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Like Stewart, Chris Barbin, CEO of fouryear- old cloud solution provider Appirio, remembers the moment when the cloud light bulb went on. It was during a Salesforce project at his previous company.
He got the idea that standardizing, rationalizing and moving applications to the cloud was the crest of the new wave. So he rode it.
Barbin and Appirio co-founder Narinder Singh set out to create a company where Barbin would bring the cloud services prowess and Singh would provide the product punch.
"I got the bug to start a SaaS services company and [Singh] was going to start a SaaS product company," Barbin said. "We knew the cloud was a better way."
Appirio launched at Salesforce's Dreamforce 2006 and kicked off with cloud professional services and products to enable the cloud. The services and product offerings were built into its DNA. "We're the on-ramp to the public cloud," he said.
Immediately, the company drew a line in the sand with its "swarm" approach to partnering, where it goes all in with select best-of-breed vendors. The swarm mentality was simple: partner with companies at the top of their game and get to know everything about them. In that quest, Salesforce and Google became the top dogs.
"Let's pick the leaders, let's have an opinion, and let's treat them like customers," Barbin said of the strategy.
And it worked. Appirio has handled 700-plus projects in roughly 200 enterprise customers. It has written 3 million lines of cloud code. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, Barbin said.
"The market is still very early," he said, estimating that the cloud is in 90 percent of IT discussions, but only about 5 percent to 7 percent of the purchases. And as the on-ramp, that means big things for Appirio's services and products.
That depth and experience sets it apart from the cloud Johnny-come-latelys. "Not all cloud is created equal," Barbin said. "We're not just cloud for cloud's sake."
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