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.
Describing each other as “visionary” and “persistent”, in the last year they’ve launched a new app, Calendar Overlay, currently trending in the Microsoft app store. They’re set to launch a second app before the year is out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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