Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Kerem Koca and I am the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Blue.cloud – a cloud-only digital transformation company. Blue.cloud helps enterprise clients transform to new technologies and implement analytics to better optimize their data and cloud infrastructure which has become a top priority for start-ups, mid-market companies, and enterprises alike during the recent widespread transition to digital.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I grew up in Istanbul and studied Computer Engineering at Bogazici University. After working for Deloitte in Canada, I moved to Tampa, FL and founded Bluenet Technologies in 2004 which would eventually become Blue.cloud. For over 17 years, I’ve been focused on delivering digital transformation strategies to enterprises which makes me a bit of an industry pioneer in the space.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Our company’s transitional focus to cloud-only was in the works for some time, however, COVID rapidly sped up the process. Companies that had invested in cloud migration were seeing huge success and we felt a demand from legacy enterprises so we had to hire over 100 new employees for support. In 2021, we rebranded and pivoted to focusing solely on cloud services and have been growing ever since.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
We have had a number of exciting partnerships with several leading next-generation software companies like Snowflake, DataRobot, ThoughtSpot, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud which has been essential in remaining competitive and consistently delivering top of the line service to our customers.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Since March 2020, we have experienced rapid growth including doubling our team headcount and increasing revenue by 200 percent. Blue.cloud is observing increased demand from verticals including financial services, insurance and compliance.
We are currently focused on executing long-term, transformational cloud solutions for enterprises well beyond the pandemic-fueled transition to digital.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Building highly skilled teams that deliver superior and actionable solutions is essential to my daily success as a leader. Strong hires have played a huge role in maintaining our company’s accelerated growth since March 2020 and will continue to be a scaling strategy as we expand our client and partner portfolios with the widespread adoption of enterprise cloud solutions. Knowing where our gaps are and filling those gaps with skilled talent to better service clients is key and I believe it’s critical for businesses to have a hiring strategy in place to attract senior talent.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
When we formed Blue.cloud, we left our data centers behind and moved to the public cloud to create exceptional experiences for our customers. The agility, scalability and elasticity of the cloud are helping us build the organization of the future.
Platforms we use on a daily basis include Microsoft Teams, Snowflake, ThoughtSpot and DataRobot.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
“Rise of the Data Cloud” by Frank Slootman
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
As your business grows, surround yourself with a talented team that shares your vision. Even the most successful and widely known entrepreneurs understand the importance of building a culture of innovation within their companies which, in turn, drive results for the business. Great people make great companies.