Cloud Comrade is building out an enhanced technology portfolio in line with market expansion plans across Southeast Asia.
Underpinned by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and SAP technologies, the Singapore-based start-up is targeting growth following a recruitment blitz, certification drive and regional development.
The strategic execution comes nine months after the business was acquired by ST Telemedia, in a move revealed exclusively by Channel Asia.
Finalised in January, Cloud Comrade - who operates as an AWS Premier Consulting Partner - started 2019 with an increased focus on enterprise workload migrations such as SAP and regional expansion across Southeast Asia, alongside a deepened commitment to industries with a “high degree of compliance” such as financial services and the public sector.
“Nine months on, I am happy to share that we are achieving these goals and a major contributing factor lies in ST Telemedia’s investment,” said Andy Waroma, co-managing director of Cloud Comrade. “Through the investment, Cloud Comrade has been able to tap on STT’s group expertise, resources and international network to accelerate our growth.”
Post-acquisition, and within the space of nine months, the business has expanded presence in Southeast Asia to support “high-market demand”, adding around 100 staff across five locations, spanning Singapore, Jakarta, Batam, Kuala Lumpur and Bangalore.
According to Waroma, the new hires are predominantly AWS-certified consultants and engineers, backed up by an additional delivery team in Bangalore. By the close of 2019, the company expects to have doubled headcount from the same time as last year.
“We’re also advancing product development and strengthening core capabilities in SAP migration and managed services to boost enterprise workload migration,” Waroma added.
“Not only did we accelerate the hiring of senior technical staff, especially those with AWS certifications, we ramped up our efforts in getting our existing SAP migration and managed service staff – including back-office employees – trained in multi-cloud management and certified. The knowledge training received by our staff resulted in the levelling up of professional skill-sets across the board."
Such an approach has resulted in Cloud Comrade boosting AWS credentials through an SAP competency, as well as being named as specialists in managed services and well-architected framework during the past 12 months.
“We enhanced customer satisfaction by improving internal systems and processes,” Waroma said. “We enhanced our end-to-end customer management tools all the way from sales, project delivery, customer support and issue resolution to infrastructure management tools for secure handling of customer data.”
The move has helped to reduce customer response time by 30 per cent, while increasing the ability to handle twice as many support tickets.
“In 2018, Cloud Comrade experienced high growth due to new customers adopting the cloud, and existing customers investing even more in cloud,”Waroma added. “We anticipate similar high growth this year as there continues to be wide-spread acceptance of the cloud across the ASEAN region, where our key customers are located.”
Looking ahead, Waroma said plans are in place to expand the company’s base in existing segments, spearheaded by a "strong push" in financial services and the public sector, in response to increased cloud migration plans.
Furthermore, the provider is also aligning to recent market developments in Indonesia, with AWS and Google Cloud planning to open cloud regions in Jakarta.
“This is likely to drive a greater push for cloud adoption in Indonesia, and we will be looking to capitalise on the greater opportunities there,” Waroma explained.
In ASEAN, Cloud Comrade houses one of largest SAP practices, complemented by in-depth security and managed services and "state-of-the-art support" in collaboration with vendors such as Palo Alto Network, Check Point, Sumo Logic and Dynatrace.
“We are confident in our ability to help businesses adopt the cloud swiftly, smoothly and securely,” Waroma said. “The managed services market is growing at an exponential rate as more companies move to the cloud and adopt new technologies. This shift is a great opportunity for MSPs, but it also represents increased competition.”
In the pursuit of differentiation, Waroma said Cloud Comrade provides customers with a "deep knowledge" of specific industry sectors, moving away from a generalised market approach.
“At Cloud Comrade, we are fully dedicated towards public cloud migration and managed services,” Waroma said. “We are the experts in migrations, monitoring, security, DevOps, SysOps, compliance, containers, integrations and connectivity."
The provider also leverages a wide-range of third-party partnerships, such as those with Trend Micro and Nutanix, to augment cloud usage.
“Cloud Comrade is also committed to continually building up our employee capabilities,” he said. “Our current aim is for all employees to be certified in AWS, including back-office employees who may not be directly involved in customer or systems management.
“A second important attribute is the ability to provide top-notch customer service. Cloud Comrade aims not to be just a solutions provider for clients, we strive to be a service partner that fully understands our clients’ businesses, provide the right, tailored recommendations, and implement enhanced customer service processes as our clients scale up with larger and more complex projects.
"This has also been the motivation behind us investing into, and improving, our internal systems to enhance customer satisfaction."