Meet a $10 Million MSP Built On Amazon Web Services

Anthony Woodward
Anthony Woodward

To the best of my knowledge, Bulletproof Group Ltd. might be the first managed services provider (MSP) that has cracked $10 million in annual revenues supporting Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers.

Admittedly, that $10 million figure is in Australia currency -- making it closer to about $7.2 million in U.S. dollars. But the figures are growing fast -- incredibly fast. According to Bulletproof, the Australia-based company's AWS-related revenues were the following over the past three years:

  • 2013: $100,000 Australia (or about $72,000 in U.S. dollars, at the current exchange rate).
  • 2014: $2.7 million Australia ($1.94 million in U.S. dollars).
  • 2015: $10.7 million Australia ($7.7 million in U.S. dollars).

And the growth won't end there. Bulletproof recently acquired Cloud House, an Amazon Web Services consulting firm in New Zealand. Bulletproof CEO Anthony Woodward walked ChannelE2E through the past, present and future of his company during a briefing yesterday.

Bulletproof's Evolution

2000 - Traditional Hosting: Bulletproof launched around 2000, right in the middle of the dot-com crash. The company's leaders had dial-up Internet experience, and focused their initial efforts on managed services for SMBs. Bulletproof built out an enterprise-grade platform that featured shared hosting, no single points of failure, firewalling, load balancing and more. Along the way, customers started asking for dedicated hosting and Bulletproof pushed in that direction.

2005 - Rise of VM Hosting: Around the 2005 timeframe, Bulletproof starting to see the digital revolution taking off. Midsize businesses were kicking off ecommerce projects. The company realized those applications wouldn't scale on dedicated hardware.

To capitalize on the wave, Bulletproof partnered closely with VMware and introduced VM hosting services. Headcount grew to about 15 to 20 employees.

2010 - Here Comes the Cloud: Around this timeframe, Bulletproof started to see global cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) taking off. Frankly, so did our team here at ChannelE2E. That's the year we launched a cloud-focused IT media site (which we've since sold).

"We knew that an industry shift was coming, " says Woodward. "Instead of competing with a cloud platform, we knew we would eventually have to partner with a cloud platform and focus on managed services for that platform."

Apparently, Amazon agreed. The cloud service provider approached Bulletproof about a relationship in 2012. At the time, AWS was building its first Sydney, Australia data center. "We put all of our efforts behind the Amazon relationship," recalls Woodward. Around that time, Bulletproof grew to about 40 people.

2014 -- Listed on Australia Stock Exchange: To fuel even more growth, the 50-person company was listed on the Australia Stock Exchange. The company acquired Pantha (an AWS consulting partner focused on DevOps) and Infoplex. Growth continued, and by the end of 2015, headcount reached about 160 employees.

Bulletproof: 2016 and Beyond

The MSP still has its VMware platform, and continues to offer private cloud services because "some apps won't go to the public cloud," Woodward says.

Still, the AWS side of the business continues to grow fast. And the Cloud House acquisition -- featuring about a dozen employees -- should help Bulletproof to expand significantly in New Zealand.

Bulletproof and Cloud House have been working together in New Zealand since about 2014. The two companies met via Amazon's AWS partner ecosystem. Cloud House provided up-front consulting services for AWS projects, and then Bulletproof offered the ongoing managed services platform to those customers. A more formalized partnership emerged in May 2015.

The synergies look extremely promising. Bulletproof believes it is the only AWS partner that holds both the Premier and Managed Services Partner designation in Australia. Through synergies with Cloud House, Bulletproof will achieve that rare double-status feat in New Zealand as well, Woodward asserts.

For MSPs seeking to succeed in the cloud, Woodward offers this advice:

  • The shift is not about replacing on-premises infrastructure with cloud infrastructure.
  • Also, the shift is not about earning reseller margin off the AWS platform.
  • Instead, the cloud shift is about adding value above the AWS platform.

Clearly, Bulletproof is following Woodward's advice.

PS: Surely there are additional MSPs generating $10 million or more on AWS. If you're out there, ChannelE2E would love to hear from you. Just email me: [email protected].

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.