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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin, Co-Founders of Huddle (Part 6)

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 19th 2014

Alastair Mitchell: There’s been lots of news flicking around about how people’s entire personal online lives have been hacked through telephone phishing. Companies like Apple and Amazon who have incredibly strong hardware, software, and security in place have their security negotiated because the processes they had in place allowed a human operator to give out key information. This is exactly the kind of thing that we have been very focused on for a long time. The accreditation of ISO 27001 is absolutely key for not only the security of the information in data centers and in transit but also the security of our offices and processes.

Sramana Mitra: Is yours a public, private, or hybrid cloud solution? How do you deploy?

Andy McLoughlin: We’re 100% cloud and 99% of users use our public cloud version. We have actually a small number of very secure private cloud deployments for some of our government customers.

Sramana Mitra: Only government? You don’t have demand for private cloud solution in the enterprises?

Andy McLoughlin: Only in the government.

Sramana Mitra: In case this trend develops and you start seeing enterprises wanting to bring you into private cloud architecture, do you have any problems servicing that demand?

Alastair Mitchell: We do actually. We say no and there’s a very good reason for that. The whole premise of Huddle is it’s collaborative. As soon as you put stuff in different servers and disconnect them from the rest of the network, you destroy collaboration. You stop people from sharing and working with people. What that means is that the whole raison d’être (reason for existence) for Huddle and the reason you buy it over a traditional legacy system is destroyed. The only reason we deploy private cloud versions is because there are cases in different governments – I’m talking millions of people communities who sit on private networks – who cannot connect to the internet. They only work together on one platform and we provide that one platform.

What we certainly wouldn’t do is provide a version for a bank or a large pharmaceutical that’s on-premise because they can’t work with all the people that they need to. That’s why they bought Huddle in the first place. They might as well buy the 2005 version of SharePoint. We are very strong on it and it’s a very small number of private cloud for a very specific purpose.

Andy McLoughlin: Organizations put a huge value on collaboration. As Alastair says, if they’re just looking for a place to store files, they could buy a file server and stick it onto the network.

Sramana Mitra: Let me double-click on that and see if I understand what you’re saying. You have companies collaborating across firewalls. Essentially, you want them to have a Huddle account and be able to collaborate across different companies. That’s the architecture that you’re trying to deploy, right?

Andy McLoughlin: Exactly.

Sramana Mitra: In that scenario, how do you price? For somebody to have a Huddle account, who’s paying? How is the organization set up?

Andy McLoughlin: It’s the person controlling the account. Let me give you an example. You work for WPP who are one of our customers. You work on five different accounts with five different major clients. WPP will pay for your access because they’re using Huddle as a client service product to service their major accounts. You will have a Huddle account and it’s paid for by WPP. You will have five different Huddles to work with them. You might be working with 50 different people across your different clients and agencies. All of the people in that account is paid for by WPP. If one of their clients want to set up their own set of Huddle to work with not just WPP but other people as well, they will have to buy their own account.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin, Co-Founders of Huddle
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