Growth, Local

Google Apps partner Cloud Sherpas acquires NZ start-up

Michelle Hammond /

New Zealand tech start-up WaveAdept has been acquired by US-based Google Apps partner Cloud Sherpas, which is on the hunt for acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region as part of an ambitious growth strategy.

 

Cloud Sherpas is a cloud solution provider focused on Google Apps. In three years, the company has migrated more than one million workers to the platform.

 

Meanwhile, Cloud Sherpas’ IT administration add-on for Google Apps – Sherpa Tools – has been installed in more than 100 countries.

 

WaveAdept is the company’s third acquisition in six weeks and its first in the Asia-Pacific.

 

While the details of the deal are unknown, Cloud Sherpas says it will use the New Zealand company as a springboard into the region. WaveAdept will change its name to Cloud Sherpas.

 

As part of its strategy to help clients “go Google”, Cloud Sherpas has opened an office in Sydney and plans to employ around 20 Australia-based staff by the end of the year.

 

Michael Cohn, Cloud Sherpas co-founder and vice president of marketing, says the company will continue to grow through acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific.

 

“The APAC market is appealing for a number of reasons. Cloud computing adoption is on the rise, we see a Google Apps install-base growing, and the Google ecosystem isn’t dominated by any one player,” Cohn says.

 

According to Cohn, entering the market any earlier may have been too soon.

 

“The market has matured. Google Apps is a mainstream alternative for communication and collaboration platforms, and Microsoft is playing catch-up,” he says.

 

“The Google ecosystem isn’t yet dominated by any one player – we feel like we can come into the market and achieve a leadership position.”

 

Cloud Sherpas chief executive Jon Hallett says while the company plans to “staff up” quickly in New Zealand and Australia, the acquisition of WaveAdept gives the company immediate help from “senior managers and Google experts who know the local market inside and out”.

 

“Asia is a huge opportunity for Google Apps, and we’re thrilled to be a key catalyst for rapid adoption,” he says.

 

WaveAdept was founded in 2009 and already has 55 Google Apps customers in New Zealand, the largest of which is Tait Electronics.

 

Cohn says Cloud Sherpas was highly impressed with the WaveAdept team, which consists of Mike Riversdale, Dave Livesey and Paul Fraser. The team could not be reached for comment.

 

“The WaveAdept guys represent the type of company we’re looking for – smart, energetic, entrepreneurial,” Cohn says.

 

“We’ve been working with WaveAdept for well over a year on an informal basis. They often leveraged our software tools for their own engagements, and often provided great feedback on what customers needed.”

 

“We built a relationship with them over the last year such that when it came time for us to expand, they were a natural fit.”

 

Cohn says there is no limit to the business opportunities presented by the rise of technology, particularly cloud computing.

 

“Information technology – whether you’re talking traditional on-premise infrastructure or cloud computing – will always rely on a channel for resale, deployment and support,” he says.

 

“I think there is an excellent opportunity for local cloud service providers to build businesses in partnership with the leading vendors.”

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