For Sara Hale, Coastal Cloud’s co-founder and managing partner, seven solid years of traveling almost 100 percent of the time for the technology firm where she previously worked resulted in a non-existent work-life balance. She wanted room for her family in her life, so she and husband, Tim, also in the technology field, set out to try to create the kind of company where they themselves would want to work.
In 2013, Coastal Cloud was born in Palm Coast, Florida. Coastal Cloud provides technology-based business analysis and market solutions for companies across the spectrum, from two-person non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 companies with thousands of employees.
Eighteen months ago, the company expanded into the Louisville market, with its official launch in February 2017. Sara Hale and her husband, both co-founders and managing partners, said they found a way to capitalize on current business trends that advance technology solutions at a rapid pace.
So, what exactly does a company like Coastal Cloud do and how are they setting themselves apart from their competitors? Sara Hale said that Coastal Cloud has the ability to manage both sides of the coin for technology services – consulting and technology implementation.
Managing Partner Erik Dunnigan agreed, explaining more about the wide range of services Coastal Cloud brings to its clients.
“What we do is 50 percent business consulting, where we go in and analyze a business model and company,” said Dunnigan. “We discover what the opportunity is, what is the data and information they need, what do they already have, what do they need to have?”
Dunnigan, who is based in Louisville, and responsible for mid-western operations from Chicago to Atlanta, said that in today’s world, every company needs to compete in the digital world.
“We are a broker of IT services, and we put all these pieces together like Legos, using Salesforce software systems,” said Dunnigan. “Salesforce is a very robust IT platform that started as a customer relationship management (CRM) software that evolved into an open source platform with over 3,000 applications to meet business needs.
Dunnigan compares the software to the App store on your phone. “If a company is looking for an inventory management resource or asset tracking resource or accounting software, they go to the app exchange. We help them navigate to identify the right applications that meet their specific business needs, and we weave those applications together to make the IT platform that will increase efficiencies in their business.” Coastal Cloud is a Salesforce Platinum Partner, which means the company ranks in the top five percent of all Salesforce partners in North America.
In just four and a half years of operation, Coastal Cloud has conducted more than 780 installations of IT platforms for more than 280 different clients, and has done business across four different countries, said Erik Dunnigan. They have worked with small nonprofits to powerhouse corporations like Samsung and Warner Bros.
Brendan Sullivan, Vice President of Global Demand with Noa Technologies in Chicago, said he has been a Coastal Cloud customer for five years and with three different companies.
“They help you solve the classic business decision – build or buy?” Said Sullivan. “Do you build capability for Salesforce administration internally or find a top-caliber partner to deliver it for you? Anyone who has a need for world-class support for SalesForce.com would be well-served to partner with Coastal Cloud,” he said.
According to Erik Dunnigan, the company is currently working with about 80 percent private sector and 20 percent public sector clients. In the public sector, Coastal Cloud is working on significant state projects with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, and the Education Workforce Development Cabinet to build interfaces that connect the dots between jobseekers and employers. Local workforce partners such as Louisville Metro and Kentuckiana Works have also been engaged with Coastal Cloud.
What does Erik Dunnigan see for the future of Coastal Cloud in Louisville, and Kentucky? He said the private sector potential is growing as more people understand what Coastal Cloud is – and does. “There is a plethora of small to medium sized companies in Louisville and getting access to those – that’s the real future for us.”