Competitive Dynamics between Azure and AWS in the Battle for the Enterprise Cloud

When enterprises are figuring out their Big Data offering, they pay attention to the competitive dynamics in the Cloud space. AWS has been ahead of the game in the Cloud space because it was the first to offer IaaS in 2006. Over the years, it continues to enhance product features and functionalities based on market demand and became the first choice of many enterprises for Cloud services.

Microsoft released Azure PaaS in 2008 and implemented some strategies in order to catch up with AWS.

  1. Released Office 365 to utilize Azure in 2011.
  2. Extended Cloud Service to IaaS in 2012.
  3. Blended SharePoint into Office 365 in 2013 to sell a highly integrated information workplace environment [1].
  4. Aligned the development model with Cloud constructs for app developers [2].

All of these moves strengthened Azure’s position in the enterprise market; especially for the ones that are using the Microsoft Office suite.

Azure and AWS both have a fair chance to win the enterprise market. It is really not an apple to apple comparison. There are five competitive advantages that they may consider to offer:

  1. Understanding the customers’ needs and addressing them with use cases and testimonies. In another words, business development is just as important as the technology differentiation in the pursuit of business.
  2. Having a strong Hybrid Cloud solution to support enterprises in order to integrate Cloud with their existing infrastructures.
  3. Providing an integration solution with mobility [3].
  4. Building a stronger ecosystem in order to promote enterprise Cloud adoption.
  5. Providing interoperability in order to allow the existence of competitors.

While AWS and Azure are competing, the price of Cloud services will be kept low, offers will be enhanced and the ecosystem will continue to grow. Enterprises will benefit from the competitive dynamics and might end up adopting both vendors’ products for different business needs. At the same time, Google’s investment in network capability will put itself into the enterprise competitive landscape [4]. And IBM is stepping up through aggressive targeted acquisitions [5]. Enterprises will not short of choices in pursue of Cloud vendors for their Big Data solutions.

[1] Rob Koplowitz, John R. Rymer, Cheryl McKinnon (2014, 1/24), Microsoft Aims SharePoint to the Cloud, Forrester, http://bit.ly/1iPlgRU

[2] John R. Rymer and James Staten (2013, 6/14), The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Public

Cloud Platforms, Q2 2013, Forrester, http://bit.ly/1nwqcLB

[3] CloudTimes, Mobile Cloud, http://cloudtimes.org/mobile-cloud/

[4] Matt Asay (2014, 2/7) Google Secret Weapon Against Amazon, Read Write, http://bit.ly/1d9FuVo

[5] Klint Finley (2014, 2,24) IBM’s Latest Cloud Acquisition Aims Directly at Amazon, http://wrd.cm/1cJ9lne

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Take Control of Your Data

“Big Data” and “analytics” have been in a lot of conversations lately. Many businesses want to jump on the wagon to use big data for marketing and product development. At the same time, most of the companies don’t really know what to do with a flood of data. How to capture, analyze and utilize this data for business insights is critical.

O’Reilly published an ebook titled Business Models for Data Economy, and it is a good reference book for this topic. It says, “Whether you call it Big Data, data science, or simply analytics, modern businesses see data as a gold mine.” Indeed, we live in a fast-evolving world of data economy. Forrester predicted that 2014 would be the year that marketing leaders will put insights to use.

My interest in Big Data started while I was writing my bookEveryday NFC”. I realized that sensors play a crucial role in helping big data move forward, and I wanted to learn more about Big Data. Going to a conference on the topic was a quick way for me to pick up the terminologies, use cases and visions. Networking with early adopters and watching their progress were good learning points. After this initial overwhelming learning experience, I was able to dive deeper into a specific area that applied to my work.

Here is an opportunity for you to learn about Big Data or to share your experience.

The Big Data Innovation Summit will be held in Santa Clara on April 9-10 in 2014, to guide you in taking control of your data. The Summit brings leading thinkers together for presentations, workshops and panels. To network with these people would be a big win in the Summit. There are four tracks: Data Analytics, Hadoop & No SQL, Data Science and the Machine Learning & Algorithms. You can view the schedule here. Follow #datawest14 and @IE_BigData for further updates.

Are you ready to jump on the wagon?

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