service providers, Cloud Sherpas and GlobalOne have joined forces to combine their expertise in installing and supporting Google Apps and Salesforce.com applications.
Cloud Sherpas counts itself as among the first Google Enterprise support partners, helping more than 1,5000 businesses shuttle more than 1.5 million workers to Google Apps collaboration applications.
GlobalOne helps new Salesforce.com customers integrate, install and configure Web-based software into legacy, on-premise ERP and CRM apps. GlobalOne has crafted custom solutions on Force.com, mobile apps and enabled B2B collaboration on Salesforce.com's Chatter app.
Together, the companies hope to form a potent one-two punch, versus locally stored business and collaboration software from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), SAP (NYSE:SAP), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and others.
The new company will retain the Cloud Sherpas name after taking $20 million in funding from Columbia Capital, which manages some $2.5 billion worth of enterprise-oriented investments. That includes $15 million in funding for GlobalOne in 2011.
GlobalOne CEO David Northington is taking the helm at Sherpas, with former Sherpas CEO Douglas Shepard becoming president of Sherpas Google business unit. GlobalOne and Sherpas senior management will remain with the new company, which will be headquartered in Atlanta with offices throughout the United States and Asia.
Northington said Sherpas will maintain its focus on the public cloud, using its new funding to fortify its cloud services position and extend that into other markets in the U.S. and abroad.
Northington said the merger came as both Cloud Sherpas and GlobalOne were heading down parallel paths to determine whether to find more capital, merge with another company or make acquisitions to drive their growth.
Both companies also wanted to expand beyond their respective Google Apps and Salesforce.com solutions. In other words, each wanted more room to grow.
While Google Apps and Salesforce.com are certainly enjoying their share of traction among businesses, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle remain the dominant business collaboration and apps providers. This makes it hard for service providers to subsist by supporting a single cloud ecosystem, such as Google or Salesforce.com.
Google and Salesforce.com share some of the same clients. Accordingly, this merger could give each company an entry point for new selling opportunities.
"We're really looking at different opportunities to diversify revenue, without partnering with a competitive technology," said Michael Cohn, founder of Cloud Sherpas and the combined companies' senior vice president of marketing. "Salesforce is the obvious first stop on that journey."
Cohn also said that while Google is important, he expects to expand the company's purview into other cloud ecosystems. Amazon Web Services is certainly emerging as a major cloud computing ecosystem.