Meet Pat & Chris, founders of Cloudwell

A decade ago, having worked together for several years, Pat and Chris founded Cloudwell, formerly SharePoint SMEs. Putting in 16-hour days, building client relationships and landing a multi-year project, within the year they took on their first employee.

Fast-forward ten years, they now have a growing team working with global Fortune 500 customers. Here, the two self-confessed tech geeks give us a glimpse of who they are, their passions and why they continue to push to be faster and better than the competition.

Describing each other as “visionary” and “persistent”, in the last year they’ve launched two new apps, Calendar Overlay and Team Members App, both currently trending in the Microsoft app store.

What sets Cloudwell apart from competitors?

Pat: We’re forward-thinking. We always want to be on the cusp of emerging technologies. That sets us apart as a business.

Agile and efficient, we’re constantly looking at ways to introduce new technology, new functionality and automating business processes to save our customers time and money.

Pat McGown, CEO, Cloudwell

We may be small, yet our track record of the companies we’ve worked with across the globe, coupled with our partnership with Microsoft, means we benchmark ourselves with the likes of Fortune 500 partners.

Chris: What sets us apart from our competition? We can do things faster and better. We’re experts in our field. We know what we’re talking about.

Forming close and honest relationships with our customers is very important to us. As a result customer loyalty, many of whom have been with us on and off from the start, is high.

Chris Alechko, CTO, Cloudwell

Plus, we’re competitive on price. And we’re willing to work with not-for-profits or education sector organizations and offer them a discount up front.

Why Microsoft? What do you like about its technology?

Pat: Microsoft’s leadership, especially under Satya Nadella, has been exemplary. It’s fostered a wonderful partner ecosystem and has a great tech stack.

Back in the early 2000s, I used to enjoy building websites as a hobby. I wrote HTML, played around with CSS, and dived into the graphical stuff like Macromedia Flash for fun.

These skills came into play whilst working for my first employer, which specialized in building on top of and delivering Microsoft tech.

I quickly found that my expertise, and understanding of the user experience, was a natural fit and added value to that group of Microsoft experts. So, with Cloudwell I kept headed in that direction.

What I’ve always loved about Satya Nadella is he’s inclusive of other technologies. With the emergence of the cloud, Microsoft has really opened the doors to connecting to everything. We understand the power of that and the solutions we’ve developed for our customers really utilize all of the tools in the cloud.

Pat McGown, CEO, Cloudwell

So, why Microsoft? It allows us to run a successful business and develop the solutions our customers need, easily.

Chris: It used to be either specialize in Java or dotnet. I chose dotnet as I had more experience in it. Plus, at the time, every server was pretty much running Windows, and I thought this is a system that’s going to be around for years to come.

I specialized in SharePoint, which was a niche especially as I was customizing it, as there weren’t that many people doing it back then. I was young and good at it and didn’t want to give that up. It’s the 10,000 hours rule – I was working, not even getting paid, just to learn, as I wanted to get as good at it as I could.

Chris Alechko, CTO, Cloudwell

But, of course, the landscape has shifted in the last 15 years, and we’re working on a completely different system now. I hardly ever write dotnet anymore. Microsoft has aligned and changed the way it does things. And we’ve adjusted too.

How important is it to be a Microsoft Partner?

Pat: We’re DevOps specialists. For us, as a small business, it’s important to demonstrate our competencies. Having an affiliation with Microsoft allows us to really show we’re up there with the likes of Fortune 500 partners in terms of level of expertise and competency.

What are you most proud of since starting Cloudwell?

Chris: I’m proud of the fact that we’ve done everything the right way. We don’t take shortcuts. We do right by our customers. I feel good about all the decisions we make.

We get to solve really cool problems for our clients. And our work makes a huge difference to their businesses.

Chris Alechko, CTO, Cloudwell

Pat: We’re really living the vision that we set out with ten years ago. We’re always pushing ourselves, striving to know more and do better.

We’ve built a team of honest, dedicated, and hardworking problem solvers who we’re proud to call colleagues.

Pat McGown, CEO, Cloudwell

Over the last decade, we’ve navigated through stressful situations and I’m proud of how we’ve pulled together and continue to run a successful business.


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