Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Google Apps Reseller Cloud Sherpas Grows Down Under

If you’ve ever worked for a company of any size that happens to be among the many that have adopted Google Apps, there’s a pretty good chance that a third-party company was involved in helping make the switch and handle the transition. And there’s a fair chance that the third-party company was Atlanta-based Cloud Sherpas, the biggest company that helps other companies get rolling with Google Apps.

Doing that is a pretty healthy business. I talked with Jon Hallett, Cloud Sherpa’s CEO, who tells me the outfit has some 500 managed clients and one million user seats under management, and that sales grew 600 percent last year.

It’s growing so fast that it will today announce its third acquisition in two months: It is buying WaveAdept, another Google Apps outfit based in Wellington, New Zealand. The move gives Cloud Sherpas a solid presence not only in New Zealand but in Australia, too.

In June, Cloud Sherpas bought Omnetic and Beloit Solutions Group, both Google Apps resellers based in the U.S. The Omnetic deal brought clients like National Geographic, Dr. Martens and retailer Design Within Reach under the Cloud Sherpas banner.

So what does a Google Apps reseller do? When a large company dumps Microsoft Exchange and other mainline enterprise apps, the challenge is the transition. “There’s usually a lot of challenges in areas like data migration and data integration,” Hallett said. “There are often a lot of applications running on- and off-premise that need to be managed.” As a Google Apps reseller, Cloud Sherpas not only sells Google Apps outright, but consults with companies about the shift and even provides some proprietary software that runs atop Google Apps.

One thing he’s not seeing: Any further doubts about the cloud playing a central role in enterprise IT. “Two years ago there was a lot of education taking place in the sales cycle. There were a lot of questions about cloud-based applications that simply don’t get asked anymore.”


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