Microsoft Azure: The World’s #1 Cloud Services Platform

Microsoft Azure: The World’s #1 Cloud Services Platform

An interesting article, bound to stimulate some controversy, has just been published on the Forbes Tech site.

The author, Bob Evans ex-VP of Strategic Communications at SAP and Chief Communications Officer at Oracle from 2012 to 2016, argues that contrary to accepted wisdom Microsoft Azure, not Amazon Web Services, is the ‘biggest and best dog’ in the cloud as far as corporate customers are concerned.

While being a huge admirer of the AWS success story over the last decade, Evans argues that Microsoft Azure now offers corporate customers more cloud innovation and drives more business value than Amazon. Microsoft’s Commercial Cloud products and services have become ‘indispensable digital-transformation enablers for businesses in every industry in every region across the globe’ (see our previous blog post on the role of the Cloud in Digital Transformation).

Six key measures are used to benchmark Microsoft with AWS: revenue, completeness of cloud offerings, future vision, scalability, integration of powerful advanced technologies and customer appeal across all industries.

  • Revenue: Based on annual revenue run rate for Q1 2017, Microsoft (plus $15.2bn) exceeds Amazon ($14bn).
  • Completeness of cloud offerings: Microsoft has become a powerhouse in all three layers of the cloud – IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Amazon’s strengths, by contrast, lie mainly in the former. C-level executives on the customer side are now demanding completeness of offerings, providing Microsoft with a major advantage.
  • Future Vision: Microsoft has developed a very broad range of cloud products and services providing end-to-end solutions for corporate customers. The overall vision is to differentiate itself as the most trusted global hyper-scale cloud and hybrid support provider, delivering high level services which drive digital transformation by delivering ‘agility, operational consistency and security across the entire digital estate, spanning enterprise mobility, Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure.’
  • Scalability for the world’s largest computing workloads: The example of Maersk, the world’s largest transport and logistics company, is used to highlight the scalability of Azure. The company began their journey to Microsoft Cloud with Office 365, Enterprise Mobility and Security in Windows 10. They have now shifted most of their business to the cloud, digitally transforming their global supply chain effectively managing 1,000 vessels across 130 countries. The intelligent services in Azure deliver up-to-the-minute insights on carrier performance and equipment usage with real-time data visualisation and advanced analytics enabling the company to trim costs and create new revenue streams.
  • Adopting advanced technologies to help customers drive digital transformation: With the launch of IoT Central, Microsoft has jumped ahead of the competition by developing a coherent strategy and complete set of products, technologies and services providing an end-to-end solution for organisations of all sizes to manage their entire IoT ecosystem across devices, cloud, analytics, networks and software.
  • Appeal to and ability to perform across a wide range of industries: Microsoft has published a large number of case studies highlighting the way in which some of the world’s largest companies, across a broad spectrum of industries, have already used Microsoft Azure to successfully transform operations gaining competitive advantage in the process.

See here for previous blog posts on Microsoft Azure including our five part series providing strategic and practical advice on migrating to the cloud.

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You can access the full article at Sorry Amazon: But Microsoft is the World's #1 Cloud Vendor.