Consolidation of the UK Google Apps channel continues apace with news that US-based cloud brokerage Cloud Sherpas has gobbled up local outfit Stoneburn Software Services.
Google Apps Premier partner Stoneburn marks the eleventh acquisition to date for Cloud Sherpas, which bills itself as an independent cloud services brokerage.
The acquisition will boost Cloud Sherpas' UK headcount to 70, a tally it expects to double over the next 12 months.
Although Cloud Sherpas already serves "dozens" of UK clients, it said the investment will bolster its ability to serve regional clients in a western European public cloud market set to be worth $18bn (£11.5bn) by 2016, according to IDC.
It also reflects the increasing maturity of the cloud market, said Cloud Sherpas chief executive David Northington.
"The UK and western European cloud and Google Enterprise markets have very quickly transitioned from early-adopter phase to established businesses," said Northington.
"The timing is right for Cloud Sherpas to expand its presence in the region. Stoneburn has proven its ability to secure large enterprise clients, and we were very impressed with the team's management and technical capabilities around Google Enterprise and cloud software in general."
About a tenth of Cloud Sherpas' $150m revenue runrate comes from western Europe today, a number that will rise significantly with Stoneburn in the fold, Northington added.
Stoneburn co-founders Ciaran Cosgrave and Nazir Ul-Ghani will both stay at the firm, with the former leading its Google business unit for the UK.
"We can now provide more services, especially around Google's cloud platform, as well as 24/7 world-class support and cloud management," Cosgrave said.
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