Friday, September 12, 2008

Cloud System Integrators: CloudSherpas to guide the herd to Clouds

Cloud computing providers such as Google, EMC and others rely on a channel partner to educate, train, migrate and support firms using their products. CloudSherpas, a startup founded in July and one of 15 in the Atlanta CapVenture program this year, plans to be that guide to cloud computing.

Founder and CEO Michael Cohn tells TechJournal South the company is self-funded now and seeks a $500,000 angel round to establish itself as a cloud systems integrator.

“We’re building a service practice and a support organization to help companies move to the cloud,” he says. On the Google side, for instance, the company plans to help large organizations migrate from Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes to Google aps for the Enterprise.

The idea is to give firms migrating to the cloud environment “a local throat to choke,” says Cohn.

“Companies with 100 to 2,000 seats is our sweet spot,” he says.

Cohn says the initial stage of the business looks like a consulting organization, but its goal is to build a platform that enables secure integration.

The advantages of cloud computing are obvious, Cohn notes. “It’s a much lower cost (than licensing software outright). It enables a company to reduce capital expense and move the cost to operational expense by paying for IT as a service. Cloud computing takes the concepts of Software as a Service and utility computing and puts them under one umbrella.”

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