Meet the team: Stephen Earl

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Meet… Stephen Earl, Guardian Product Manager

When did you join Cloudhouse?

October 2022.

Tell us a little about your career up to this point:

I first started work back in 1994 at the first internet service company in the UK – PIPEX. I’ve held various technology-based roles in my career starting as a dial-up support engineer, then moving on to webmaster, NOC Systems Manager (so I’ve done some 24/7 stuff and been woken up by pagers and mobile phones more times than I like to recall), through to Directing Service Management Engineering at Blackberry and then onto what I call the ‘accidental profession’, which is where I am now in Product Management.

Prior to Cloudhouse, I held Principal Product Manager roles at the likes of BMC Software, ServiceNow and Ivanti, joining the team here at Cloudhouse in October 2022.

What really drew me to Cloudhouse was the team and the potential of the product I now manage being industry-leading, delivering real value and solving problems in organisations.

What do you do at Cloudhouse?

I product manage. Essentially, I take input from the market, competitors, and customers and look at how our products can fill a gap in the marketplace, meet specific customer needs and provide value for customer use cases. I am also in charge of steering the product direction in conjunction with senior management. 

What’s the best thing about working at Cloudhouse?

The team. They are a great bunch of people, with great ideas, enthusiasm, and they really are passionate about solving problems for customers. 

What do you get the most satisfaction from in your role?

Solving the problems that customers have. It’s what Product Managers look for and do.

Most embarrassing IT moment (e.g. hitting reply all when you really shouldn’t have, deleting something VERY important, leaving your laptop on the train…) 

I once deleted an entire server by accident. I was in the wrong place and I deleted it from the root. It was one of those things where the second you press ‘enter’ you realise what you have done but it’s too late, you can’t stop it. 

What’s your view on AI? Friend or foe?

Somewhere in the middle. Used responsibly – friend. It is a useful tool and as long as it is used as a tool, it has great possibilities. The challenge is people thinking it is a magic bullet fix to lots of problems – it isn’t. Without direction or governance, it is a problem. 

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Over the years it progressed from astronaut, to policeman, to lawyer (which I am educated in) and somehow I accidentally fell into Product Management which I absolutely love, and I count myself lucky for having a job I enjoy. 

What would you choose as your last meal?

Fish and chips. 

Is a Jaffa cake a biscuit or a cake?


If you had a choice between being able to fly or being invisible, which would you choose?

It has to be invisible. I hate heights.  

Cats or dogs?

If I have to choose dogs – but I like them both and have had both. 

About Cloudhouse

Avatar photoCloudhouse is experienced in problematic application migration and config monitoring systems to fix the unfixable and modernise any IT estate – whether it’s run on-premises or in the cloud. With two proven solutions; Alchemy: Cloudhouse Application Packaging Solution modernises IT estates by fixing unfixable apps and moves them onto a supported operating system.

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How much does Cloudhouse cost? Down Arrow

Cloudhouse costs are split into two elements – the licensing required to deploy application compatibility packages, and the professional services needed to create the application compatibility packages.

Licensing is offered on a per user basis for desktop applications and a per server basis for server applications. There are discounts available based on volumes.

Professional Services costs are dependent on the nature and complexity of the application. We quote a cost for packaging once we have been able to see the application, or portfolio of applications.

Contact us here with your requirements and we will provide you with a quote.

Packaging and Maintaining Applications
Who is responsible for packaging desktop and server applications? Down Arrow

Cloudhouse provide the Professional Services to package applications.

Requirements for Test and Development Down Arrow

Cloudhouse recommend packaged applications are tested in the standard UAT environments used for natively installed applications, or applications packaged in App-V. The more representative the test environment is of the live environment, the greater the chance of finding any issues prior to go-live.

Updating Applications Down Arrow

Service packs and updates can be applied to the applications in a package using the Editor, refer to Updating, Editing and Maintaining Containers which describes how a new snapshot is created for the update, and how it is then applied to the package.

Who manages Cloudhouse operationally within an account? Down Arrow

Cloudhouse recommends the same team who manage the operations of native apps.

Automation and Deployment Down Arrow

Applications running in Application Compatibility Packages can be deployed, and managed with same tools, or scripts used to deploy natively installed applications e.g. SCCM, InTune, LAN Desk. Please refer to Supported 3rd Party Products and Versions for details.

How do we know which of our departments/ teams should support the Package? Down Arrow

The Cloudhouse Package does not include OS components, it only contains the packaged application plus Cloudhouse components. Cloudhouse recommend the same team that is responsible for supporting applications packaged with App-V, or delivered as natively installed applications, support Cloudhouse Application Compatibility Containers.

Documentation for Service Desk & Service Management Down Arrow

Full documentation is made available to Cloudhouse partners and customers as required.

Do Cloudhouse provide training? Down Arrow

Cloudhouse offers a full packaging service that can scale to meet any requirement. In the event, however, that a partner wishes to offer application compatibility packaging as part of a wider solution, Cloudhouse will work with that partner. Please contact us here for details.