The founding fathers of Cloudapps
The most outstanding founders of any business have always lived the problem they’re trying to solve!
Every successful business is, at its heart, an attempt to solve real-world problems. But you can’t solve a problem unless you’ve lived it first. Without first-hand experience at the grassroots level, you’ll never find a solution that works in practice as well as in theory.
It all started at Salesforce …
Back in 2004/5 Simon Wheeldon and Tim Knight were the early pioneers of the Salesforce AppExchange and regularly delivered keynote speeches at Salesforce’s DreamForce events around the globe helping launch the AppExchange in EMEA. They started with zero EMEA partners and only a handful of US apps on the platform, so the key challenge was to gain the trust of the EMEA partners.
1st challenge: building trust to convince partners of the value of building apps and listing them on the AppExchange.
2nd challenge: building & integrating apps. At the time the AppExchange and the customisation of the Salesforce platform had limited technical capabilities, so Simon and Tim had to handhold each partner through the technical building, integrating and listing of their apps. FinancialForce is still today one of the most successful apps on the AppExchange and was onboarded by Simon & Tim.
The combination of strong business, commercial and technical skills allowed them to onboard over 50 EMEA apps in the first year! This also gave them a detailed understanding of partnering with Salesforce and how both parties can maximise the value.
Today, the Salesforce AppExchange has over 3,000 apps. It’s fair to say that the Salesforce AppExchange would not be where it is today without the crack team of Cloudapps co-founders.
Simon Wheeldon | Keynote Speaker | Salesforce, San Francisco | 20/9/2012
Inspiration for Cloudapps:
Like all audacious entrepreneurial-minded people, it’s all about spotting an opportunity gap and seizing the moment.
Simon Wheeldon is a huge fan of the Salesforce technology but, during his stint at Salesforce, he quickly identified areas of difficulties where businesses were being held back by old fashioned tech adoption challenges of ‘people and processes’.
While Tim Knight and Simon Wheeldon ran Dreamforce Europe driving early adopters at the Salesforce platform, known as Force.com, they successfully helped customers and partners to build non-sales/CRM applications on the platform, e.g. recruitment apps, finance, manufacturing, and ERP.
This authentic involvement from the beginning allowed Simon Wheeldon and Tim Knight to collaborate closely with Salesforce customers and AppExchange partners giving them a unique understanding of the key benefits of the Salesforce platform which was the inspiration for starting Cloudapps.
Now, the co-founders sit on the other side of the fence helping companies maximise their value from Salesforce by addressing the business challenges of people adopting the technology and driving winning processes.
In 2009, the Cloudapps inception began to take shape. Simon Wheeldon attracted and surrounded himself with a crew of unique mindsets and strong personalities coming from a strong CRM/Salesforce background.
Steve Garnet, who was head of EMEA for Siebel and then became chairman of EMEA for Salesforce, was approached as an investor and chairman of the business, Tim for his marketing expertise, Anthony Day for his product expertise, Simon C for his strong financial and sales operations background, and Gareth, originally a Salesforce customer, for his strength in technology as CTO.
Co-Founders of Cloudapps
The bond between Cloudapps and Salesforce
Being early adopters of the platform is what sets Cloudapps apart from all other apps. Benefitting from the strong relationship with Salesforce and deep understanding of the Salesforce technology has definitely paid off and can be seen manifesting itself through successful collaborations with global blue-chip clients like Shell, Vodafone, Aviva, Qlik and BT, just to name a few, which would otherwise be impossible for a small business like Cloudapps to succeed in.
Cloudapps also operates as an official Salesforce Partner called ISV’s, Independent Software Vendors, and is one of the few 100% native applications. The significance of this cannot be underestimated, because the Salesforce platform is a modern cloud-based architecture, built with security top-of-mind, offering customers complete peace of mind with enterprise-class security.
Whilst there are over 3,000 apps today, only a handful are built natively on the SFDC platform.