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Bootstrapping a Cloud Startup with Services on from London: Alex Fuller, Co-Founder and CTO of CloudSense (Part 2)

Posted on Thursday, Aug 28th 2014

Sramana: If you were to position this in the context of 2009, when you founded the company, what would the competitive landscape look like? Who was your closest competitor?

Alex Fuller: That’s a good question. We were offering this system to a number of companies but the telecom sector was a key focus for us early on. We were getting our software, which was on Salesforce’s platform, on the roadmap of large enterprises who were otherwise looking at systems from Oracle, Siebel, and so on.

It’s a testament to the way that the cloud works that we were not required to acquire or manage the devices in the cloud ourselves, so we were able to focus on adding value. We were able to put intelligence into the software and create a layer of functionality and value that we were able to offer our customers.

As a result, within months of introducing the product into the market, we started significant-sized pilots with very large companies. I don’t think that would have been possible with the cloud advantage.

Sramana: Did you deliver your initial product on the platform?

Alex Fuller: Yes, we built on top of the platform from the very beginning.

Sramana: That is interesting. You built your order management product on the platform, which I presume allowed you to go to market very quickly and generate leads from the platform. Was that indeed the case?

Alex Fuller: Yes, you have hit the nail on the head. While it was great to have the ability to build our product very rapidly, we also benefited tremendously from the greater Salesforce ecosystem and partnership. They run a very proactive platform and it is a benefit to be in that platform. There are tremendous benefits to leveraging that when you are trying to get a business to take off.

Sramana: How long did it take you to build an initial version of your product to release on the platform?

Alex Fuller: We took a modular approach to our application as well as an agile approach to our development lifecycles. This enabled us to get functionality out quickly and iterate. It is really difficult to measure the man years that went into this, but within the first nine months, we had software that was available and good to go.

Sramana: During the nine months of software development, who was involved in the company and how did you sustain yourself financially?

Alex Fuller: Initially, there were the four of us who had founded the company. We were headquartered in the UK, so very early on we set out to build a team in Croatia. The reason behind that is because one of my co-founders is Croatian. We saw that as a significant step for us and it allowed us to tap into a tremendously energetic talent base and build a team in an area that was both cost-effective and operationally effective. The time zone difference was only one hour and it was also a very short flight.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Bootstrapping a Cloud Startup with Services on from London: Alex Fuller, Co-Founder and CTO of CloudSense
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