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Sand Hill 50 “Agile and Innovative” in Cloud

By June 3, 2014Article

Cloud is all about agility and innovation. It is one of the key driving forces behind the incredible value that is being realized in the technology market today. The cloud enables and accelerates major markets such as Big Data, mobile and social. The cloud paradigm is shaking up every layer of the hardware and software stack; nothing is immune to this disruption including security, storage, networking, platforms, applications, management and even the virtualization layer. We are also seeing traditionally conservative vertical markets such as healthcare, automotive and manufacturing embrace cloud technology to leapfrog their competition. 

Hundreds of companies are jumping on the cloud bandwagon and investors are once again pouring hundreds of millions of dollars. The Sand Hill 50 represents a unique set of cloud players that stand out from the crowd. We created this list based on the fundamental requirement of business value and an evaluation along the following criteria:

  1. Unique value proposition
  2. Ecosystem
  3. Investors and management team
  4. Customers
  5. Industry influence and buzz 

We chose not to consider companies that run multi-faceted businesses where cloud is but one area of their overall product or service portfolio. These include companies such as Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Oracle and other equivalent large players such as Dell, Cisco, HP, EMC; telcos such as Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink; other large cloud vendors such as Amazon and Rackspace; and Linux vendors such as Red Hat, SUSE or Canonical.  The Sand Hill Cloud 50 represents a unique set of players of various sizes and hues that span SaaS, Paas and IaaS, security, storage and services spaces and that stand out from the crowd with a unique differentiation and value proposition. Here they are in alphabetical order. 

1.     ActiveState: Platform-as-a-Service based on open source Cloud Foundry project to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value. Two million developers and 97 percent of global 1,000 companies including Cisco, HP, Bank of America, Siemens and Lockheed Martin using ActiveState’s platform and multi-language support is a major asset.

2.     Anaplan: Cloud-based software for financial analysts helps companies manage and plan their sales, operations and finance. The company tripled sales to $40 million and is generating $10 million in monthly revenue this year. With more than 200 customers including Proctor & Gamble, Facebook, Kimberly-Clark the company is on a roar. With the most recent $100 million in a financing round led by DFJ (Draper Fisher Jurvetson), the company is all set to expand its business dramatically.

3.     AnyPresence: Cloud-based app development platform that securely adapts enterprise systems to support mobile and emerging smart devices. Pioneering the mBaaS (mobile Backend-as-a-Service) for enterprises, AnyPresence has seen good penetration in the enterprise market with customers such as MasterCard, Petco, USA Today, Schneider Electric and Miami Children’s Hospital.

4.     Appirio: Helps enterprises achieve business results from cloud applications and platforms like, Google and Workday. With an enviable portfolio of customers including City of Los Angeles, Facebook, Flextronics, Home Depot, International Hotels Group, Japan Post Network, Co. Ltd., L’Oreal, NetApp, NYU, Starbucks and Thomson Reuters, Appirio is a clear leader in the cloud consulting space.

5.     ApprendaEnterprise cloud development platform (PaaS) solution that can be hosted on any private cloud infrastructure. Focused primarily on improving productivity of enterprise developers and modernizing applications for the cloud world. Apprenda recently announced a major partnership with Microsoft for hybrid clouds. Its customers include 13 of the world’s 20 largest financial firms, anchored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. The company is also strong in healthcare. Other customers include Honeywell, Diebold and McKesson.

6.     Asigra: Canada-based cloud backup and restore company. Its cloud backup software powers more than one million sites. Its unique agentless technology provides an end-to-end enterprise backup platform that runs across servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, virtual machines and mobile devices.

7.     Box: Provides secure cloud storage, sharing and collaboration on any device. With more than 225,000 customers on Box, the company doubled its revenues to $124 million in 2013. While not profitable, the company plans to file for IPO in summer of 2014.

8.     Blue Jeans: Multi-party video conference in the cloud providing dead-simple implementation, integration and use. It uses multiple end-points such as Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, Skype, Microsoft Lync, Google and even a browser. With more than 2,000 enterprise customers and $100 million in financing, the company is all set to disrupt the video conference market.

9.     CareCloud: Cloud-based health IT software and services company providing electronic health record, practice management and revenue cycle management solutions to U.S. physicians. An alternative to outdated, difficult-to-use technologies, CareCloud maintains over 6.9 million patients on its cloud-based platform and has been entrusted with over $2.7 billion in accounts receivable from its customers.

10.  CipherCloud: Delivers cloud information protection helping companies overcome risks to data privacy, residency, security and regulatory compliance and deliver better business results. CipherCloud boasts 2.6 million users across 11 industries.

11.  ClearDATA Networks: 100 percent healthcare-focused cloud provider providing ultra-secure, HIPAA-compliant cloud, backup, disaster recovery and imaging storage solutions. More than 300,000 healthcare professions rely on the company for IT and data needs. Customers include Kingbrooks Jewish Medical Center, Dignity Health, Dental Smart and many other healthcare customers.

12.  CloudBees: CloudBees accelerates the development and deployment of cloud and mobile applications. The company provides tools for continuous integration and deployment thereby dramatically accelerating delivering new features to the business. CloudBees is positioned among the “Visionaries” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Platforms as a Service (aPaaS). Hundreds of customers use the solutions including marquee names such as Aetna, Barclays, Nokia, Netflix, Pfizer and eBay.

13.  Cloudscaling: Provides a hardened OpenStack-based private cloud solution that is 100 percent compatible with Amazon Web Services delivering public cloud agility with private cloud control.  The company is pioneering new open source cloud platform OpenStack to build its solutions. Customers include Korea Telcom, Internap, CloudCentral and Engine Yard.

14.  Concur: Provides cloud- and mobile-based travel and expense management solutions. With 20,000 customers and 25 million users in 100 countries, Concur processes over $50 billion in T&E spend each year. This NASDAQ company with nearly $700 million annual revenues and growing at a strong 20-30 percent clip is poised to be the next billion-dollar cloud company soon.

15.  Cornerstone OnDemand: Cloud-based applications to recruit, train, manage and connect people across an entire organization. The company has customers in 141 countries including 14.5 million subscribers using 41 languages. Major customers include Walgreens, Virgin Media, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., TGI Fridays and and E*TRADE.

16.  CloudLock: Suite of powerful integrated solutions presented in a single unified cloud data security dashboard that covers major SaaS applications. Cloudlock has over 600 paying customers and grew its subscription base over 10x in the past 24 months. The company secured $16.5 million Series C funding earlier this year to expand its SaaS portfolio.

17.  CumuLogic: Database-as-a-Service behind the firewall, a platform empowering developers and DBAs with self-service database access, while enabling IT Ops to retain control of the underlying infrastructure for governance and security. Databases supported include MySQL, MongoDB and Couchbase. 

18.  Dealertrack Technologies: Dealertrack’s award-winning cloud-based solutions include a comprehensive Dealer Management System (DMS) that tracks automobile inventory, sales/F&I, and interactive, arranging vehicle transportation and shipping.  This publicly traded company is on track to cross $500 million in annual revenue in 2014.

19.  DigitalOcean: Ultra-fast cloud with 1 Gb/s bandwidth and all flash storage with a very simple and clean API garnering a lot of buzz in the community. In March 2014, the company raised a Series A round of $37.2 million investment led by Andreessen Horowitz. Companies such as Nike and TaskRabbit have deployed microsites or testing environments on DigitalOcean. But for the most part, customers are individual developers, with something like 180,000 developers now in the pool.

20.  Docker: The hottest and the most talked-about technology that is revolutionizing the cloud space and is seen as a lightweight alternative to traditional virtualization. It delivers on two promises: “Build Once … Run Anywhere” and “Configure Once … Run Anything.” With explosive growth last year culminating in a $15 million Series B funding led by Greylock partners, Docker is all set to make an impact across all cloud environments.

21.  Dropbox: Dropbox is a service that lets companies bring all their docs and other content and share them easily on various devices. With four million businesses and 97 percent of the Fortune 500 using Dropbox and over 100,000 active apps on the platform, Dropbox doesn’t seem to slow down. The company seems ripe for an IPO.

22.  ElasticBox: Empowers developers with preconfigured boxes that they can mix and match to create applications — similar to the way a DJ blends beats and samples to create new music. This allows companies to write an application once and then easily deploy it on any cloud architecture without locking itself in.  The company raised $9 million in Series A funding earlier this year for this category-creating market area.

23.  Eucalyptus: Open source private cloud software for building private and hybrid clouds that are compatible with AWS APIs. CEO is Marten Mickos of mySQL fame. Company raised more than $55 million in funding with a Series C for $30 million two years ago. It has hundreds of customers including Electronics Arts, Fujitsu, Harris Corporation, Indiana University, NASA, Raytheon, Sony, FDA, etc.

24.  GigaSpaces: In-memory platform to process millions of transactions in real time and an OpenStack cloud platform for complex app deployment with a single click. GigaSpaces has customers from almost every industry including Kohl’s, Telefonica, Morgan Stanley, Sears, Ericsson and American Airlines.

25.  GT Nexus: B2B network/cloud platform optimizes the flow of goods and trade information from order point through final payment. The platform fuses financial and physical supply chain processes in a single place. GT Nexus hosts 20,000+ organizations on its platform and moves $100 billion worth of goods through its network. Customers include Pfizer, Caterpillar, Lenovo and Levi Strauss & Co.

26.  HootSuite: Social relationship platform with over nine million users around the world. HootSuite integrates with over 25 social networks so customers can effectively engage with their community and customers. Over $165 in investments last year enabled HootSuite to provide enterprise offerings.

27.  HubSpot: Inbound marketing and sales platform. Today, over 10,000 customers in 65 countries use HubSpot’s software, services and support to transform the way they attract, engage and delight customers. Recognized by Inc., Forbes and Deloitte as one of the world’s fastest-growing companies.

28.  Intacct: Cloud financial management and accounting system specifically designed for use by small and mid-sized companies. The company has garnered widespread industry acclaim with numerous awards. Intacct is also a three-time winner of “Best Places to Work in Silicon Valley.” More than 7,000 organizations from various industries use Intacct software to improve their company performance and better financial operations.

29.  Kenandy: Cloud ERP for the enterprise that is social, mobile, and global from the ground-up. Built on the Salesforce platform and takes advantage of the massive scalability and elastic compute power of the cloud. Customers include 3 Sigma Corp, Planet Green, Yokohama Tire Company, Helix Linear Technologies and Fluidic Energy.

30.  Medidata Solutions: SaaS-based software for conducting clinical trials and used by pharmaceutical companies and other research organizations. It is one of the first vertical cloud companies focused on life sciences. With nearly 400 clients conducting 9,000 studies over 200,000 investigator sites, the company continues to grow nearly 30 percent YoY and has $277 million in annual revenues. Customers include Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cognizant, AstraZeneca and eClinical Solutions.

31.  Metacloud: Managed private clouds based on OpenStack that combine the convenience of public cloud with the security, predictability and economic advantages of private cloud. Metacloud closed a $15 million Series B round of funding recently on the heels of doubling its install base in the last quarter and customer base growing 10 percent month over month.

32.  Mirantis: Pure-play OpenStack company delivering all the technology, integration, training and support required for companies to succeed with production-grade open source cloud. Investors include Dell, Intel, Red Hat, SAP Ventures, Ericsson and WestSummit Capital. Customers include Cisco, NASA, Seagate and WebEx.

33.  Nebula: Provides a turnkey private cloud solution integrating hardware and software together, using OpenStack as its cloud software. Nebula founder and chief strategy officer Chris Kemp was the CTO of NASA and was instrumental in the birth of the OpenStack project.

34.  NetSuite: Cloud-based financials, ERP and omni-channel commerce software suites, growing over 30 percent YoY revenues and on track to $500 million in revenues this year. The company boasts more than 16,000 customers that depend on its software. A Gartner study named NetSuite as the fastest-growing financial management software vendor on a global basis.

35.  Nexenta Systems: Software defined storage solutions that are high performance, ultra scalable, cloud and virtualization optimized. The company has about 5,000 customers including GoDaddy, AOL Inc and SoftBank Corp and manages storage of one exabyte.

36.  NuoDB: NuoDB is a distributed cloud database management system with a rich SQL implementation and true ACID transactions. It’s an operational DBMS designed to meet the needs of cloud-scale apps and the 50+ billion connected devices in use worldwide. 11,000 users downloaded the product, which is deployed in a wide range of operational database applications.

37.  Pertino: Cloud service for building networks quickly and securely connecting users on various devices to their files and applications behind the firewall. There are no hardware or up-front costs, and the company offers a pay-as-you-grow pricing model.

38.  Piston Cloud Computing: Turnkey private cloud for enterprises based on OpenStack enhanced with advanced systems intelligence to orchestrate the cloud environment. A finalist in the 2014 Red Herring Top 100 America awards and named one of the best places to work in the Bay area, Piston generates a lot of buzz in the OpenStack community.

39.  Pivotal: Spinoff of VMware/EMC led by former VMware CEO, Paul Maritz. Its product is a turnkey PaaS experience for agile development teams to deploy and scale applications on a private cloud that can be expanded and upgraded with no downtime. It is the first integrated platform encompassing the Big Data framework Apache Hadoop and the open source PaaS, Cloud Foundry. The company has hundreds of customers across many industries including Warner Music, GE, Verizon, 3M, University of Zurich, American Express, Facebook and Netflix.

40.  RealPage: OneSite property management software gives owners and managers of multifamily and commercial properties a whole universe of Web-based integrated software, services and solutions to help find and retain the right tenants, increase revenue, lease faster and simplify all management processes.

41.  RingCentral: Leading SaaS provider for business communication solutions that allows employees and customers to communicate via voice, text and fax via multiple devices including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and desk phones. Publicly traded company with $146 million in annual revenues and growing at more than 30 percent YoY. The company has more than 300,000 customers.

42.  Salesforce: SaaS-based CRM, sales, services, social and mobile enterprise cloud leads with more than $4 billion in revenues and hundreds of thousands of customers. It’s Fortune’s #7 on the list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For for the sixth consecutive year. Dreamforce 2013 became the world’s largest software conference with more than 140,000 people registering to attend.

43.  ServiceNow: Cloud-based service to create a single system of record for IT and automate manual tasks, standardize processes and consolidate legacy systems. ServiceNow revenues have grown rapidly to $139 million. The company signed nine new customers, some of which are in excess of $1 million, and one deal was more than $10 million.

44.  SnapLogic: Integration platform as a service that connects cloud applications, APIs and disparate data sources with the rest of the enterprise. Named a Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant in the integration platform as a service category. Customers include Netflix, CapitalOne, iRobot and Acxiom. The company enjoys 100 percent growth in YoY bookings.

45.  SolidFire: All-solid-state, scale-out primary storage system designed specifically for cloud service providers with guaranteed sustained performance to thousands of servers and users. The storage solution is certified with a number of cloud platforms including OpenStack, CloudStack, VMware, Flexiant and OnApp.

46.  The Fabric: Has a unique approach to inspire, incubate and invest in next-generation innovative technology companies. It’s focused on creating a new flexible, efficient network architecture. The company raised $10.5 million to incubate innovative networking startups.

47.  Veeva Systems: CRM, content management and customer master cloud software serving the life sciences industry. Its cloud solution brings together master data, compliant content and customer interactions across all channels to transform commercial operations. Customers include Bayer, Amgen, Merck, Novartis and Philips.

48.  Workday: Enterprise cloud for human resources and financial applications. With revenues approaching $500 million and growing 70 percent YoY, the company is on a tear. In fiscal 2014 alone, Workday added 200 new customers and 800 new employees.

49.  Zoho: Comprehensive suite of award-winning online business, productivity and collaboration applications including CRM to mail, office suite, project management, invoicing and Web conferencing. The company boasts more than nine million customers worldwide.

50.  Zuora: Leader in enterprise-class, cloud-based recurring-revenue billing, subscription management and recurring revenue solution. Zuora has a broad customer base across a wide range of industries including Dell, DocuSign, Google, Informatica, Joyent and RightScale. 

Kamesh Pemmaraju is senior product manager at Dell Inc. and is responsible for Dell’s private cloud solutions portfolio based on the OpenStack platform. He drives business success of OpenStack solutions and is a subject matter expert on the cloud market and related technologies. Prior to Dell, Kamesh delivered strategic consulting services to enterprises, service providers, ISVs, and startups on cloud computing. Kamesh co-authored the critically acclaimed Sand Hill “Leaders in the Cloud” industry study. Twitter:@kpemmaraju.

M.R. Rangaswami is co-founder and CEO of Sand Hill Group and publisher of   

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