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Member Spotlight | Jim Walker & CloudHesive

on April 6, 2020 / by Nancy Dahlberg ,


Read Time 3 Minutes

Business: Founded by cloud executives, CloudHesive provides cloud solutions that help companies improve security, reduce operating costs and increase productivity.

HQ: Fort Lauderdale

CEO: James Walker

No. of employees: 50-55

Website: CloudHesive.com

 

 

 

In 2014, Jim Walker debated moving to Boston to continue his cloud technology career or starting a company in South Florida. Lucky for the tri-county region, he chose the latter.

The venture he co-founded was CloudHesive, a Fort Lauderdale-based technology company that provides cloud solutions through consulting and managed services with a focus on security, reliability, availability and scalability.

“We are a Managed Service Provider helping customers consume cloud services,” said Walker, CloudHesive’s CEO.

The company’s services include everything from migrating large data centers into Amazon Web Services to DevOps work building out infrastructure as code deployments all the way through to migrating contact centers out of old legacy equipment onto cloud-centric solutions and services, said Walker. He is a 25-year tech veteran who was previously Global Head of Operations of Operations and Security at Pegasystems.

AWS PREMIER PARTNER

CloudHesive is also the largest AWS Premier Partner in Florida. “We are niche player for Amazon Connect, Amazon Workspaces, and Amazon Elemental,” he said.

Today, CloudHesive has 50 to 55 employees split between its offices in Fort Lauderdale, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile. Last year, the multi-million-dollar company was named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies, with a 424% 2-year growth rate.

“We’ve grown 80% year over year, and we won South Florida’s Fastest Growing Companies. This year we are projecting another 60-80% growth,” Walker said. “From a headcount perspective, we are anticipating adding another 10 heads.”

CloudHesive moved into new offices off Commercial Boulevard at the end of 2019. It also opened its Santiago office last year, Walker said. “We’ve had some incredible growth and we’ve been blessed with great customers.” Overall, he attributes the growth to being obsessed with customer success. “We go above and beyond to make sure all of our customers are successful.”


The company began expanding to Latin America in 2017, where it has set up full service offices to serve the region, Walker said. “We saw a need in the market for cloud services. It is a green-field geography — there are not a lot of cloud partners down there right now. We thought it would be advantageous sooner rather than later.”

Still, hiring and retaining high quality tech talent has been a challenge in the South Florida market, he said. “One of the biggest skills you can have down here is a Cloud or Amazon certification and we focus on that. So every time we bring someone in, it is hard to keep them retained.”

HIRING FROM ALL 3 COUNTIES

CloudHesive hires from Palm Beach to Miami, and looks for great engineers, not necessarily cloud engineers, Walker said. The company brings in people with skills in everything from VMware to networking to security. While leveraging those skills, the company can train them to be cloud engineers.

CloudHesive became a member of  Palm Beach Tech about a year ago. The company hosts community meetups for AWS and at universities. On campuses, Walker has also judged startup pitch competitions and done proof of concepts for next-generation technology for student labs.

One of the areas where South Florida is still lacking, Walker says, is with formal training on cloud based solutions. That would be a smart area for universities to add to curricula, he said. Miami Dade College is already starting to do that.

Culture is an important recruiting tool. CloudHesive has a flexible work environment with work-at-home days, Flip Flop Fridays and a java-rater in the office. “We have corporate events and happy hours,” Walker said. “We try to have some fun while we make our customers successful.”

Member Spotlight | Jim Walker & CloudHesive