CloudSwitch Doubles Venture Pot, Names CEO; Startup Wants to Make Cloud Computing Safe and Simple for Enterprises
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CloudSwitch hopes to provide a bridge between traditional data centers and cloud services. “It’s helping enterprises extend what they’ve got into multiple cloud environments so it doesn’t feel like a separate environment,” says Rubin.
The company will unveil more details of its product later this year, McEleney says. Initially, CloudSwitch will target small- to medium-sized enterprises and divisions within large companies as customers, “for the simple reason that there is less bureaucracy and they will be able to move faster and adopt the solution quicker,” he says. Over the long term, he says, “the market will be all sizes of companies. But to become the default standard takes a lot of sales cycles.”
McEleney wouldn’t detail CloudSwitch’s roster so far, except to confirm a few names listed yesterday in a report by Scott Kirsner (who was the first to cover McEleney’s appointment and the $8 million funding round). Those include former EMC software architect Fred Oliveira, former EMC and BladeLogic engineer George Moberly, and former RSA engineer Sean Henry.
McEleney says he knew when he joined Atlas that he wanted his next venture after SolidWorks to be based around an important “platform shift.” “Back at SolidWorks, we were primarily a desktop-based application, and when the Internet shift was happening I felt like a kid with his nose pressed up against the glass,” he says. “With the next major platform shift, I wanted to jump straight into the middle. And it’s very clear that the cloud is a major platform shift. And that’s when you have business model shifts, and huge opportunities come about.”
But it wasn’t until McEleney was asked to do some due-diligence research on CloudSwitch that he became directly interested in the company. “John Considine and Ellen are just great people, and Ellen has done such an amazing job of building a great team,” he says. “So the team and the dynamic was right, and Atlas ended up doing the A round, and I joined [as CEO] on March 30.”
Asked what niche of the infrastructure-as-a-service business CloudSwitch hopes to occupy, McEleney bridles a bit.
“The word ‘niche’ tends to have the connotation of being small,” he says. “The cloud isn’t a huge market today but it will be. There is a natural digestion process as companies figure out what applications they can move to the cloud. I like things that are obvious and it’s obvious to me that the cloud is the next major platform. I don’t think anybody knows when it’s going to hit the mainstream—but it’s clear that this macroeconomic environment is a forcing function that will accelerate the shift.”
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