Microsoft Is Ruling
In a striking example of just how big the enterprise cloud has become and how rapidly it’s growing, Google Cloud Platform’s disclosure of an impressive $4-billion forward-looking annualized revenue run rate leaves GCP about $15 billion behind the parallel metrics for Cloud Wars leaders Microsoft, Amazon and IBM.
For calendar 2017, the seven biggest enterprise-cloud vendors—Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and Google—posted cloud revenue of $76.3 billion, as compiled from those companies’ publicly available earnings results.
The Big 3 in that group—Microsoft ($18.6 billion), Amazon ($17.5 billion) and IBM ($17.0 billion)—combined for calendar-2017 cloud revenue of $53.1 billion, and the enterprise-cloud businesses for each of those three companies appear to be accelerating rapidly going into 2018 as this graphic reveals:
In the middle of the pack, Salesforce.com posted revenue of $9.92 billion for the 12 months ended Oct. 31, and that’s as close to an approximation for calendar 2017 as is available. But with Salesforce continuing to grow rapidly, let’s be a little crazy and say its calendar 2017 revenue is a cool $10 billion.
Oracle, SAP and Google combined for more than $13 billion in cloud revenue in 2017, but I can’t be more precise than that because while Oracle came in at $5.6 billion (for the 12 months ending Nov. 30) and SAP at $4.7 billion, Google didn’t release a specific full-year revenue figure for its cloud business. Some analysts are pegging the full-year number at around $3 billion.
So let’s take a look at what some of those numbers mean:
- IBM is a huge winner on multiple fronts, particularly in the revelation that its cloud business is only 3% smaller than Amazon’s and within 10% of market leader Microsoft.
- Another big win for IBM: surprise surprise, but look at which cloud vendor posted the biggest revenue in Q4? IBM takes that crown with $5.5 billion, spurred by a 30% year-over-year growth rate, while Microsoft came in at $5.3 billion on a staggering 56% growth rate and Amazon at $5.1 billion on stellar 45% growth.
- The narrative—and it is dead wrong—repeated relentlessly and tirelessly by many in the media and amplified by some analysts that Amazon is the runaway winner in the cloud is baseless, sloppy and terribly misleading. In the IaaS space exclusively, yes indeed, Amazon’s AWS unit is the big cheese. But as the publicly available numbers shown throughout this article and within the embedded graphics reveal, Microsoft is the overall leader in the enterprise cloud, Amazon sits below Microsoft in revenue, and IBM is just barely behind Amazon. It’s time for that long-running string of extremely fake news that “Amazon rules the cloud” to come to an end.
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Article Credit: Forbes
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