Sorry, Amazon, But Microsoft Is The World’s #1 Cloud Vendor–Here’s Why. CLOUD WARS – Forbes
(After an award-winning career in the media business covering the tech industry, Bob Evans was VP of Strategic Communications at SAP in 2011, and Chief Communications Officer at Oracle from 2012 to 2016. He now runs his own firm, Evans Strategic Communications LLC.)
Amazon Web Services is one of the truly great success stories of the past decade—superb vision, brilliant execution, outstanding people, and a hockey-stick growth rate that most enterprise-tech vendors can only dream about.
But life’s not always fair, and while AWS and its supporters can make some good points about how and why it’s the biggest of the big dogs in the cloud, the simple truth is that Microsoft is able to offer corporate customers more cloud innovation across more parts of those customers’ businesses—and can drive more business value for those customers via the cloud—than Amazon can.
And that’s why Microsoft is #1 in the Cloud Wars Top 10 ranking, and AWS is #2: while Amazon is unquestionably helping tens of thousands of businesses cut IT costs and accelerate some key processes, Microsoft and its sweeping Commercial Cloud products and services have become indispensable digital-transformation enablers for businesses in every industry in every region across the globe.
Let’s analyze this horserace from a few different perspectives: revenue, completeness of cloud offerings, future vision, scalability for world’s largest and most-demanding workloads, integration of powerful advanced technologies into cloud, and customer appeal across all industries.
Revenue. For the first quarter of 2017, Amazon said AWS was on a annual revenue run rate of “more than $14 billion,” while for the same period and the same metric, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella cited a figure of “more than $15.2 billion.” So Microsoft wins the revenue game by probably $1 billion or more.
Completeness of cloud offerings. While AWS is an absolute killer in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), its Platform as a Service (PaaS) business is in its early stages, and it doesn’t play in the cloud-applications (SaaS) space.
Microsoft has become a powerhouse in all three layers, and that’s incredibly important because while some inside-baseball tech-industry purists will scream that each of those three categories must be evaluated separately, C-level executives on the customer side place huge value on completeness of offerings so that they don’t have to spend vast amounts of time and money integrating and patching and splicing disparate elements from multiple vendors that were never intended to work together.