Imagine this: you are driving in your car on your way to work, a daily ritual for most of us. Only, in this scenario, that car has placed an order for you at a local coffee shop, paid for the order, and you are able to drive up to the window and collect your beverage without any wait. The technology to make this a reality exists, and this future isn’t as far on the horizon as it once was.
“Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios like this one are the next phase,” says John McDonald, CEO of CloudOne and co-author of the book How IoT is Made. “We have the technology and knowledge to create these solutions, but no one is collecting the data it requires or coming up with answers like this in the first place for questions consumers haven’t even thought to ask.”
McDonald is building a reputation as an IoT futurist through high-profile presentations at events such as the Internet of Things Summit Chicago (held just last month) and IndyIoT (this past September). The work his Fishers, Ind.-based company is doing as a convener in the IoT space is setting CloudOne apart in this fast-emerging market.
Successful IoT projects require four things, McDonald says. They need ideation, developers, edge technology and cloud services — the last of which is where CloudOne got its start as the first-ever company to offer Software-as-a-Service and Virtual Private Cloud delivery of IBM Software products. The company has since gone through a number of evolutions bringing enterprise solutions to the cloud, and today offers cloud services on a number of platforms like Google, ASA Analytics and Atlassian in addition to IBM.
As an IoT convener, CloudOne works closely with other Indianapolis area based companies who serve as industry experts in ideation, development and edge technology. Companies like Innovatemap, Moser Consulting, VAI, and Rook Security are a few of the local partners CloudOne has brought together to deliver complete Internet of Things solutions for customers.
“Companies we work with are struggling to get these four disciplines aligned because their core business is manufacturing, transportation or agriculture, for example, and not systems integration like we know how to do,” said McDonald. “The biggest mistake we see today is when companies try to skip steps and jump into creating IoT revenue streams without really knowing what they are getting into, or worse without understanding the scalability needs or security implications.”
Two of the most prevalent pain points companies deal with today are not controlling their own data or sitting on that data because they don’t know what to do with it. In positioning itself as an IoT convener, CloudOne is carving out a unique role that resolves both of those pain points while driving the growth companies are seeking from disruptive new technologies.
The company’s successful evolution over a few short years, strength of vision, and rapid growth has garnered the attention of national experts. Here are the accolades received in just the past 30 days:
- CloudOne ranked 190 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America.
- CloudOne made the CRN 2016 Next-Gen 250 List, which recognizes standout IT solution providers who have successfully transformed their businesses to meet the demands of emerging technologies.
- CloudOne was named one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur 360™ List.
On the customer front, CloudOne works with some of the world’s biggest and well-known brands. Panasonic, Cummins, Whirlpool and McDonald’s, for example, are listed on the company’s website, but the details of what CloudOne does for each is not.
“Most of what we do for our customers is intended to be secret,” McDonald said. “It’s a real competitive advantage for them to have a partner who makes it easier, faster and more economical to make things for the Internet of Things. It’s okay if people don’t necessarily know that CloudOne is behind the the tools they’re using as long as the companies that offer those tools know that we’re the leading IoT convener, the ones to turn to in order to make their IoT dreams a reality.”
CloudOne has grown to 50 full-time employees and doubled its revenue every year since angel investors — most of them from Indiana and many of them Indianapolis Colts players — provided the company’s initial funding five years ago. Other investors include: HKS Capital Advisors of Chicago, Elevate Ventures, an extension of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Bootstrap Incubation of San Diego, Calif., with significant investment from principles involved in the sale of Westfield, Ind.-based MaxIT Healthcare, and Plymouth Ventures out of Ann Arbour, Michigan.
The latest round in the spring was $9 million in Series E venture funding, bringing total equity investment in CloudOne to $21.9 million. The company moved into new headquarters in Fishers in November 2015, which was highlighted for its design and balcony and rooftop spaces in The Indianapolis Star, and deployment of the funding is expected to grow its IoT development capabilities through specialized new hires in the IoT space.
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The Tailwind program is supported by grants from the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.