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Veterans of Cambridge Technology Partners getting the band back together...at Cloud Technology Partners

Posted by Scott Kirsner  March 28, 2012 08:22 AM

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Chris Greendale has a picture of the Blues Brothers hanging near his desk, and he talks about building his new venture, cloudTP, in part by trying to "get the band back together." That'd be the consultants Greendale worked with in the 1990s at Cambridge Technology Partners, the systems integrator that went public in 1993, and grew to about 4000 employees and $800 million in annual revenues.

Greendale was a founder and head of sales and marketing at Cambridge Technology Partners, and he says about one-third of the team at Boston-based cloudTP has that other CTP on their résumés. Founded in 2010, cloudTP has 35 employees, and Greendale expects it to be at 75 by the end of the year. "Our biggest challenge right now is hiring people," he says.

CloudTP focuses on helping large enterprises take advantage of the lower costs and increased flexibility of cloud computing, whether that entails using a public cloud or software-as-a-service offering (think Salesforce.com or Amazon Web Services) or creating a more secure and manageable "private cloud" inside the corporate firewall. Greendale also talks about "community clouds," designed to be used by a company's business partners and customers.

"Our customers want advice about what hardware and software to use, and they need help migrating their legacy applications to the cloud," says Greendale. "We're also one of the few vendor-neutral options that they have, when it comes to selecting the right vendors for a particular situation."

Erik Sebesta, cloudTP's chief architect and technology officer, says the company has also been developing a software product called SPEED PaaS. "You can run source code through it, and it can tell you how to refactor the code to run on a cloud platform," says Sebesta, another veteran of Cambridge Technology Partners. "It also estimates how much time and effort it will cost if you're going to move, say, your 100 legacy apps to the cloud." Sebesta says cloudTP may soon start selling SPEED PaaS to non-clients.

CloudTP has so far raised $2.75 million, some of it from Greylock Partners and State Street Bank (one of the firm's first customers.) The company's most recent $750,000 round closed in February, but Greendale says that may be the last outside capital he needs: "We will be profitable next month."

Greendale says the firm mainly finds itself competing with bigger players like Accenture and IBM Global Services.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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