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Creating a Future of Integrated Cloud Solutions: Our Partnership with Microsoft

NooBaa Storage's Co-founder shares valuable lessons learned as a startup founder and Microsoft Accelerator alum.

After graduating from the Microsoft Accelerator in Tel Aviv, continuing to be a part of the Microsoft Alumni community and partnering with Microsoft through different channels has helped push our business forward significantly. It has been a priority for us to leverage our partnership since we at NooBaa firmly believe that Microsoft is going to lead the future of Cloud and Hybrid Cloud for large enterprises. Today, Microsoft is the de facto leader for Enterprise and Hybrid Cloud and the only company to release a comprehensive on-premise solution: Azure Stack. Microsoft has the relationships, investments, and products to succeed.

Since our graduation, we have taken part in an ongoing continuum of alumni activities. There are huge benefits to partnering with Microsoft and being a part of this network: we engage with other entrepreneurs, gain benefits like world-class mentorship, and apply everything we learn to real-world experiences. The best part is that all of it is tailor-made to answer each startup’s specific pain points.

The sessions we have attended, around the world, have felt like they were made just for us.

For example, at the Founder’s TAG in Berlin this past March, we met with the Deutsche Telekom VP of New Markets, Benjamin Broshi. The entire day focused on improving workflows and sales cycles with large enterprises, and we had the opportunity to communicate with Deutsche Telecom who are active in IT and Cloud. We learnt a lot by hearing their perspective – part was new and part helped to solidify what we already knew. One of the other major insights was in terms of how to work with large organizations – for example, through which departments and access points one should pursue.

The event was attended by a number of startup entrepreneurs and we were all at a similar stage of growth. But, everyone came with very different backgrounds, and expertise. Being there together allowed us to exchange valuable insights, whether it was about campaign building, sales, or managing human resources. Often, lessons from big corporates didn’t translate to an instant win for a startup and this session allowed us to workshop and tailor different approaches.

What we have learned in our journey working with enterprises is that today, most large enterprises use the cloud, but they tend to use a range of different providers and types of solutions. This happens for a number of reasons; most corporates do not want to be vendor-locked and want solutions that fit particular regulations (which may be different in different countries). Once you begin with one Cloud, it’s tough to move. And as data grows exponentially, it tends to be siloed. Each data system must then be managed, secured, backed up and more.

If you have two separate systems this is complex to manage. If you have 10 it’s challenging, and if you have 20, it is simply no longer feasible. At NooBaa, we solve this problem.

We created a unique PAAS (platform as a service) for distributed Hybrid Clouds (in the cloud, hybrid, on-premise). Noobaa integrates them all and unshackles your data so that your application can easily and painlessly move as needed. When Cloud began in 2007, we thought it was incredible, but we saw gaps in the paradigm compared to how enterprises work, and as time passed, the gaps grew wider. Often, large IT vendors in the market had decided to not move towards hybrid and cloud models for fear of cannibalizing their existing products. As a startup, not having this legacy is a huge advantage.

I’ve learnt a lot from Microsoft Alumni sessions and from the time I’ve spent being a Co-Founder at NooBaa. Here are my top insights:

Team, Team, Team! Co-Founders are an essential part of your success – think of it like any intimate or intensive relationship in your life. And there is no easy solution – you could choose to work with your best friend or someone you just met. Both could be amazing and productive, but either could turn sour.

It’s going to fail and that’s ok. Noam Bardin, CEO of Waze, describes startups as “searching entities”. When you start, you have an idea of what you will do, and if you do it and succeed then great! BUT, if you have all the answers then you aren’t a startup. If you are searching for a go-to-market, and searching for a product, failing is part of the search. Failing fast and learning from it is essential.

Don’t operate in a vacuum. Leverage resources like accelerators, alumni networks and more – especially the incredibly global one Microsoft has fostered. Don’t just step into your garage, close the door and step out a year later. Remember to frequently step out of the office.

Get to know Yuval Dimnik, Co-Founder of Noobaa