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CloudAccess.net: A New Company on the Bay

Written by | Sunday, 01 January 2012 00:00 | Published in 2012 January
When we’re told about start-up Internet companies on the bay, we usually think about the Silicon Valley, which is situated near the San Francisco Bay in Northern California.  Most of us are at least generally knowledgeable of companies that call this high-tech district home, and we’re familiar with founders like Jobs, Wozniak, and others that have contributed greatly to the advancements that have taken place there over the last several decades.

Yet, there is another bay, another start-up Internet company, and another founder that we should start paying attention to.

With main offices located at the base of the Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan, CloudAccess.net and C.E.O. Gary Brooks have brought Joomla!, the world’s most powerful CMS, to a whole new world of users.  

There is an extremely gorgeous view of the bay and all the majesty of Northern Michigan from his office window, but, in all honestly, Brooks has little time to enjoy it.  He’s been busy for the past few years creating CloudAccess.net, a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) company and the exclusive host for the free trial of Joomla! (demo.joomla.org).

He likes to work in the dark; perhaps he can see his monitors better that way.  Most of the time you can find him on the phone with Joomla! users, spreading his passion and knowledge about the software and its capabilities.

Since the company’s 2008 beginnings in a coat closet, Brooks and his business partner Charlie Hague have developed the company into one of the fastest growing IT companies in Northern Michigan.  Offering more than simple access to the ever-expanding Joomla! community, Cloudaccess.net offers a hybrid support team built for Joomla! and they pride themselves on “Insane Support”.  Support team members are available on the phone everyday of the week to take calls about Joomla!, and an endless stream of support tickets are handled readily.  Their entire team - from coders to graphic designers to project managers to sales reps and support people - is specifically designed for Joomla! 

Brooks’ passion is contagious.  What’s most intriguing about his company is the fervor and dedication with which each person on his staff brings to their work.  They’re all adept at using the software, and they strive to make clients and demo users comfortable and highly satisfied with their experience using Joomla!  They are ardent supporters of the the Joomla! community.  They reference the Extensions Directory and 3rd party contributors in their free daily webinars and on the phone with clients.  Hiring locally and abroad, Brooks and Hague have expanded the company to include more than thirty employees in four different continents.

Every month, over 22,000 new users sign up for their services - that’s over 800 new Joomla! demo users every day.  Small business owners seek out CloudAccess.net daily, but large enterprises and Fortune 500 companies have also sought security and scalability on their servers that are set up specifically for Joomla!

What’s even more remarkable than the company that he has started is the dedication that Brooks has for his community.  He hopes to spread the Open Source philosophy, helping to attract more IT business opportunities to Northern Michigan.  He is actively seeking improvements for the entirety of the technology infrastructure in the area.  It’s no secret that the economic recovery in Michigan has been slow, but Brooks is working endlessly to create jobs and to create opportunities for individuals who want to better themselves through the use of Open Source technology.

There is a new company on the bay that deserves our attention.  Think about it – The Silicon Valley is positioned directly over destructive earthquake faults next to the Pacific Plate.  Northern Michigan has no such problem.  Do you really want your site on a server that could be underwater in a few years?  Talk about disaster recovery.  Think about CloudAccess.net.

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Ryan Bernstein

Ryan Bernstein

I'm the lead online trainer at CloudAccess.net, and I actively volunteer in the Joomla community as a member of the JED team, the Jooma Events Team, the Joomla Marketing Team, and I contribute to the JCM. I am also a composition and public speaking instructor at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan.