Welcome to Tercera and the 'third wave' of cloud consultancies

Profile picture for user pwainewright By Phil Wainewright July 15, 2021 Audio mode
Summary:
Tercera gives a voice to the next generation of cloud consultancies as we welcome the investment firm to diginomica's partner family

Tercera logo 740px on white
(© Tercera)

Today we welcome investment firm Tercera as our newest diginomica partner. Founded by Chris Barbin, former CEO and co-founder of pioneering cloud integrator Appirio, Tercera focuses its investments on consultancies and managed service providers operating in what it calls the third wave of cloud computing. This makes it an interesting partnership for diginomica in a number of ways.

First of all, the topic of what's next in cloud computing is front-of-mind for us and our readers. Business software is becoming more composable as architectures shift to a more API-centric, microservices-based model that combines serverless resources with a headless presentation layer — what we call a tierless architecture. Tercera's thesis is that this third wave of cloud technology is multi-cloud and hybrid, emphasizes connectedness, and reaches across the enterprise boundary.

It goes on to argue that this technology wave demands a new generation of cloud consultancies. This new breed needs to be adept at co-ordinating many different cloud components and services to support enterprises in delivering ever more engaging digital experiences. They will need to be able to operate remotely, develop vertical market expertise, carve out a distinctive role in partner ecosystems, and deliver their services within an ongoing relationship with clients.

This philosophy is borne out in Tercera's first two investments. BeyondID specializes in identity and cybersecurity and is a Platinum Services partner for Okta, a vendor whose name is almost omnipresent in access management to best-of-breed SaaS landscapes and which also has a significant presence in customer identity management, considerably strengthened by its recent acquisition of Auth0. Tercera's $9 million Series A investment in February will help cement BeyondID's leading role in Okta's partner ecosystem.

Its second investment is in API specialist Terazo, a leading partner for Twilio, the communications platform vendor that practically epitomizes API-native application development for customer engagement. Tercera led a $10+ million funding round, in which Twilio also participated.

The emerging pattern is one of identifying pivotal cloud consultancies within the ecosystems of key vendors in the 'third-wave' technology landscape. Along with Okta and Twilio, other vendors that Tercera has identified as key players include Snowflake, Datadog, Cloudflare and HashiCorp, among others. Barbin, who founded Appirio as one of the first pureplay cloud integrators to work with the likes of Salesforce, Google and AWS, explained the strategy to us at the time of Tercera's launch earlier this year:

We've spent some time over the last year [to] 18 months mapping those ecosystems, and the demand for those skills is incredibly high. Yet the players, the Appirios of those worlds don't necessarily exist yet.

[That] is really what was the catalyst to start the firm — to find those types of players and to help scale them.

Tercera's role as an investment company makes it the first such company to join diginomica's partner roster. Whereas partners typically use their diginomica partner zone branded pages to publish either their own content or pieces contributed by customers, the Tercera partnership will follow a slightly different model. Its branded pages will be hosting content contributed by its portfolio companies, with the first planned to appear next month. Its diginomica presence therefore becomes part of the advisory and support services it offers to the companies it invests in. We think this will add some interesting new perspectives to the content on diginomica and we're intrigued to watch how it works out.

It's also good that Tercera will be bringing the voices of professional services companies to add to our current mix of enterprise application and IT tools vendors. The professional services sector is often ignored or even looked down on by technology vendors. But the industry relies on these firms, and the innovation that newcomers bring in the early days of any new technology wave is often crucial to its success. We look forward to hearing more from this new breed of cloud consultancies in the coming months and years. So we give a warm welcome to Tercera.