#Asia Tech Helping Tech: How CloudSwyft shifts HR-IT status quo


Acting as a Labs-as-a-Service platform, CloudSwyft provides companies with on-demand virtual environments that can help train and recruit better tech talent for their companies


The CloudSwyft Team

Hiring great tech talent can be a difficult business. Oftentimes, most tech recruiters lack proper background on how to verify IT skillsets, dealing with insufficient verbal interviews, phone calls, and paper-based IT and coding exams. Because of this gap, companies spend a lot of time and money on the wrong IT hires.

Additionally, training and maintaining these tech teams can also be challenging. Long setups involving the setting up of various hardware and software as well as expensive costs in setting up physical premise rentals, local corporate data centres and separate cloud provider configurations and transactions can be daunting. It’s currently difficult for companies to assist, interact and correct its tech trainees. Having outdated learning management software, just adds to the problem.

To answer these issues, CloudSwyft offers an IT Labs-as-a-Service platform that provides on-demand virtual environments which deliver hands-on workspace for recruitment assessments, on-going training, quality testing, and development tasks. The platform primarily targets enterprise IT companies that have a strong focus on consulting and recruitment.

It provides live, cloud-based and fully functional IT playground environments for training and recruitment assessments, utilised for practical hands-on activities and assessments in the HR-IT employment life cycle, so companies don’t have to deal with long setups and can cut down on costs.

According to Ellard Capiral, CTO of CloudSwyft, the platform is also able to “easily plug-in its Cloud Labs products to different third-party LMS or training platforms, online learning communities, course marketplaces and software development life cycle project management tools.”

Moreover, CloudSwyft can support any cloud provider stack in terms of virtual environments such as Amazon Web Services or Windows Azure, as well as being able to support any type of hands-on lab IT environment or playground.

CloudSwyft solutions

“There are so many factors to consider when hiring, onboarding and developing technology talent in today’s dynamic and innovative corporations. Our solutions help organisations maximise their recruitment expense and manage the pain points associated with on-going training and assessment.” says Dann Angelo De Guzman, Founder of CloudSwyft.

CloudSwyft offers two main services, Cloud Labs Workspace and a Custom LMS plaform. Cloud Labs Workspace is then further divided into two specifications, one for training and the other for assessments.

In Cloud Labs Workspace for training, companies can create, structure and deliver course materials and learning content in minutes on either CloudSwyft’s customisable LMS or any third-party training platforms. People can learn different technologies, software products and skills, not just by watching videos or lectures, but by having hands on training. De Guzman calls this workspace service as “Learn IT, by doing”.

Companies can train their employees to configure complex server setups, deal with firewalls, develop code, form databases, all the way up to learning basic software product navigations. In fact, companies can also use this to train their own customers that require and need technical assistance.

In Cloud Labs Workspace for assessments, companies can create and deliver hands-on IT assessment exams mostly used by tech recruitment teams and hiring managers. Alternatively, De Guzman calls this workspace service as “Prove IT skills, by doing.”

For assessments, company recruiters can select from various IT virtual lab environments such as Linux, Java, C# create practical exercises and assign them to applicants, as well as track if these applicants have accomplished theses exercises or not. Recruiters also have the option to set scores, save and publish these exercises, and view each applicant’s results.

Lastly, for CloudSwyft’s custom LMS platform, it offers end-to-end course authoring functionalities which allow companies to upload their course materials and references when training. The platform automatically converts theses course materials into an HTML5 canvas for a more efficient rendering of course materials.

The custom LMS platform also allows companies a single sign-on using their corporate accounts, and are able to manage their account registration and enrollment, role management, and facilitate training groups.

Cloud Labs Workspace for training, along with the Custom LMS has already been available since July 2015, with Cloud Labs Workspace for assessments for private beta available last month, October 2015.

Screenshot of Cloud Labs

Screenshot of Cloud Labs Workspace

Funding from a cloud expert

CloudSwyft raised a US$200,000 seed investment from Future Now Ventures earlier this year to build and market their product.

As a boutique venture capital company, Future Now Ventures is composed of experienced industry professionals that provide advice to entrepreneurs in terms of business strategy, product management, and HR or operations support aside from financial funding.

Its Founder, John Orrock, has been in the enterprise SaaS and cloud industry with a proven track record of entrepreneurial success, the latest one being Accenture’s acquisition of Cloud Sherpas, a company that provides cloud advisory and technology services to the world’s leading brands; one which Orrock is also the Founder and Senior VP for Asia Pacific of.

De Guzman notes that the match for CloudSwyft and Future Now Ventures was obvious, especially given the early stages of his business; Orrock agrees.

“[De Guzman] is a young Filipino entrepreneur. When I met him, he had a vision to revolutionise the IT training industry from recruitment through the employment life cycle,” explains Orrock. “With his limited experience [as a 23 year old], I offered him an Entrepreneur-in-Residence [position] in FN Ventures to help him improve his business competencies. Now, 18 months later, CloudSwyft is prepared to realise a stronger vision,” he adds.

Moreover, Cloud Sherpas is one of the first customers of CloudSwyft’s services, showing the latter’s huge move and ambition for a global footprint in enterprise IT.

Aside from Cloud Sherpas however, De Guzman points out that CloudSwyft is also currently in talks with some of the major global tech companies here in the Philippines.

“Our goal is to consistently gather feedback, execute on constant iterations, and continuously meet our customers’ needs,” De Guzman states.

What’s planned on the roadmap

According to CloudSwyft’s product roadmap, the team plans to further integrate with third-party systems and portals, such as recruitment portals and freelancer sites for IT assessments, while also integrating with tech e-learning marketplaces such as Udacity, Moodle, and other third party LMS platforms for IT training.

“We think the future for CloudSwyft is bright. As we grow our credibility, we also envision to support IT certifications and standard verification stamps that could be generated by our platform. We want to be the standard for IT hands-on skills training and verifications. We want to be able to pioneer this industry shift,” concludes De Guzman.

This is part of our Tech Helping Tech series, where we feature companies in Asia that are helping to solve business problems for the tech industry and startup ecosystems. Find out more about CloudSwyft’s Cloud Lab Workspace and find out how you can list on the e27 Marketplace here. For more great products and services designed to benefit your growing business, visit e27.co/marketplace

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