Cloud Sherpas

A timely bet on Google Apps pays off


This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on Atlanta cloud storage company Cloud Sherpas. Up next: Words of wisdom for entrepreneurs from company founder Mike Cohn.

It takes steely-eyed courage and steadfast resolve to start a new business under the best of circumstances. Making a successful go of the venture also requires sound ideas, careful planning and impeccable timing.

Atlanta-based Cloud Sherpas and its founder and current vice president of marketing, Mike Cohn, are a case in point.

A mere three years removed from its inception in March 2008, Cloud Sherpas  is a leading Google Apps cloud service provider in the U.S. It’s a remarkable feat considering the firm’s humble beginnings as a collection of Linux-based e-mail servers that Cohn maintained in his basement as a hobby.

“On a lark, I decided running my own e-mail server was just too time-consuming with a job and a family, so I migrated it to what was then called  “Google Apps for your domain,” Cohn explained. “Gmail provided e-mail for domains, but it also had an integrated calendar for my wife and I to share, which was nice.”

Around that time, Cohn was responsible for marketing at an IBM and Microsoft reseller, and the vast differences between legacy messaging and collaboration products from those vendors and the new, cloud-based Google Apps product suite struck a chord. It didn’t take long for him to understand how Gmail, Google Apps, and cloud computing as a new distribution model for information technology (IT) could be leveraged to serve a variety of business needs and operations at drastically reduced costs.