ProQuest Consulting Acquires Melbourne based In the Cloud
Sydney , Australia – June 21st 2012
ProQuest Consulting, a Cloud Services Provider that enables Australian enterprises to move key business processes and infrastructure into the cloud has acquired Melbourne-based company In the Cloud.
The acquisition brings additional deep expertise in Salesforce.com implementation and integration to ProQuest, complemented by a physical presence in Melbourne, Victoria.
This is further enhanced by In the Cloud’s enviable reputation as Australia’s Service Cloud experts at customers such as Smartsalary, one of Australia’s largest outsourced salary packaging companies.
This acquisition emphasises ProQuest’s rapid growth in the cloud services market, with a strong story of customer adoption and successful implementations.
Founded in 2007, ProQuest has built an excellent reputation as Australia’s fastest growing Salesforce and Amazon Web Services cloud specialist. The company now has offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and has served more than 50 customers in Australia including companies such as Vodafone (VHA), Swann Insurance, Programmed Facilities Management, Carsguide, Our Deal and Scoopon.
In the Cloud’s experienced team and leading edge customers fit well within the ProQuest world. Their Salesforce certified Service Cloud consultants will join ProQuest’s existing team of more than 30 employees.
By combining ProQuest’s experience with In the Cloud’s Service Cloud expertise, Australian customers will have a proven cloud-focused partner with the certified and experienced consultants required for larger, more complex projects.
The acquisition will allow ProQuest to further transform and empower customers to deliver social enterprise success across the Salesforce suite of products from Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and with the force.com and Heroku platforms.
The transaction is effective immediately.
Clive Roberts will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the new company and Steve Sacks from In the Cloud will be Chief Operating Officer.
Comments on the News:
“We’re thrilled to expand our reach into a broader Australian geography through the acquisition of “In the Cloud (ITC)” said Clive Roberts, CEO of ProQuest Consulting. “ITC have been delivering innovative implementations of Salesforce social enterprise solutions into key customers. ProQuest has created a rapidly growing practice by addressing the increasing demand for both Salesforce and Amazon Web Services deployments. This acquisition delivers accelerated growth, key skill sets, and Service Cloud certifications. It also enhances our tried and tested delivery frameworks to further advance our work with major Australian enterprises seeking strategic cloud solutions.”
“It’s very exciting to join forces with ProQuest,” said Steve Sacks, MD of In The Cloud. “Our combined businesses have the largest number of certified Salesforce.com consultants and developers in Australia, extends our geographical reach and will enable us to rapidly grow new services for cloud based applications and infrastructure.”
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I just returned from Salesforce.com’s annual conference – Dreamforce, in San Francisco. Something like 15,000 people attended and the scale and hype were impressive. Marc Benioff launched the Collaboration Cloud with Salesforce.com’s next product, Chatter, which is essentially a Facebook-like collaboration application. I think it may have some opportunities inside an enterprise as a way to share information with your teams, but time will tell. As many observers have noted, the “cloud computing” hype has reached a near crescendo, which can only result in unmet expectations in the short term. It’s interesting though, when I mention the term to non-IT people, most of them have never heard the term. Even Salesforce.com is a company that a lot of people are unfamiliar with outside the technology sector.
Regardless, apart from the “Chatter” hype at the conference, there were a lot of incremental product announcements that should render the core Sales and Service applications even more useful. And I was impressed by the range of vendors marketing applications around the Salesforce.com eco-system. I’ve wondered about the consulting model around these products, as it doesn’t always seem practical to have the same sort of leverage that you could build a business around with typical Enterprise Applications (and pre ‘ERP’). But in talking to some of the large integrators in the US, it appears that it is much the same in the enterprise. Although configuration times are shorter and there is less IT infrastructure to worry about, that extra effort can be re-focussed in business process design, change management, and user adoption which traditionally got short-changed. This will be an area of emphasis at in the CLOUD
In The Cloud is my new company – we focus on helping enterprises increase agility and reduce costs through the deployment of software-as-a-service and cloud based applications. Initially we are providing implementation and development services with Salesforce.com, as well as working with organisations to identify components in their application architecture that may suit development or replacement with internet delivered applications. We will be adding competencies in Google Apps, Amazon web services as well as some other specific niche SaaS applications in the near future.
The latest trend in application delivery is bit like back to the future – once upon a time, companies that wanted computer processing power used time share or bureau services to access part of a mainframe’s processing power unless they could afford the millions of dollars in capital investment required to buy their own mainframe. As mini computers became available, more and more organisations could afford their own processing plant on-premise. Hence the rise of Digital, AS/400, Sequent, Pyramid, Sun…. Then the rise of PCs meant that processing could be split between the client side and the server and further decentralised.
All the talk about cloud computing, software as a service, computing as a utility, on demand all harks back to the timeshare model – you access the processing power that you need on a time-share, pay as you go scalable model. Except now, it’s not a mainframe at the back end, but data centres full of servers that have been virtualised (another mainframe concept!) to provide these services.
As the quotable Larry Ellison said late last year: “The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion.”
Known as On Demand or Software as a Service (SaaS), this area of technology is fascinating to me. A few years ago, it was known as ASP (application service provider) or hosted applications. Now it has a new buzzword and although some of the architecture has changed, the idea hasn’t. And is there really a big difference between SaaS and outsourcing your server and application infrastructure to a 3rd party?
Anyway, the world of www.netsuite.com and www.salesforce.com now have entire eco-systems of other companies and applications surrounding them and they are pushing into the enterprise space, which for a long time, resisted the thought of having their IT infrastructure offsite. The great thing is that it means a business can get systems up and running very quickly with minimal capital expenditure.
It seems like Software as a Service is finally come of age. All the major vendors are offering their enterprise software in ‘on-demand’ versions. And there is a whole host of companies developing applications that were designed to be delivered on-line, along with consulting groups focussing on configuring those applications and integrating them with in-house applications. Telstra and NEC are both launching SaaS offerings, with single sign on to multiple applications. And even companies like Amazon now offer platforms as a service (PaaS), allowing you to subscribe to the use of computing power on which you can develop your own services and ramp them up as demand requires.
Just like in the evolution of the provision of electricity where companies built their own power plants and eventually bought their power from the grid, hardware and software services are migrating to a utility model, whereby users pay for the resources they use, rather than having to build all that capability in house where the capacity is often under-utilised and requires constant maintenance and upgrades.
What a massive change this will mean to traditional corporate IT departments in the next decade!