Dear BetterCloud customers,
I am sending this note with the hopes that you will take a few minutes out of your day to read it in its entirety.
I recognize that this is longer than a typical CEO letter. In all candor, I’ve been working on it for the past week, drafting at least a dozen different versions, trying to best articulate the messages that I want to convey and the many successes that BetterCloud has enjoyed as a result of our relationship with you. I hope this version accomplishes that, but please know that I am writing this because I want our customers to read first-hand our vision for the future and to share in our excitement for the journey ahead.
With that backdrop, I am thrilled to announce today that BetterCloud has raised an additional $60 million, led by Enrique Salem of Bain Capital Ventures with participation from all of our existing investors. This milestone marks the beginning of a new chapter for us.
It’s been a long road to get here, but we’re now solving the biggest SaaS management and security challenges that you and your teams face. In this letter, I want to explain how we got here and what this announcement means for you.
We’re building a new market category, SaaS Operations Management, that will be a staple of any modern IT stack in three to four years. A good analogy for our vision is the rise of MDM solutions and how MDM became a de facto part of every IT environment today. We believe a similar dynamic is playing out for SaaS application management, and we’re thrilled to be at the center of it thanks to you.
So before I dive in, let me express my sincere gratitude for the support—without you, this would not have been possible. We’re very excited for this next chapter, and you should know that we are just getting started.
The Background: How We Got Here
BetterCloud was founded in 2011 with a focus on delivering IT a tool to help manage and secure Google Apps (now G Suite). In early 2015, as we hit critical mass with that business, more and more of our customers started requesting that we extend our product to support other major SaaS platforms.
It was clear that the IT world was quickly moving away from traditional homogeneous environments based on vendor. Companies were no longer purely Microsoft or IBM shops. Instead, they were embracing heterogeneous environments, which consisted of various best-in-class SaaS solutions for each category of software.
That led us to make a very audacious bet in mid-2015.
We started on a path to completely re-architect our product. Instead of trying to bolt connectors onto a product that wasn’t built for multi-application support, we chose to make a massive investment and build a new platform that could support any application with an API.
From “Too Good to Be True” to Mission Control for Thousands of IT Environments
“My biggest concern about what you’re building is that it’s too good to be true… but if it changes my life, I’ll pay for it. There is no need to sell me on it.” —IT Ops Lead, internet company with 800 employees (San Francisco, CA)
“Your road ahead is complicated, nearly impossible to get right, and filled with pitfalls. But if you can pull it off, it will be really, really special.” —Technical Services Manager, retail company with 400 employees (New York, NY)
These are some of the reactions we received at our customer summit back in 2015 when we first unveiled our plans to build a new multi-SaaS app management platform. Our customers loved our vision… but were skeptical that we could execute on it.
We spent two years and $35 million to completely rebuild our product from the ground up, creating the world’s first SaaS Operations Management platform. We launched it in late 2016, and by mid-2017 it was clear this new platform was going to completely transform our company and what we could do for our customers.
Today, we’ve become a mission critical piece of thousands of IT environments around the world. This is where we’ve wanted to be since we started the company six years ago, and I couldn’t be prouder.
Now the fun begins. Given our architectural investment, expertise with APIs, and this additional funding, we can layer on more connectors and functionality even faster.
Our Unique Relationship with Customers Brought Us to Where We Are Today
“Everything BetterCloud does earns a 10 in my mind. The product itself, the support, the time you take to aggregate problems seen by your customers, compile solutions, and feed that data back to us. I’ve never seen a company care more.”—Director of IT Services, marketing/advertising company with 600 employees (New York, NY)
If there is one thing I am most proud of, it is the relationships we have built with our customers over the years. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before, and I consistently receive this feedback from our customer community as well. As the world moves to SaaS, we’re all navigating this paradigm shift—and blazing new trails—together, and that’s a big reason for this special bond.
We started this journey six years ago when there was almost nobody in the world who could truly call themselves an expert in SaaS management. Solutions to help operate this kind of environment were scarce. Over the past few years, as you’ve been creating the best practices for managing digital workspaces, we’ve jumped in and built solutions for areas where we can help you achieve your business objectives.
After years of in-depth conversations, we’ve reached a point today where our community is the one defining industry best practices, creating management frameworks, and laying the groundwork for others who are new to these challenges. We have so many ways to spend time together now, whether it’s through our online BetterIT community of 2,000+ IT professionals, our BetterIT dinners we host around the country, or my favorite: our annual customer summit, Altitude. Our connection with you is truly one of a kind.
In the end, this relationship is what’s brought us to where we are today. You’ve helped us get here by giving us feedback and shaping our product. We are tackling the challenges you tell us about. You have driven and inspired us to solve bigger and more complex problems. You’ve held us accountable over the years and pushed us to be better in every area of our business.
Here’s Our Vision for the Future
The problems we’re tackling (and solving) today are huge. What we’re doing right now is analogous to the invention and rise of MDM solutions.
History is repeating itself. When people started accessing corporate email on mobile phones in the early 2000s, it transformed the way we worked—it was a total game changer for productivity. But as mobile technology became mainstream, security problems emerged. Mobile devices could be hacked. Stolen or lost phones meant data breaches. Employees left companies, but their personal devices still had corporate data on them.
Right around then, MDM vendors (who we now consider the leaders in the space) were founded to solve exactly those problems. Today, no IT professional would allow users to access corporate data on their mobile device without an MDM/EMM solution in place. These solutions are a de facto part of every IT environment. They allow users to be productive but also secure corporate data.
The rise of SaaS Operations Management is no different. We’re seeing the same exact pattern play out.
SaaS solutions started to build momentum in 2014 and, like mobile devices, transformed the way we worked. They brought an unprecedented level of productivity and collaboration, allowing users to edit files in real time, work with people outside their org, and have more control over day-to-day configuration settings.
But as SaaS applications were fully rolled out, moving from shadow IT to sanctioned IT, security vulnerabilities began appearing. Users accidentally shared files and calendars publicly, exposing sensitive information to the world. They invited external people into internal groups and channels. Ex-employees retained access to corporate data for months, even years.
That is where a solution like ours comes in. It allows end users to leverage all the power of SaaS applications while also giving IT control of that environment. For many companies, we are solving problems they didn’t even realize existed. In three to four years, every organization that has deployed and sanctioned SaaS applications will need to have a product like BetterCloud. This additional funding means we can tackle bigger goals: more connectors, deeper functionality, and a more extensible platform.
Our Team Is Incredible
“I really appreciate how hands on and personable your company is. It seems like an amazing place to work solely based on your people. Happy people make a successful company.” —IT Coordinator, advertising agency with 350 employees (New York, NY)
“I’ve never had another company drop me more information on getting the best from their product in order to ensure we’re doing everything we can with them. From the moment we signed up, it’s been a positive experience.” —Head of Technology, financial services company with 30 employees (London, UK)
Our journey will continue to be challenging, no doubt. We’re creating a new category and building an enterprise IT company in NYC and Atlanta, two markets not typically known for innovation in that space. But we have an amazing team of 175 BetterClouders who are knowledgeable and passionate about solving hard problems for IT. Our team is certified in the SaaS applications we support. They are experts in the APIs (even some obscure ones) we work with every day. They send you articles every day with the IT news you care about. Everything we do comes down to the team and their fearless ability to execute and solve problems.
Our Commitment to You
“The BetterCloud team is very committed! They understand what our needs are more than we do. They provide solutions to problems we never knew existed.” —IT Manager, recruiting company with 1,500 employees (Lagos, Nigeria)
“Everyone is very responsive and always willing to help. It’s clear that customer service and satisfaction are important to you. That means a lot.” —IT Support Manager, educational institution with 600 employees (San Francisco, California)
This announcement means that you can expect the following from us in the coming years:
- We’ll continue to listen to you very carefully. Keep telling us what you want. It’s what’s gotten us to this point. You are the practitioners who are on the front lines every day. The more you communicate with us, the better we can understand the challenges you’re facing and solve problems you might not even be aware of. We have many channels to communicate with our team, and if you can’t find the right one just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll make sure you’re heard.
- We won’t shy away from technical challenges. We built something ambitious because we were confident that we could overcome technical challenges. In fact, we are already working on new functionality that will raise the bar yet again. We’re experts at handling massive scale and complicated APIs, and we’re going to continue to tackle technical challenges so that we can continue bringing you world-class solutions.
- We’ll strive to delight every step of the way. Our first guiding principle is “Always strive to delight.” We live by that every day and you should expect to be delighted in every interaction you have with a BetterClouder. We want to be your favorite vendor, if we’re not already. Here’s just a sampling of what customers have told us about our world-class support team, proactive support, and BetterIT community:
- “I look at BetterCloud as a model of 21st century customer service.”
- “I’ve worked in IT for over 25 years and have never had a vendor/support person proactively reach out to check if I was having a problem.”
- “The greatest help desk in the world is BetterCloud’s.”
- “Your support team is incredible. I mean superhero-esque.”
- “We pass around articles from the BetterCloud Monitor all the time (just top notch work there). The BetterIT Slack community is awesome and your team members make it a delight to be a part of.”
- “BetterIT is a phenomenal resource.”
We’re Just Getting Started
It’s taken us a long time to get to a point where our product can actually solve complex problems across SaaS applications in an elegant, scalable, and reliable way. Now our velocity is picking up. We’re adding more and more connectors, and we’re providing deeper visibility and more granular controls.
We’re motivated and driven by the goal of delighting our customers. You have led us to where we are today. You’ve supported us but also given us the tough love that we needed to get better. And we’ll continue to work tirelessly to serve you and together create the blueprint for how to manage and secure SaaS environments.
We’re proud of everything we’ve achieved—our product, the customer community, and the BetterCloud team—and we can’t wait to see what else the future holds. We’re just getting started.
Founder and CEO, BetterCloud