Huddle: The UK cloud software firm that grows by over 100% a year

Cloud collaboration software supplier Huddle is on the verge of expanding into Australia

Cloud collaboration software supplier Huddle is on the verge of expanding into Australia, a move that will put the company within reach of markets in Southeast Asia.

The company, which began in the UK in 2006, has grown rapidly in the US, with particular success in the government sector.

It now has four offices in the US and is about to set up operations in Australia, which, according to CEO Alastair Mitchell, is “a jumping off point for the Southeast Asia market”.

Huddle provides cloud-based collaboration to corporates and is seen as a direct replacement for Microsoft’s SharePoint collaboration software. It is charged per user, can be accessed by any person with the relevant access rights, and requires no hardware to host it on the customer’s part.

The company’s rapid growth is the result of both the cloud and collaboration becoming investment priorities for CIOs. It has reported 100% growth in revenues in its latest results.

The increased focus on the cloud from the US public sector is being matched in the private sector, where cloud-based software has gone from “ambiguity to certainty” in the past six months, according to Mitchell.

“In our discussions with CIOs, we hear that in the next three years 100% of service delivery will be in the cloud. They say they will not have any servers,” he said.

Huddle growing fast

Huddle has an impressive list of customers in the private sector. 

The technology, which enables disparate people to collaborate online, lends itself to certain industries and large companies. It is successful in sectors where workers are in different places, such as transport and utilities, with Go-ahead and Centrica among its customers. It also does well in professional services where customers such as Grant Thornton need to be able to collaborate in real time with clients.

In the UK, Huddle is being taken up by public sector organisations via its listing on the government Cloud Store. As the government sets tough cost-cutting targets, the cloud-based nature of Huddle software makes sense.

But it is in the US where the biggest gains have been made in the shortest time. US public sector organisations are taking on Huddle as the US government sets a cloud agenda for IT.

Since opening an office in Washington DC to focus on the US government sector, Huddle has had major wins. It now has central government deals with Nasa, the Department of Defense, the National Reconnaissance Office and the Department for Homeland Security, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

A version of Huddle used by the UK government, which sits on a private cloud, was made available to the US government, which also started using the public cloud version, which is available to any business in the world.

Huddle is about to announce a major deal with a US government civilian organisation that will see tens of thousands of users accessing the system.

Mitchell said the US is ahead of the UK in terms of cloud adoption, but the UK is ahead of the rest of Europe: “The UK is catching up, but the US is ahead of the curve in cloud and collaboration.”

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