Ask Daniel Hill about Elevate Cloud Integration’s origin story, and he’ll tell you about how he and co-founder Anthony Staltari share a love of technology, and wanted to build a business around this passion. But when you learn that they met in 2012 while working at a mid-tier accounting firm, you start to understand their motive for doing something much, much cooler. Daniel managed the IT department while Anthony was completing his Chartered Accountant program, but that didn’t stop the pair from dabbling with extracurricular tech projects. Over the course of a couple years, they learned two things from their experiences: First, that the cloud was going to revolutionise the way small businesses handle their technology. Second, that there was a big opportunity in South Australia to get in on this cloud thing and become its leading integrators. Cloud-based solutions were multiplying fast, all over the map—shared storage, remote backup, and other basic services evolved into software-as-a-service offerings for accounting, retail, and hospitality venues. The simultaneous rise in mobile hardware fueled a boom in cloud software, and the cloud specialists Daniel and Anthony worked within and around their homebase of Adelaide weren’t quite able to keep up. By 2014, the duo sensed an opening in the market and an opportunity to do something they loved. They were on a mission to elevate the cloud game in South Australia.
For anyone out there wondering what we like in a technology partner, it’s this kind of story. There are a lot of people out there who are good with computers and devices, who can learn a system or its software easily and who can earn a living doing the tasks that others can’t or don’t want to. But our most successful partners—and the ones we enjoy working with so much we write about them on our blog—are the ones who see beyond individual solutions and focus on holistic software ecosystems. I apologise for that bit of jargon, but that’s really the best way to say it. In any event, Elevate didn’t sign on with us because they saw Kounta in action and liked what they saw. I mean, they did, but that wasn’t what happened first. First, they identified Point-of-Sale as an integral app to include in the suite of software they could provide for their clients. Then they checked out Kounta and liked what they saw. In what’s becoming a common refrain from our partners and customers alike—and this is something that we’re proud of—Daniel cited our commitment to communication and collaboration when describing partnering with Kounta as an easy to decision to make. Part of Elevate’s mission is to overcome some of the shortcomings inherent to cloud software—specifically that there often isn’t a local, human presence customers can reach out to. Elevate mitigates this for its clients by being that human face and getting to know their specific needs. Elevate’s partnerships with Xero, Deputy, Collect Rewards, and Tyro means that they’re able to meet those specific needs for most of their clients right off the bat. But sometimes, a business might need a little more personal attention—their direct line to us means that Kounta users 1,400 km away in Adelaide can get the same kind of treatment our neighborhood customers (whose shops we all frequent) can get.
And this approach is working: Elevate’s humble beginnings as a startup in Daniel’s garage in Adelaide are already a distant memory. The bit about the garage is totally made up, but so is Apple’s, so I’m sticking with it. What is actual fact, though, is that Elevate has moved beyond the borders of Adelaide and South Australia to become a national platform, and its diverse portfolio of apps enables them to service a variety of industries (what the jargon-afflicted refer to as “verticals”). Of course, one of Elevate’s recent and bragworthy projects was right in our hospitality wheelhouse. By getting the new Brighton, SA cafe, C.R.E.A.M., up and running with Kounta and Xero working side by side. C.R.E.A.M. (Coffee Rules Everything Around Me) is everything we like about a cafe—high-quality coffee and Wu-Tang references: dolla dolla bill, y’all!—and we’re proud that its customers cite the excellent service alongside the amazing coffee as reasons they love the place. That great service is made possible by Kounta, sure, but the Kounta installation there was made possible by Elevate. There’s a right way to do things and a wrong way, and Elevate’s done right by us and C.R.E.A.M. The coffee shop’s got plans to add another 3 – 4 locations over the next few years, and Elevate’s got some other exciting projects of their own for 2016. All of which means that they’ll keep doing what they love—relieving business owners of technology-induced anxiety so that they can focus on doing what they love.
And that’s the kind of stuff we love.