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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin, Co-Founders of Huddle (Part 3)

Posted on Sunday, Feb 16th 2014

Alastair Mitchell: Being able to access and share work information in a very social and collaborative way is a huge theme. We are owning that middle space around secure collaboration internally and externally. As a result, we get to work with some amazing customers. 80% of the central U.K. government use Huddle and we also work with a large number of government departments here in the U.S. Off the back of that, people trust us to be the most secure place to put their content if they want to work on it and share with other people. We get to work with some fantastic organizations in the private sector – from Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Disney to BBC in U.K.

Sramana Mitra: You are basically some superset of Box and Dropbox and you’re also providing some of the WebEx functionality. What other toolkit functionality do you have in your system? SharePoint?

Alastair Mitchell: In terms of Box and Dropbox, Huddle is a much closer facsimile to SharePoint in terms of the concept of team spaces, document collaboration, and then the broader collaboration tools around the outside.

Sramana Mitra: How do you position against SharePoint?

Alastair Mitchell: That’s a great question. If we’re talking to a company in the mid-market, they might be looking at moving from a SharePoint 2007 to the latest version. Given the cost, they’re actually going to be looking at some alternatives in the cloud. With Huddle, we can give them all the functionality that their users want but with embedded social and mobile functionalities. It’s cloud-based and it’s a fraction of the cost of SharePoint. But when we’re talking to our enterprise customers who have SharePoint baked into the very fabric of their business, we can run Huddle alongside it. Using our content connected tools, we can publish and move content between Huddle and SharePoint. Huddle is the place where content lives and breathes but SharePoint is where content can be stored for long-term archiving and compliance.

Sramana Mitra: Do you have storage function?

Alastair Mitchell: Absolutely, yes.

Sramana Mitra: When you get into comparative deal situations, do you position to Windows deals in competition or do you position to win them in collaboration with SharePoint?

Alastair Mitchell: Our ultimate objective is to beat SharePoint. We have a large number of big customers that have started by using Huddle as an external lightweight cloud collaboration tool and connecting it to SharePoint. Over the next year they’ll actually say, “Hang on. We now have most of the organization using Huddle and everyone is enjoying using it. They’re loving the mobile tool. They can access it internally and externally. We’re very happy with the security. Frankly, we don’t need to upgrade the next version of SharePoint. We can actually downgrade and go entirely into Huddle.” That’s a typical journey that we go on. Not all of our customers say that, but a lot of them are going that way. That’s very exciting for us.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin, Co-Founders of Huddle
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