Kloud named among top winners for the 2016 Microsoft Australia Partner Awards

Managed Service_Kloud_Blog

MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia — 6 September, 2016

Kloud today announced it has been selected as a winner for the Microsoft Australia Partner Awards for Excellence in Managed Service. The Excellence in Managed Service award recognises a partner who demonstrates a customer-centric approach to their managed service offerings.

Kloud managing director Nicki Bowers said the award recognised the strong collaborative approach that is at the heart of every customer engagement.

“I’ve been coming to the Australian Partner Conference for many years now and winning an award is always a special moment for the team.” Mrs Bowers said.

“Of course we wouldn’t be here without our wonderful customers who provide us with
incredible opportunities to drive business transformation and innovation,

“I’d like to thank the entire Kloud team who work together to deliver incredible outcomes for our customers year after year. This award is a testament to the strength of our partnership with Microsoft, and we look forward to continued success together.”

Awards were presented in 22 categories, with winners chosen from a set of more than 200+ entrants from across Australia. Not only has Kloud won the 2016 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award for Excellence in Managed Services, but Victorian seller, Harris Schneiderman, has been selected winner of the Excellence in Solution Sales Specialisation award, which recognises exceptional Microsoft solution knowledge and sales expertise.

“These awards represent the best and brightest of our Partners who are working every day to help transform Australian businesses with Microsoft technology,” said Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia. “Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists this year. It’s great to see such powerful examples of innovative excellence in our Partner community.”

Kloud — MAPA 2016 Finalist in five categories!

MAPA-2016-Finalist

Melbourne, Victoria, — On Tuesday Kloud proudly announced it was named as a finalist in five categories in the 2016 Microsoft Partner Awards:

  • Excellence in Cloud Platform
  • Excellence in Social Enterprise
  • Excellence in Managed Service
  • Excellence in Technological Impact
  • Excellence in Solution Sales Specialisation

The company was selected from a national field of top Microsoft Partners for delivering market-leading customer solutions built on the Microsoft platform.

Kloud managing director Nicki Bowers said she was thrilled by the recognition and said it demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing innovative solutions for its customers, working with best-of-breed technologies.

“The five nominations, along with our recent global award win at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference this year, is not only incredibly rewarding but is testament to our dedicated, hardworking teams who continue to delight our customers across multiple projects” she said.

“We know our customers demand the best solutions, so it’s important we work as a team to ensure we lead with the very best technology and support, to ensure our customers’ expectations are met” she said.

“I want to congratulate Kloud on being selected as a finalist of the 2016 Microsoft Australia Partner in five categories. Microsoft’s partner ecosystem is our market differentiator and our awards program celebrates the transformative solutions created by our partners for customers in this country. We are incredibly proud of all the finalists and the role they play in helping our customers have great experiences with Microsoft products and services.” Mark Leigh, SMS&P Director, Microsoft Australia.

The 21 categories of the MAPA programme recognise Microsoft Partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions during the year.

Kloud recognised as winner for 2016 Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Partner of the Year

2016 Winner Enterprise Mobility 2016 Finalist Collaboration and Content 

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – 1 June, 2016 – Kloud today announced it has won the 2016 Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Partner of the Year Award.

The company was honoured among a global field of top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

Kloud managing director Nicki Bowers said the award recognition honoured the incredible hard work of an exceptional group of people.

“To be recognised two years in a row at a global level is an outstanding honour. Not only is it incredibly rewarding for the team but it demonstrates our ongoing commitment to delivering innovative solutions of the highest quality for our customers” Mrs Bowers said.

“I could not be prouder of our people. To be recognised as the number one Microsoft partner for enterprise mobility speaks to our technical expertise and showcases how we can enable a truly mobile workforce for our customers through the support of critical business functions and applications.”

Awards were presented in several categories, with winners chosen from a set of more than 2,500 entrants from 119 countries worldwide.

The Enterprise Mobility Partner of the Year Award honours a partner that has displayed outstanding growth in deploying and driving active usage of the Enterprise Mobility Suite for customers. This award recognises Kloud as succeeding in effective engagement with its local Microsoft office while showcasing innovation and business impact, driving customer satisfaction, and winning new customers.

“These awards represent the best and brightest of our partners on a global stage who are working every day to help transform Australian businesses with Microsoft technology,” said Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia. “Congratulations to all of the winners this year for this incredible achievement. It’s great to see such powerful examples of innovative excellence in our partner community.”

Kloud was also recognised as one of three global finalists for the Collaboration and Content Partner of the Year. The Collaboration and Content Partner of the Year Award recognises a partner who excels in providing solutions that increase employee productivity through greater access to information, people and documents, enabling a more efficient and effective workforce.

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognise Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions over the past year.

Kloud joins Telstra

Kloud is pleased to confirm that Telstra has announced its intention to acquire the company.

Nicki Bowers, Managing Director, Kloud, said “Kloud and Telstra have been longstanding partners for many years so the potential for our people, our customers and partners was clear to see. We have watched and worked closely with Telstra in their move into ICT services and were keen to become a more integral part of it.”

In an announcement issued by Telstra today, it stated the acquisition would support Telstra’s objective of providing customers with market leading technology solutions.

Telstra Executive Director Global Enterprise and Services, Michelle Bendschneider, said “We are committed to helping Telstra customers increase agility, lower costs and increase their competitive advantage. Kloud’s expertise will make it even easier for our customers transition their workloads and applications to the cloud.”

Kloud customers will be notified about the acquisition in the coming weeks. There is expected to be minimal impact to the level of service they currently enjoy and in the majority of cases their account contacts will remain the same.

Telstra continues to grow Global Enterprise and Services, a division formed to drive Telstra’s global business for enterprise clients. The division brings together the product, services and go to market capabilities of its domestic and international business to drive long term growth with a strong focus on Asia.

Kloud has a strong brand in the Australian market and has been working in the Asia Pacific region, predominantly in Singapore. It has 150 employees across Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Manila.

Kloud Solutions named as Microsoft Australia Partner Awards finalist in four categories!

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA – 10 August, 2015 – Today, Kloud Solutions proudly announced it has been named a finalistin four categories in the 2015 Microsoft Australian Partner Awards (MAPA):

  • Cloud Productivity
  • Cloud Platform
  • Managed Service
  • Social Enterprise

Earlier this year, Kloud won Cloud Productivity Partner of the Year and was recognised as a finalist for Enterprise Mobility Suite Partner of the Year at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Kloud’s managing director Nicki Bowers is proud of the recognition, saying it is representative of the way customers entrust Kloud with their journey to the cloud.

“To be recognised in multiple categories is a huge honour and a testament to the strong relationship we enjoy with our customers. It’s proof that customer centricity is a key driver to innovation and this enables us to deliver the right technology to meet business needs across the board” she said.

The 19 categories of the Microsoft Australia Partner Awards programme recognise Microsoft Partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions during the year.

Microsoft’s director of partner business and development, Phil Goldie, said this year partners had embraced the company’s Cloud platforms in unique ways, creating new applications and transforming line-of-business for clients.

“These award-finalist solutions all highlight the extraordinary power of our partnership and proof of customer confidence. It’s very apparent that when customers have a stronger connection with their trusted partner, they also demonstrate a stronger commitment to products like Azure and Office 365. Most importantly, together we’ve achieved the ability to delight our customers with product and solution offerings that better meet their needs,” he said.

The Microsoft Australia Partner Awards programme winners will be announced at the Microsoft Australia Partner Conference on August 31st 2015.

Microsoft Awards Kloud

Kloud recognised as winner for 2015 Microsoft Cloud Productivity Partner of the Year and Finalist for Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Partner of the Year!

Cloud Productivity Winner 2015Enterprise Mobility Finalist 2015

MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia — 03 June, 2015 — Kloud Solutions today announced it has won the 2015 Microsoft Cloud Productivity Partner Award. The company was honoured among a global field of top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

“We are thrilled to be recognised at a global level for our ongoing work with Office 365! This award is testament to our hard working team and all of our customers who entrust us with ensuring a safe and prosperous journey to the cloud,” said Nicki Bowers, managing director, Kloud Solutions.

Awards were presented in several categories, with winners chosen from a set of more than 2,300 entrants from 108 different countries worldwide.

The Cloud Productivity Partner of the Year Award honours a partner that has seen substantial and sustainable growth in deploying Office 365 cloud and hybrid solutions as well as driving customer adoption with high impact and satisfaction.

“We are honoured to recognise Kloud Solutions as this year’s winner of the 2015 Microsoft Cloud Productivity Partner Award,” said Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft Corp. “Kloud’s dedication to providing outstanding value for our mutual customers is a prime example of the excellence we see in our talented community of Microsoft partners.”

Kloud Solutions was also announced as one of three finalists worldwide for the Enterprise Mobility Partner of the Year Award, which honours partners that have displayed outstanding growth in deploying Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) for customers, demonstrating innovation with the three components of EMS (Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium, Microsoft Intune, and Microsoft Azure Rights Management).

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognise Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions during the past year.

For more information about the Microsoft Partner Awards and a list of the winners and finalists: http://news.microsoft.com/2015/06/02/microsoft-announces-2015-partner-of-the-year-winners-and-finalists/

Some of the Kloud team amongst other partners at APC.

Kloud develops online learning portal for leading education organisation

Customer Overview

Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) is made up of the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools (SACCS), Catholic Education Office of South Australia (CEO) and 103 Catholic schools across South Australia. The organisation comprises 6,000 staff who care for more than 48,000 students.

Business Situation

Catholic Education South Australia recently made the decision to offer the capabilities of Office 365 to its 103 schools across the state (including Exchange email, Lync, SharePoint and Office on Demand). As part of this offering, CESA sought to leverage Office 365 to provide each school with a portal for students and teachers to collaborate.

Solution

Kloud worked with CESA to ensure comprehensive understanding of the requirements and delivered a solution design document based on the needs of the organisation. Following acceptance of the design document, Kloud commenced configuration of the tenant (in particular SharePoint Online) in readiness for the deployment of to-be created templates. Kloud worked closely with the Learning and Technology Team to create conceptual designs for the following types of templates that would be used within each school portal:

  • School
  • Class
  • Community
  • Professional Learning.

From these designs Kloud developed prototypes in SharePoint and iteratively refined them with regular reviews from the Learning and Technologies Team. The final solution included a custom application which created the school sites in Office 365 and a remote provisioning application in Azure for self-service site creation. The latter provided teachers with a mechanism to create their own class, community and professional learning sites based on the predefined template which they could then fine-tune to suit their needs.

Benefits

The school portal empowers students and teachers to collaborate in a safe and well-monitored environment. They can now easily share documents, images and videos as well as create blogs or post questions in a single place.

Through the class sites, students will be able to spend their time collaborating with others in their class as well as teachers who will provide additional resources and oversight. The community sites allow students to join groups of interest, either social or academic, and is a great way for like-minded students to expand their learning or be more informed about what is happening. Likewise, the professional learning sites allow teachers to share ideas and resources about a subject or stream which will translate to better learning outcomes for students.

“CESA’s Learning and Technologies team worked with consultants from Kloud on the functionality and design of the Office 365 and SharePoint Online templates for schools. We were impressed by the communication and analytical skills used to meet our organisation’s needs and to inform its direction. High levels of expertise supported the project, as well as knowledge of the product, solid task prioritisation, budget management and timely reporting” – Karen Sloan, Learning and Technologies Senior Education Advisor, CESA.

Kloud places 3rd in CRN’s Fast50

CRN Fast50 2014 - badge WEB

Kloud grew by 135.09 percent to hit $19.2 million in the 2014 financial year to place in the top 10 in the CRN Fast50. The annual awards were held in Sydney at the Four Seasons on Thursday with both Kloud (3rd) and Chamonix IT (46th) making the list. The annual CRN Fast50 awards are the leading Australian IT industry awards honouring the 50 best resellers, systems integrators and managed service providers in the country.

Nicki Bowers spoke to CRN’s Tony Yoo about Kloud’s success and its substantial growth over the past 4 years in an article published on Friday:

Kloud is the definition of that increasingly popular channel label: “born in the cloud”. In its short existence (having celebrated its fourth birthday last month), the company has gone national, with offices opening in Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide. The next step is to go international.

“We’re now in three states and I think the only states we don’t support are Western Australia and the ACT. So we’re supporting Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, NSW, Victoria and South Australia,” says managing director Nicki Bowers. “We recently opened in Manila [Philippines] and we’re trying to grow as well.”

Bowers reflected on the journey from the moment in 2010 when four people – Jamie Potter, Geoff Rohrsheim, Brendan Carius and Bowers – identified cloud computing as the start of a new era in enterprise IT.

“It started with four directors building up the business when we saw an opportunity in the market to help organisations move to the cloud,” says Bowers. “We’re all very complementary from different backgrounds. Myself, I come from a sales background at Microsoft. Brendan Carius, he’s a technical director of the business and he comes from an infrastructure background.

“Geoff Rohrsheim and Jamie Potter both ran Strategic Data Management, which they sold to DWS five years ago. Geoff’s background is more in applications – active Flash engineering – but they’ve run their own businesses for many, many years.”

Targeting the big end of town was a deliberate ploy from the start. “Traditionally, we focused at the top end. I have this theory to fish where there’s fish, and enterprise customers were the first ones to start looking at cloud. We’re now seeing more government and financial services customers moving towards cloud, so we’re now having more industry-focus around those areas. We don’t traditionally play in the small-to-medium business area.”

Kloud has since grabbed those opportunities with both hands. This year alone, the company surpassed a million seats deployed for Office 365 and bagged two Microsoft Australia Partner Awards.

“It’s been a blur, it really has,” Bowers tells CRN. “But through all this constant growing up, new and exciting developments and the new customers, we can’t forget that our first customers we had three or four years ago are still our customers today. We’re now supporting more than 150 enterprise customers. For me, every successful project is another great milestone to celebrate.”

Kloud attributes its placing the 2014 CRN Fast50 to the normalisation of cloud computing in the enterprise sector. “I think we’re seeing more mainstream adoption of cloud in enterprise customers. Originally, customers started migrating one or two workloads. Now we’re seeing customers looking at an entire data synch transformation – how do I move everything to the cloud? That’s really accelerated us as an organisation,” she says.

New offerings away from Kloud’s bread-and-butter of cloud migration also contributed to the company’s success this year.

“Our managed services is a whole new business that we’ve grown in the past 12 months. It’s gone from nothing to hero. Our security business is another one, looking at how we remove every single block from the customers to go to the cloud and providing that level of comfort through cloud security services. And Kloud Digital is giving us [user experience] capabilities in mobile development and web-based workloads,” says Bowers. “Twelve months ago we weren’t doing that.”

Although recognised as a prominent Microsoft partner, Azure isn’t the only focus. Kloud has also seen expansion of work with Amazon Web Services and Telstra in the past year.

Team Spirit

In terms of the team, Bowers says they “drive a very high-performing culture, but a very customer-centric culture within the organisation”. Company culture is very important, and workers proudly adopt the moniker of ‘Kloudies’.

“I see everyone in the entire business as leaders because customers look to us as leaders in cloud – leading them through their transformation as they move into or develop an application from the cloud.”

Read more: http://www.crn.com.au/Feature/398243,3-kloud-2014-crn-fast50.aspx#ixzz3KiiTndQC

Australia’s leading wholesale distribution company transforms IT with Office 365

Customer Overview

Metcash is one of Australia’s leading wholesale distribution and marketing companies, specialising in grocery, fresh produce, liquor, hardware and automotive parts and accessories.

Business Situation

Metcash required the transition of a number of on-premises workloads to a cloud based service to alleviate infrastructure, support and performance issues experienced by the organisation.

Metcash evaluated several alternative SaaS options and requested to roll-out the Microsoft Office 365 suite of products in the form of a technology pilot. The pilot focus was primarily on the Exchange elements of the Office 365 solution and would continue with other relevant features throughout the course of the pilot phase.

Metcash have a mix of corporate “knowledge” workers and “deskless” users, so a mix of enterprise and kiosk licences were tested for suitability during the pilot, as well as integration with their Citrix based virtual desktop infrastructure environment.

Due to operations being national, a number of considerations were given in terms of network and general performance with regards to consuming Office 365 services. This meant that the pilot would not only need to assess performance but also provide benchmarking and certainty for quality of service and usability of the Office 365 solution features.

Approximately 35 users were identified for inclusion in the pilot and were able to have the service provisioned and enabled quite rapidly. Due to Metcash running and maintaining core workplace IT services in-house the Office 365 pilot would need to provide the right level of knowledge transfer and operational handover to relevant Metcash Group staff.

Solution

The Office 365 pilot solution for Metcash was constructed in two distinct phases that allowed the organisation the opportunity to make go/no-go decisions part way through the project.  A decision to move forward meant Kloud could commence the planning and integration activities required for a full production roll-out, while still supporting the pilot users with their new technology. This approach ensured a seamless transition to a full production service occurred, without the need to re-create any component of the pilot.

The project started with the use of cloud based identities, primarily focused on the Exchange Online and Lync Online Workloads. The pilot group (35 Users) were created in the Office 365 tenant and assigned the appropriate licenses for the pilot program.

A comprehensive testing program was carried out with Metcash internal users and Kloud consultants which proved to be successful. On the back of this testing, the pilot program was extended to take in the SharePoint Online, OneDrive and Yammer workloads.

The Office 365 pilot was widely regarded as successful, and Metcash has since approached Kloud to extend the pilot program to an Exchange 2010 hybrid implementation, with Active Directory Federation Services and ADFS 3.0 identity services for Single Sign On. Approximately 200 production mailboxes have now been migrated to Exchange Online, with the remainder scheduled for migration.

Benefits

  • Highly available “Evergreen” cloud based solution
  • Reduced administrative overhead for IT teams
  • Better collaboration amongst users’ and teams’
  • Efficiency gains by use of Lync Online
  • Larger user mailboxes and personal archive mailboxes in Exchange Online
  • Lower TCO gained by subsequent programs of work to migrate all users to Office 365

“Kloud has become an integral partner in providing a platform for our Office 365 implementation. This will enable capabilities within our organisation to collaborate more cohesively and utilise the benefits of Office 365. With the implementation of Lync and the ability to have access to our email anywhere, anytime, allows our broad use base to respond to customers and suppliers more efficiently than ever before” – Gerhard Niess, Senior Manager – Tools & Techniques, Metcash Limited

Kloud turns 4!

Born in the cloud in 2010, Kloud celebrated our 4th birthday over the weekend. As far as birthdays go this was certainly one to celebrate as we took time to reflect on the past 12 months and what we’ve achieved as a company.

Kicking off in January (and in just over 3 years of business) we had deployed in excess of 1 million seats in Office 365, to cement our position as one of the top Microsoft partners in Australia.

In June, our Victorian and New South Wales State Managers, Carl Lowenborg and Damian Coyne, were recognised as finalists for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award which recognises an entrepreneur under 40 who has built a successful business in a remarkable way.

In July we were recognised at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference as one of three finalists in the Identity and Access (Security) category.

During September Kloud’s directors and sales and marketing teams arrived in sunny Queensland for the Microsoft Australia Partner Conference. As one of only three two-time winners, we took home Microsoft awards in the categories of Cloud Solutions Partner of the Year and Collaboration and Content Partner of the Year. Our first Microsoft award wins since being founded in 2010!

Our Managing Director, Nicki Bowers, featured on the CRN Panel  “Charting New Territory – the roadmap that got us here might not get us where we need to go” which you can watch here:

In October we received one of our greatest accolades to date, recognised as Australia’s fastest growing company. Kloud enjoyed a strong presence across a range of media outlets (The Age, ARN, BRW, Mashable) and our Managing Director, Nicki Bowers was interviewed by Ross Greenwood on 2GB.

November has seen us included in another two prestigious Fast 50 lists, Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and CRN’s Fast 50, with both award nights to be held later this month.

We have all of our hard-working Kloudies to thank as we celebrate our four years together as a company. A huge thank you to all our valued customers and wonderful partners for your ongoing support. We look forward to an even bigger and better year in 2015!