Often, I share stories and news inspired by partners I see successfully embracing the opportunities cloud provides to their business – whether that is partners who are adding cloud capabilities to existing businesses or those that were truly “born in the cloud”.  The foresight to see the opportunities in the cloud, coupled with the technical development across products and services that leverage those opportunities, has led to tremendous innovation in our industry. These partners have taken many different approaches that have led them to success, and I want to share one example of a great born-in-the-cloud success story in particular: BetterCloud.
The inspiration
BetterCloud was founded less than four years ago in response to the shift of opportunity its founders saw in the tech industry. As organizations migrated to Office 365 platforms, they were losing their familiar insight, security, and management tools. BetterCloud founder David Politis and his team felt it was the “natural evolution” for Office 365 platforms to build on cloud-native tools that gave companies the same visibility and control in the cloud that they’d had on-premises.
The innovation
BetterCloud started out by launching a suite of free tools to help companies who recently migrated to Office 365 platforms feel secure and at ease in their new environment. With these born-in-the-cloud tools, organizations could have visibility into how their workers were using the cloud platform services. More importantly, they could control the security of their data.
As Michael Tweddle, Chief Strategy Officer of BetterCloud, put it, “We told customers, you’ve made this decision to move to cloud, now we’re going to help you take full advantage of your investment. We understand your concern about risks and security and general management, so we’re going to give you a solution that will give you insights just like you had before.”
With 50,000 customers representing 32 million end users and two billion documents in the cloud, clearly BetterCloud is doing a lot of things right, including putting their customers at the center of their solutions. “We don’t do things in a vacuum,” as Michael said. “We truly work with customers and partners. We show them the mock-ups, the roadmaps and wire frames, and then we leverage their guidance in how we prioritize, and ultimately in how we build.”
Why Microsoft?
More familiar with the problems faced by Google users, BetterCloud started out building tools for the Google platform, but nine months ago, they decided to add Microsoft Office 365 to their offerings. I asked them why they decided to focus on Office 365. They gave me four reasons:
  1. “To increase the addressable market.” As we know, there’s been a great deal of momentum around Office 365 even in the last year. By adding Office 365, BetterCloud now has nearly 100% coverage of the market. “We want to reach customers moving to Office 365 platforms. Not to build for Office 365 would be limiting our potential as a company.”

  2. “Adoption has greatly increased over the last year because of the innovations Microsoft is bringing out.” Michael pointed particularly to the functionality of shared services like Delve and how such features and functions are increasing user productivity and potential.

  3. “Partnering with Microsoft partners.” Partnering is a two-way street. “We give partners the capability to drive additional consumption, utilization, and new service offerings throughout their customer base. Our insight tools give customers the visibility into potential security risks and also performance optimizations, while our security and management toolsets gives customers the confidence to fully deploy Office 365 through their entire user population. Additionally, with our business model, we give partners a reoccurring revenue stream that continues to build year after year thanks to our nearly 100% retention rate.”

  4. “The support of Microsoft.” BetterCloud has been involved in several developmental preview programs, which they say has helped them better understand Microsoft’s goals and vision. “We understand what Microsoft is doing, so we can be sure we’re complementing that, not competing with it.”
BetterCloud has clearly benefitted from the partner community, but they’ve given as much as they’ve received. Not only do their solutions help customers feel more confident in making the move to the cloud, knowing they’ll have the tools and control they need when they get there — they’re also creating new opportunities for partners. Michael told me that “Once they’re in the cloud, our solution is bubbling up all these insights about how a company uses data and how they handle security. This allows SIs to create new trainings and services to help end users maximize the functions of their new environment.” And, as Taylor Gould, their VP of Marketing, pointed out, “Bringing in integrated 3rd party apps to your portfolio exponentially increases your opportunities for long-term relationships with your customers.”
The success this relatively young company has seen is testament to the opportunities the cloud affords those willing to explore the possibilities and think openly. I’m thrilled by this kind of innovation, and happy to share their story to help inspire your next great success.
You can learn more about BetterCloud and their incredible journey in my video discussion with Michael below.
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