Irishman’s Silicon Valley start-up Altocloud gets ‘Hot Vendor’ status

3 Jul 2014

Pictured: Barry O'Sullivan, CEO, Altocloud

Former Cisco senior vice-president Barry O’Sullivan’s new Silicon Valley start-up Altocloud has been named a ‘Hot Vendor’ in sales enablement by one of the Valley’s top enterprise technology-focused research firms.

The report, Hot Vendors in Sales Enablement, 2014, by Aragon Research founder and former Gartner distinguished analyst Jim Lundy, selected four hot vendors believed to be successfully developing new solutions to optimise sales processes and empower sales people.

“Sales enablement is one of the fastest-growing markets as enterprises look for anything that can accelerate their sales processes,” Lundy said.

“Altocloud meets the challenge of prioritising the right connections with prospects and customers by deftly combining real-time collaboration with predictive customer journey analytics.”

Return of the native

Cork native O’Sullivan, best known to the Irish public as one of the exacting investors on Dragons’ Den, in recent months retired from a successful career with networking equipment maker Cisco. As a senior vice-president at Cisco, he helped mastermind acquisitions of tech companies, such as WebEx, for US$3.2bn, and had been an active angel investor in start-ups in Ireland and California.

At Cisco, O’Sullivan served as senior vice-president in charge of voice products, a US$2bn a year business. He has also been a member of the Strategy Group of Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco. O’Sullivan is also one of the earliest members of the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), established by Irish and Irish-American executives in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and on Wall Street, who decided to it was time Ireland tapped into its diaspora community to foster economic growth.

SVG Partners has funded Altocloud so far to the tune US$1.5m.

Altocloud has a team of 13 employees. Ten staff members are based in Galway and three are in Silicon Valley.

“We believe it is critical to engage prospects in their moment of need with real-time, personalised care in the right mobile and web context,” O’Sullivan said.

“Our vision is to revolutionise customer communications by delivering smarter interactions through understanding and analysing each prospective customer journey.”

Altocloud provides a cloud-based platform that uses analytics and machine learning to drive more effective customer experiences. The technology monitors and analyses mobile and web customer journeys so that the right level of engagement is automatically delivered to the best prospects, which can include embedded video, voice, screen sharing, chat or personalised content.

“For today‘s CMO, marketing and sales lead-capture processes have become extremely results focused and data driven,” said Kara Wilson, CMO of FireEye and an adviser to Altocloud.

“However, the live moments of person-to-person communication are often disconnected from these initiatives. Altocloud is bringing data analytics and outcome-driven decision-making to sales communications, allowing CMOs and sales executives to further optimise these processes.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years