January 16, 2013
I’ve been covering Cloud Sherpas since its inception – I’m particularly interested in this new breed of services brokerage that is proving successful despite deriving its revenue from a small sliver of a very small annual charge – this in comparison to the traditional on-premise world where companies enjoyed massive consulting fees for implementation project that were generally long and arduous. Cloud Sherpas and Appirio are two interesting examples of companies that have found ways to be successful in this new world – Cloud Sherpas in particular has been, almost since day one, on a seemingly endless acquisition trail that continues unabated.
Two examples of this are being announced today – one fairly humdrum ad one a tad more interesting. First the humdrum one – Cloud Sherpas is announcing it has acquired Innoveer solutions a well-known CRM consulting firm that has over 750 customers. This is interesting since Cloud Sherpas only very recently moved beyond its former pure-play Google Apps focus into Salesforce work – they did so with real pace however, offering advisory, implementation, integration and development services. This acquisition gives Cloud Sherpas a broader Salesforce presence in the US as well as the UK along with a large delivery team based out of India.
More interesting than this news however is the announcement that Cloud Sherpas is following on from its move in the Salesforce world and adding ITSM skills through the acquisition of Navigis, an advisory and consulting practice focusing on ServiceNow implementations. David Northing, CEO of Cloud Sherpas speaks to the company’s desire to become more of a provider of a suite of solutions to customers – speaking about the Navigis deal he said that:
Many of our customers have expressed an interest in cloud ITSM software, and acquiring Navigis – a strong operation that’s generating good profit and has doubled in size year over year – boosts our ability to support these companies. Between Google, Salesforce.com and ServiceNow, we’re establishing a ‘Sherpa stack’ of the top cloud solutions.
Navigis has been involved in IT Service Management since 1996. The company’s certified ServiceNow consultants provide implementations, customizations, administrative support and training to help ServiceNow customers automate their IT operations. Navigis clients include Fortune 500 customers.
What does this all mean?
No man is an island entire unto himself and increasingly no individual cloud solution is either. This aggregation of disparate but complementary solutions is a natural and necessary move as customers seek to take advantage of best of breed solutions, but with the support and help of one partner who can cover them all. Of course there is still the slight problem of the relative dearth of cash involved in these deals – I don’t have insight into Cloud Sherpas revenues or margin but I suspect that there isn’t much fat in these deals for them – what they are attempting to do (with success it would seem) is to mop up all the smaller players and build sufficient momentum to guarantee their existence going into the future.
No one knows what the services brokerage space will look like in the future – but it’s a reasonable bet to make that Cloud Sherpas will be there in some form.