January 31, 2011, 3:54 PM — Cambridge Technology Partners rode high on the client-server wave in the 1990s, and now its founders are planning to bring their magic to cloud computing with a new firm called Cloud Technology Partners.
Cambridge co-founder Chris Greendale is launching the consulting venture today to help midsize and large enterprises plan and execute the migration of business processes, applications and data to a cloud computing environment.
"CIOs of enterprises are now beginning to get very serious about cloud computing, whether it be private clouds or public clouds. This is the time to start a consulting organization to help them navigate to cloud," he says.
The target market is enterprises with $500 million to $2.5 billion in revenue, and Greendale expects customer engagements will run one to three years and be priced around $1 million per year.
"This is not about coming in, building an application and leaving. This is about building a cloud strategy or road map, and then going through systems development, application implementation and application transformation. That takes time," says Greendale, who for the last seven years worked as a venture capitalist.
The start-up faces plenty of competition in the cloud consulting marketplace, including firms such as Accenture, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, as well as from the services arms of tech vendors IBM, HP and Dell.
Greendale's track record will be an advantage, says Jeff Kaplan, managing director at THINKstrategies. "People always gravitate toward the people they know, and Chris and his team come with a very strong Rolodex and reputation among a sufficient set of enterprise-grade customers to get them started."
Timing is in CloudTP's favor, too, since enterprises need help evaluating and eventually implementing cloud computing technologies. "There's nothing more confusing than cloud, and therefore no greater opportunity in the technology field than to provide consulting services in this sector," Kaplan says.