Madison Cloud, a cloud and enterprise storage provider, has moved its headquarters from Baltimore to the Feather Sound area in Pinellas County.
The relocation brings several high-skill jobs to the area and will help grow the local technology community.
The new headquarters is a 2,000-square-foot office in Waterview at Feather Sound, a Class A office building just outside St. Petersburg and with a Clearwater mailing address.
It’s one of two new offices for Madison Cloud, which has between 15 and 20 employees, including contractors, said CEO Randall Van Allen.
The company recently opened an office near its data center in Northern Virginia for sales and engineering employees. The new headquarters will be home to most of the company’s other workers, including those in project management, human resources, marketing and accounting.
Renovations are underway at the new office and Van Allen expects to move into it in September.
Van Allen chose the Tampa-St. Petersburg area over Chicago and Charlotte. Chicago is cold, with lots of crime, and it’s expensive, he said. Charlotte and St. Petersburg are similar, but Charlotte doesn’t have the water that St. Petersburg does, he said. He also cited the lack of a state income tax in Florida as a key factor.
“We came from Baltimore, where I didn’t get what I needed at times from the local government,” Van Allen said.
It was a different story here.
Both the Greater St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp. and Pinellas County Economic Development worked with Van Allen on the move, helping with paperwork and making introductions.. He said both J.P. DuBuque, president and CEO of the St. Pete EDC, and Scott Talcott, business development manager for Pinellas County Economic Development, went beyond recruiting and are serving as a permanent resource for the firm.
“Pinellas County is thrilled to welcome another technology company! Companies like Madison Cloud help grow and attract IT talent. Offering positions and higher paying jobs in cloud computing solutions, will continue to make Pinellas County stronger in technology talent. We are assisting by connecting the Madison Cloud team with resources like workforce development, training grants, technology organizations and the community. The company really likes the quality of life we all enjoy each day,” Talcott said.
Having Madison Cloud relocate its headquarters to the community is further proof that St. Pete/Pinellas County is not just a great place to live, but a great place to grow a successful company, DuBuque said.
“It seems that each day, corporate leaders like Randall are recognizing that you can find a place that combines a favorable business environment, a growing, high-quality talent pool and a second-to-none lifestyle. And St. Pete/Pinellas County is that place. We look forward to the Madison Cloud team joining our community and will continue to assist them as they grow.”
Getting the word out
The new headquarters holds up to 12 people, and Van Allen said he expects Madison Cloud to outgrow it quickly.
That’s because the company has just launched private multicloud storage, which centralizes, secures and simplifies cloud storage, to address the issues Van Allen first noticed several years ago.
Applications live in cloud companies like Amazon Web Services [AWS], Microsoft Azure, Google, IBM and Oracle. All the storage is also in those clouds, Van Allen said.
But storage functions and computing functions are independent of each other, and the average company currently uses four or five different clouds.
“Your data is all over. It’s very difficult to manage. Each cloud has a different management interface so you’ve got to learn how to manage that specific cloud. And a lot of the issues companies are having is privacy and security concerns. Amazon, Google and Microsoft are all public clouds. You have no idea where your data is. You’re sharing storage resources – physical hard drives and servers – with thousands of other companies,” Van Allen said. “It’s unsettling for a security officer, if you have all this confidential data in the cloud and you have no idea where it is and no idea who is sharing it.”
Madison Cloud’s new private multicloud storage offering addresses those issues.
“Every one of our customers has their own dedicated storage server, storage drives, isolated management network, a private storage cloud where all their data can sit. That’s in our cloud. We then connect that to whatever other clouds they use already. So they would still have their applications in the clouds they have already. It’s just that instead of that AWS compute application pointing at their storage cloud, it would point at our storage cloud,” he said. “You can have multiple compute clouds, dozens of clouds, all pointed to your Madison Cloud private multicloud storage simultaneously pulling data in and out of our cloud.”
Madison Cloud’s network is in a data center called Equinix DC2, in northern Virginia, which handles 95 percent of North America’s internet traffic, he said.
Madison Cloud uses software from StorONE, a company that Van Allen said “literally rewrote the code” that older cloud companies are built on in a way that makes hardware more efficient.
The company currently has several test accounts on its platform and now is getting the word out about its offerings.
“No one really knows about Madison Cloud, certainly not our private multicloud storage,” Van Allen said. “That is the goal here. We’ve got to get the word out. We’re investing a lot in marketing, sales, continuing to build out our platform. If people know about us, they’re going to come.”
Madison Cloud also offers on-premise storage with the same storage features of private multicloud storage, built on StorONE software-defined storage, to on-premise data centers and remote offices.
Madison Cloud was launched in 2014 providing IT and cloud solutions, primarily to the federal government. The company is self-funded, which allows it be more agile, Van Allen said.