From a table corner in another company working space to a great office in the “Silicon Sentier”, in the heart of Paris, CloudScreener has grown up for real and with its product & market strategy.The strength of a startup is to be able to adapt itself to the market needs, to switch, to develop fast. Not always easy to do but we are proud of the way we grown up & evolved to what we are today.From our roots to the actual CloudScreener here is a retrospective of our story.
The life of a startup is made of a lot of dev, brainstorms, ideas, hope, a few lows and many highs, a lot of changes, a large capacity for adaptation. Since we created CloudScreener in 2012, even if our product has changed sometimes, we remain driven by the same strong vision: cloud offers are numerous, very complicated and hard to control. It generates over costs, vendor lock-in, useless stress and lack of performance for the customers.
At cloud early stages, we realized that the market was clearly under providers’ control. Price catalogs were hard to understand, there were absolutely no standards and no guarantees on performances. Starting from that point we built our mojo: rebalance forces in this cloudy world and give power back to the users. Enable them to take full control of their cloud infrastructure and to build apps with confidence.
This was the case at the end of 2012 and it remains the same 5 years later, strengthened by the growing multi-cloud adoption and automation which incite companies to reinvent and automate decision-making.
From a cloud comparison tool…..
This is how our Cloud comparison tool is born. Built on the other B2C models (think about Kayak.com), its aim was to ease customers’ use of the cloud. Easy! Choosing its provider and understanding the offers looked like an assault course for any cloud user such as Startups, Freelance, large companies …etc At that time (2012) the major provider was AWS but quickly followed by Azure and Google and a bunch of frenchies. It was becoming hard to find its way in this huge black box.
Our proposition was revolutionary. The design, the UI, the comparison engine for cloud prices and performance had nothing to envy to the other tools build on the same model.
With more than 150 000 users in 150 different countries and a business model based on an affiliate program model (being a broker between customers and providers and get a % of the deals) we believed that we could become inevitable in the cloud world.
We didn’t take into account some important facts: most users are not the payers, the providers didn’t know how to manage an affiliate program with a broker, even AWS who is using this model for its e-commerce and, above all, the use of the engine was more to choose the right provider than to select the appropriate resources for each deployment.
Building on our experience we decided to add an complementary tool to benchmark cloud offers performances, KPIs and SLAs in order to address large companies who already had contracts with cloud providers. Our aim was to give them control on cloud providers engagements on performances as it was totally impossible to get the information directly.
Even 3 years after CloudScreener creation, cloud offers are still seen as black boxes, so we decided to offer a more specific product involving a few customers but also enabling us to strengthen our expertise on benchmarking performances. It didn’t solve our problem of how to gain recurring users and, with them, infrastructure deployments.
By the end of 2016, a few lead cloud providers are emerging. CloudWatt, Numergy are out of the game, and 3 to 4 big ones managed to become the leaders: AWS, Azure, Google and the last new born Alibaba.
Multi-cloud is becoming the new normal even more for large companies who usually have contracts with Azure & AWS, forcing their technical teams to try to find the right infrastructure for their projects all the time among an endless list of prices and ressources.
The need for automatic deployment is growing very fast. Customers are no longer deploying manually once a month but tend to automate each infrastructure deployment every time they need it with tools such as Terraform. Innovative and large companies are deploying new ressources hundreds times a day and unfortunately like most of the big industrials, have to decide each time, what kind of resources to choose, where, based on which price model….to make sure they won’t run infrastructures over or undersized for each project. A huge work, taking time and staff resources with no guarantee to get the right result.
……To a Cloud Decision Engine
Starting from the understanding that multi-cloud adoption & cloud automation are rising fast and require reinventing the decision-making process, and using its passed experience, the CloudScreener team took the decision to provide the intelligence to unlock the full potential of the cloud.
The Cloud Decision Engine was born!
Intended more particularly for big companies who spend more than 10,000 $ a month in cloud infrastructure, its role is to provide a smart recommendation, identifying the best resources in terms of price, location and performance, for each deployment, thanks to its strong algorithm.
It can be used via an API or a Web App, it can also be integrated to Cloud Management Platforms or cloud brokers to become the heart of customer’s deployment workflow. And above all our Web App is based on our API: we eat our own dog food! The true interest of having a web application is to be able to get a recommendation without any technical or devops understanding and to enable profiles such as consultants or project managers to use it.
Million dollars are over spent in the cloud today because companies don’t have the right tool to ensure the infrastructure they choose matches their business and technical needs.
The Cloud Decision Engine has bright days ahead!
Our 5 years story is not a long calm river but it is the story of large majority of startups. Finding THE idea, developing it, testing it, adapting it to the market… a story of convictions, enthusiasm, doubts, fears sometimes but made of so much pride, happiness when you achieve your goal!
From the beginning we defined our values as Ambition, Openness, Independence, Fulfillment, Innovation, Responsibility and Pleasure. A simple startup state of mind or a real mojo? We let you guess the answer but we can say that 5 years later we reached our objectives.