Company Facts

Our founder, Martin Stecher, became one of the two inaugural McAfee Fellows and after the spin-off of McAfee's Enterprise business also acted as Skyhigh Fellow for Skyhigh Security. In large IT corporations, the title "Fellow" is given to their most senior technology leaders who are trusted advisors to their Executives and stepped up to Industry leaders in their space.
Being an expert in Internet and Cloud Security for 24 years, it was manifest to found the new company as Cloud Fellows. It's our mission and desire to become fellow partners in the cloud and jointly bring the SSE technology to the next level.

"SSE" stands for "Security Services Edge", a market for Internet and Cloud security where SSE products secure the access to - and the data and content shared with - sanctioned Cloud Services, the Web in general and with Private Applications regardless of where the users are located or which device they are using.
The SSE market, SSE products and SSE vendors are researched by several analysts, most noticable by Gartner in their SSE Magic Quadrant and SSE Peer Review.

We are a recently established company, founded in the summer of 2023, and currently in the early stages of growth. However, we are building on decades of industry experience. Our founder started developing software 40 years ago with a first commercial product in 1985. As the inaugural development leader for AG, he is a veteran of Web and Cloud Security with far more than 20 years of technology and industry experience. The experience has been gained within companies as small as Webwasher, as large as Intel Corporation, as security-well-known as McAfee, as innovative as Skyhigh Security and at other security veterans.

Oh, yes! Cloud Fellows has been established as the German company "Cloud Fellows GmbH", registered by the district court of Paderborn in the economic registry under HRB 16592.

Software Architecture Experience

Based on the experience of a scalable gateway appliance product deployed by thousands of customers for millions of users, the next challenge has been to transform the technology into a SaaS-grade multi-tenant cloud solution. We learned how to create solutions that can run at dozens of points of presence, hundreds of process instances, globally distributed but still able to handle traffic of any user by executing the correct individual and flexible customer policy without overloading the global infrastructure as the number of customers grows. While many vendors are focusing on standard load balancing and elasticity solutions provided by public cloud vendors, Cloud Fellows understands that this approach can be mostly cost-prohibitive and therefore strives for architecture that blends best industry practices with innovative inhouse architecture to achieve the best out of all worlds.

Have you heard about ICAP (the Internet Content Adaptation Protocol)? Originally started by Network Appliance and Akamai, Cloud Fellows' founder joined the team to develop the initial ICAP server product at and helped to finalize the protocol from version 0.9 via 0.95 to ICAP/1.0 as we know it for 20 years now; he worked with IETF to document the protocol in RFC 3507. Several additional RFCs and Internet Drafts followed. By now, all SSE vendors and many other Web products support ICAP still as the de-facto standard when a web server wants to leverage and out-of-band content filtering service.
Cloud Fellows has the expertise and experience to turn given protocol standards into compatible, stable and scalable software and to innovate in new protocols where required. We proudly host the ICAP Forum.

Cloud Fellows' vision is to architect software that is not monolithic and not just a fragmented mingle-mangle of microservices either. Instead we are driven by the idea of a distributed policy workflow, where data is processed as closely to its origin as possible. Additional components shall be leveraged whenever a separation of duty makes sense but without repeating the workflow and rather building on the transaction context that has already been established.

The industry products that were created by the Cloud Fellows team members are known to be the most-flexible solutions in the market that give customers the perfect freedom to tailor them for their needs. Wherever possible, Cloud Fellows architects solutions that allow others to extend them in the most flexible way.

Software Development Experience

While Cloud Fellows can implement software in a variety of programming languages and also has a proven track record of inventing new computer languages, it favors C++ in the newest standard and in conjunction with the Standard Template Library (STL) as the language that allows to implement the highest-scaling cloud products with the lowest latency in processing. We are building on 30 years of experience of developing full-fledged and well-maintainable software solutions in C++.

Today, all high-end server solutions are running on Linux. But in a distributed SSE environment where customers can leverage any device with any operating system to connect, a distributed architecture also needs to run on Windows, MacOS and other embedded systems. Our vision is to implement solutions that can run mostly cross-platform but optimized for the architecture of the highest scalable system. This approach helps to minimize the portability effort when a new operating system shall be supported.
Already in the 1990s, Cloud Fellows' founder gained experience on how to develop software that runs on MacOS and Windows with full compatibility, at a time where computers of those operating systems leveraged CPUs of very different architecture.

Many developers minimize the own coding effort by pulling in all kind of 3rd party software. While this can decrease the initial time-to-market, it often turns out to be a problem of sustainability, security, portability, license-compliance and stability. Cloud Fellows believes in software development with only leveraging a small number of very well-written 3rd party modules for specific use cases with a proper interface.

The Cloud Fellows team has worked in tiny groups of power-individuals who created sophisticated and industry-leading software with a minimum of resources and also gained experience to lead a global engineering organization with more than 500 engineers at various locations on several continents who need to collaborate seamlessly to succeed in their joined mission.

Counsel Services Experience

Whether it is a customer-centric service around your product offering (e.g. licensing, provisioning), an internal workflow (e.g. around your Continuous Delivery Pipeline) or people related processes (e.g. policies and shop agreements), the Cloud Fellows team has a track record in each of those areas. We possess the expertise to identify processes that are both effective and scalable, ensuring stability and minimizing the need for extensive revisions when changes are introduced.

Our founder acted as Managing Director of several German legal entities in the past. If your entities include works councils, tough negotiations can be necessary from time to time. Our style is to achieve those in a very trusted relationship at eye level and build agreements that have the best long-term success and are best for the company overall. Building sites in other countries, growing teams and also divesting from products and sites are important tasks over the lifetime of a successful, international business. One strong indication of a successful business is to measure the tenure of the key stake holders in a company. We are proud to say that we have worked with many individual top performers 10, 15 and 20 years in a row.

Within the last 20 years, we collected experience in many mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs both on the active and on the passive side. This went as far as deep integrations and spin-offs of global giants like Intel Corporations as well as integrations of very small businesses. Our team has the experience what it means to define and manage transfer service agreements, to avoid failures when integrating companies, how to set up new businesses in various countries quickly and much more.