By Richard Cawthorne
Winning a major global award from the mighty Microsoft for your work in IT could be considered a fair achievement at any time. To do it after just two years in business is something else.
Mitchell Feldman set up his Watford-based company, Cloudamour, in February 2012 and it began trading in July that year. Feldman had spotted a gap in the market.
He owned a company supplying traditional IT systems, but there was a problem – in a nutshell, the equipment available on the market was not keeping up with the demands on it.
“People had systems in their offices, but their requirements were always ahead of what the machines could do,” he explains. “As an example, a company solely reliant on email would have one server, but if it found it needed two, it couldn’t afford the outlay. People were always at the mercy of their IT.”
Although not everyone realised it at the time, a solution was at hand in the form of the Cloud. Mitchell was one who did realise it. “It gave people what we call instant enterprise – they were no longer held back by financial restrictions,” he says.
The former Sinai School and JFS pupil’s enthusiasm is evident: “We just loved that idea, we absolutely subscribe to it, we bought into it from day one. We were early movers of the technology and because we loved it so much, it was just a natural thing to call ourselves Cloudamour.”
The company set about offering to help other organisations to harness the new developments in the market through building and delivering world-class services around Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Lync, Yammer and SharePoint, and backing it all up with what Mitchell describes as “amazing support”.
The reward for his vision came in July, almost exactly two years after Cloudamour began trading, with a trip to the US to receive the Microsoft World Wide Cloud Partner of the Year trophy for 2014.
The 43-year-old father of two daughters, Ella and Millie, tries to be modest about it, but admits it was a great moment. “Bear in mind there are 650,000 Microsoft partners globally, 60,000 of them in the UK, and we have been crowned number one,” he says.
“We are overwhelmed by the way things have gone, but our feet are well and truly on the ground. We will measure our own success, but we will take the kudos that goes with it. “It certainly adds a lot of gravitas to what we are doing to have endorsement from Microsoft, saying it absolutely concurs with what we are doing, that we have chosen the right route.”
At the same time, it has not been an easy journey. “We were early adopters of the Cloud and people were sceptical of it. It’s gone from: ‘I’m not sure about it’ to: ‘Tell me more about it’, to people now saying: ‘How quickly can you get me on it?’
“We’ve gone through the pain of being almost radical to it being almost the norm; we have prevailed as a leader because we were preaching it from the beginning.”
Mitchell, whose cousin was the late comedy actor Marty Feldman (and whom he describes as from “the good-looking side of the family!”) counts some major organisations among his clients.
They include Adstream, which claims to be the world’s largest media distribution company; WeSwap, a multiaward winning tech start-up, and Wellbeing Of Women, a 100-year-old charity dedicated to improving the health of women and babies.
What next? Cloudamour has become one of six companies in the UK known as “growth accelerators”, to which Microsoft refers organisations seeking to improve their performances using technology. Out of this, Cloudamour, whose slogan is ‘Simplifying the Future’, has created a CIE, or Customer Immersion Experience, launching on 10 September.
The purpose-built technology showroom will enable interested parties to ‘test-drive’ free all the latest IT goodies, from tablet devices to interactive whiteboards, or touchscreen plasmas to smartphones, to see how technology can fit into their worlds.
Mitchell, who left school at 16 and is a member of Bushey United Synagogue, is as keen as ever to get it going, regarding it as a further reflection of his “passion” for IT.
“Our success is directly related to that, plus a clear vision of where I want the company to be and our ability to gain quickly a trusted adviser status with all I work with,” he says.
“I am also very honest with myself – I am acutely aware I cannot be the best at everything, which is why I ensure I surround myself with the best people to help support and underpin my business.”
And his favourite anecdote? “Only in the dictionary does success come before work… that’s from my mum.”
• More details can be found at: www.cloudamour.com