Smart50 Awards 2016

14 Cloud Plus

Revenue

$6.6 million

Growth

214.1%

Founders

Jules Rumsey, 43

Head office

Brisbane, Queensland

Year founded

2010

Employees

16

Industry

Telecommunications

Website

www.cloudplus.com

Cloud Plus - Jules RumseyCloud Plus founder Jules Rumsey has one key piece of advice for fellow business owners: “Bet heavy when you know you’re right”, he told SmartCompany last year, when the business secured eighth place on the Smart50.

The business was founded after Rumsey, who had spent more than 20 years in the information and communications technology sector, had his eye on starting a new venture and saw an opportunity in 2010 to start a private cloud solutions business.

“There were a large number of ICT channel players, particularly systems integrators, that were finding it difficult to adapt,” he says.

Having invested a lot of personal capital in the business, launching Cloud Plus saw Rumsey perform a number of different functions in the business and he quickly learned how to foster strong relationships on a limited budget.

“I learned to dig deep and that if you work hard there are always people out there willing to support you,” he says.

The Cloud Plus team of 16 are now plugged into an industry that is changing at a phenomenal pace. Management have to take an almost academic approach to getting across new ideas, trends and customer preferences.

“I avidly watch and adapt to new technological advancements and I make sure I allow time to read industry journals, attend industry events and talk with technology vendors and other key industry players,” Rumsey says.

The business has grown from a $2 million operation in 2013-14 to a $6.6 million business in 2015-16. It now deploys cloud services, email security and virtual server solutions to clients in Australia and New Zealand.

In the cloud space, security is paramount. “Making sure that we’re well equipped to ensure that our clients are secure, that their data is protected” are some of the key elements of the business that Rumsey says keep him up at night.

The aim is reach $50 million in annual revenue by 2020 – and that means continued investment in order to keep ahead.

“We are actively expanding our team and doubling-down on our infrastructure investments to ensure that we’re equipped to handle the next stage of growth,” says Rumsey.

However, the founder has discovered that finding quality talent is a significant challenge.

“It’s definitely been surprising exactly how difficult it is to get appropriately skilled and experienced staff in Australia at a reasonable rate now. There just aren’t enough trained ICT resources in the market,” he says.

And once you secure quality staff, Rumsey knows that management set the tone for the business – and the team pays attention to your actions.

“Lead by example and show them that you’re in the trenches with them when the chips are down,” he says.  

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