Who is US Cloud?

History of the only pure-play Microsoft support provider in the world

US Cloud’s decision in 2017 to disrupt the $6B Microsoft Unified Support market forever marked it as the original trailblazer of third-party Microsoft software support and maintenance. But how did US Cloud become the only Gartner recognized independent provider in the world capable of fully replacing Microsoft Premier/Unified Support?

20 years in the making, US Cloud's choice to go "all in" on providing an alternative to Microsoft's Support was a natural evolution. Here is the origin story of US Cloud, the global leader in third-party Microsoft enterprise support:
US Cloud pure-play Microsoft Support provider

Rooted in Microsoft Software

When founder Rob LaMear IV decided to open a website business in the early days of the Internet, he used a brand-new software platform to build it.  Frontpages Web Hosting Network (Fpweb.net) was born in 1996, using Microsoft’s fledgling new tool FrontPage as its base.

In 1999,  Fpweb became the first company in the world to host “SharePoint” in the cloud.  A decade later Fpweb was managing over 500 million logins and hosting dedicated mission-critical SharePoint-based intranet and extranet sites for thousands of enterprises including The White House, Microsoft, US Army, Coca-Cola, United Health, Intel, Harvard Law, PNC Financial, St. Jude, Honda, State Farm Insurance, CenturyLink, Starbucks and Rob’s personal favorite Stan Lee (Spider Man).

Microsoft Gold Partner of the Year

As SharePoint gained momentum and went on to become the fastest growing Microsoft product of the 2000s, Fpweb became a global Cloud Service Provider (CSP) leader in the collaboration platform from a hosting, end user, and product improvement perspective. At each version release of SharePoint, Fpweb would migrate thousands of users to the new version in a few weeks time. In doing so, Fpweb quickly gained valuable feedback on what worked and didn’t work in the new SharePoint software and its supporting technologies Windows Server, IIS, and SQL Server.

By sharing information with Microsoft and the burgeoning Microsoft ISV/VAR network of SharePoint specialists, Fpweb helped SharePoint gain stability and the favor of Fortune 500 enterprises as a viable option in the competitive intranet/extranet market. Fpweb also went on to sponsor the global SharePoint Saturday community and 2 world tours of SharePoint influencers speaking on 5 continents including Fpweb’s @FpwebRob sharing his knowledge on SharePoint architecture and multi-tenancy, some of which was later used in Office 365.

 

 

24/7 Global Support Capability

Mission-critical SharePoint server farms had to work around the clock, so Fpweb found itself creating a complete, vertically integrated 24/7/365 global help desk to support its enterprise clients.  The service even boasted unheard-of initial response times of 6 minutes or less.

By the late 2000s Fpweb was managing a half billion SharePoint logins across 85 countries and taking every inbound support call with a live engineer. Staffing 3 shifts across 7 days for every time zone proved challenging. “Meeting and exceeding enterprise service level expectations was even harder,” noted LaMear.  But Fpweb set its service standards high, continuously improved its SLAs, and grew with its enterprise clients over the years.

 

SharePoint Support and Beyond

“And then in 2010, we started to notice something,” said LaMear.  “A lot of these large multi-national enterprises were actually putting in support tickets well outside of the scope of what we were hosting for them. They were starting to send us tickets for things like active directory, system center and the list goes on and on.”

By 2012, Fpweb had expanded well outside the SharePoint stack of Windows Server, IIS and SQL to formally support other Microsoft enterprise software including Exchange, System Center, Windows desktop, IE, Intune, Visual Studio, Active Directory, and Lync Server.  Later that year Fpweb finally formalized and expanded Microsoft Support for Enterprises to feed the expanding demand.

Microsoft Unified to Replace Premier

Then in 2016, word trickled out of Microsoft regarding “Project Volta,” the biggest change in Microsoft Support in over a decade. Project Volta would later become Microsoft Unified Support, the most radical change in Microsoft product support since the creation of Microsoft’s Premier Support.  Fpweb’s leadership quickly recognized the impact this change would have on the market — and the demand that would soon develop for a faster, more cost-effective alternative.

In 2017, Fpweb’s Enterprise Managed Services group was spun off and became US Cloud; a “new” business solely focused on replacing Microsoft Premier/Unified support for companies that were no longer a fit for Microsoft’s new model.  The mission was simple and clear: use the company’s substantial expertise to provide quality Microsoft support at a lower, more affordable price.

US Cloud Support for Microsoft

Over the last 60 months, US Cloud has grown exponentially, with current Premier Support clients ranging from Fortune 500 enterprises to mid-sized companies across the globe. With new customer acquisition records broken every consecutive quarter since 2017, US Cloud has scaled-up to handle the most complex, demanding Microsoft clients and today offers comprehensive support for the entire Microsoft product stack.

Headquartered in St. Louis, the company created the category and remains the ONLY Gartner-recognized independent provider of replacement Microsoft Premier & Unified Support services in the marketplace today.

With over 350 companies making the switch to US Cloud in just the last 24 months, we earned recognition as an INC 5000 Fastest Growing Company in 2020 and again in 2021 — and we expect to double in size again in 2023. Simply put, US Cloud continues to be a trailblazer that is dedicated to providing “high-quality, fanatical Microsoft Support at prices that companies of all sizes can afford,” says CEO Matt Harris.

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