Cloudreach is a global cloud broker with extensive Amazon Web Services (AWS) experience across Enterprise applications, data center migrations, data analytics, eCommerce, and digital estates. Cloudreach’s cloud enablement services cover the lifecycle of AWS adoption including strategy, architecture, and engineering, as well as operation services. The company is headquartered in London, has offices globally, and employs more than 80 AWS Certified engineers. Cloudreach works across a wide range of industries, but has found particular success in media & publishing, supporting customers such as Pearson and Time, Inc. The company is a Premier AWS Partner Network (APN) Consulting Partner, an AWS Channel Reseller Partner, and was one of the first AWS certified Managed Service Partners in Europe.

Pontus Noren and James Monico, the founders of Cloudreach, saw both the business and technical benefits of building a cloud-based business throughout their roles at previous companies, and believed it wasn’t a matter of if, but when, enterprises worldwide would migrate their IT and digital environments to cloud platforms. “We both saw the endless and non-value-adding upgrade cycles of hardware, operating systems, and other core IT components being a drag on businesses. The cloud was the obvious solution to this waste of money and resources,” said Noren.

As they built Cloudreach, they sought to enable customers to better compete with newer companies in their industry. “It isn’t easy for our enterprise customers to compete with disruptive companies in their respective spaces, if one of the key pillars of their business, IT, is procured and provided in such a different and less agile way,” explained Noren.

For Cloudreach, the breadth of services, constant innovation, and agility afforded to the company were key drivers in choosing AWS. “Why did we decide to work with AWS? It’s the best platform in the market. The sophistication of AWS and the speed with which AWS releases new features and capabilities is simply stunning,” said Noren. He explained that the team has had success in giving feedback on AWS products and services: “We love that our technical feedback is actively sought, listened to, and acted upon.”

The Cloudreach team embraces the ideals embodied by the DevOps movement, which favors automation and consistent and risk-free repeatability over more manual methods where possible. “To support this goal, we use AWS CloudFormation,” said Noren. “From a Cloudreach tooling standpoint, the thing the team most loves about AWS is that fact that everything—and I do mean everything—is available programmatically via well-structured APIs. This has helped us to swiftly and easily develop our Cloud Platform for both monitoring and operating AWS environments, but also around the delivery of added-value services such as analytical billing,” explained Noren. “By integrating AWS tooling such as AWS CloudFormation with configuration management platforms like Chef, one can achieve truly spectacular technical results in an incredibly short space of time.”

Cloudreach works with customers who run nearly every conceivable workload on AWS, including digital platforms, streaming environments, analytics environments, eCommerce, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. “We believe that to fully benefit from cloud platforms, you need to treat the transition as a transformational project, and as such, you need a fresh approach, cloud-ready tools, and new skills,” said Noren. The organization uses a number of AWS Services to support its wide range of customer use cases. “As a consulting organization, Cloudreach has worked on projects with all AWS components available. Of note recently, I’d highlight Amazon AppStream as a really interesting service we’re using heavily with a software development organization. In terms of the most recent component we’re really excited about, I’d cite Amazon Aurora from a database performance perspective.”

The Cloudreach platform includes AWS and tools from APN Partners such as Chef, Splunk, and Alert Logic. “Both from operational and migration perspectives, we try to use Chef as much as possible. We’ve managed to successfully impress upon our customers the benefits to using a configuration-as-code approach to reduce risk of human error and ensure consistently deployed environments. Our operations team make use of Chef and Splunk to deploy a Splunk Forwarder agent to all hosts, which execute and forward data from bespoke input scripts to gather all of the metrics that matter to us and our customers,” said Noren. 

“AWS has allowed us to live by our values. We walk the walk of cloud computing. You won’t find any physical infrastructure in a Cloudreach office. Every system we own is hosted in AWS, from client-facing billing platforms to our internal telephony system. This keeps the business lightweight and agile,” Noren explained. The organization uses AWS to run its own dev/test, which enables the team to fail fast and try out new ideas swiftly, and with a low cost of ownership.

As an organization, Cloudreach has been able to grow rapidly without massive capital investment, due to its ability to scale up and down on-demand. “Using cloud platforms including AWS has given us a tremendous advantage when building and scaling a business from a two-man band in 2009 to a global, $60 million business in 2015. By removing the need for capex-type spending, we’ve been able to use all cash for opex and rapid growth,” said Noren.

Working with AWS has enabled the expansion into global markets, a top priority for Cloudreach. “Running some of our internal systems on AWS absolutely assisted when setting up offices in multiple countries. With operations in North America, as well as across Europe, the ability to run a business without the need for local infrastructure is crucial for the speed at which we can grow our business,” said Noren.

Finally, the Cloudreach team has experienced a large benefit by using the APN. “We have had, and continue to receive, excellent support from the APN since we joined in September 2009. The APN is fundamental to our business, and has helped drive the explosive growth of our business,” said Noren. The highlight for Cloudreach since joining the APN was being named a Premier APN Partner in 2013. “Being recognized for the work we’ve done, the contribution we make to AWS, and the value we add to the AWS ecosystem is very important to us,” explained Noren.

“AWS is front and center of our business, both in terms of running the business as well as going to market,” said Noren. “Across all of the markets we address today, we see enormous interest and appetite to move increasingly large and complex workloads to AWS.” As AWS continues to innovate, the Cloudreach team will continue to deliver new offerings to its clients, according to Noren. “Quite simply, as soon as AWS releases new functionality, we can deliver added value to our customers.”

To learn more about Cloudreach, please visit the company’s AWS Partner Directory listing, or visit our APN Premier Consulting Partner page.