ATLANTA: Microsoft sees Google and Amazon as its main rivals in the cloud market given the scale and capability their cloud platforms offer.
At Convergence 2015 in Atlanta, Wayne Morris, marketing corporate vice president at Microsoft's Business Solutions arm, told V3 that he believes there is a two-tier cloud market evolving.
"I would put companies that are out there in two categories. There are companies that have the ability to invest at the level that is required to get the ubiquitous cloud operations," he said.
"And I'd say at that level there are only three: Microsoft, Google and Amazon, clearly. Then you have the next [level] of people who are claiming but don't have the capacity, the capability, the capital to go and do that."
Morris put companies such as IBM, Fujitsu and HP in that second group, saying they cannot offer the full scale and flexibility of cloud platforms.
He said that many of the cloud offerings from technology companies are "single-purpose" clouds that can only offer cloud for specific uses, such as customer relationship management.
Citing Adobe Marketing Cloud as an example, Morris said: "It's not a multi-purpose offering, it's not a platform offering in the sense Azure is."
Morris said this situation could lead to cloud vendors needing to take one of two routes.
"It may go two ways, and I'm not going to say which way it will go because it's got to play out. One way is they don't offer multi-purpose cloud, [instead] it becomes the underpinnings for the offering they particularly have," he said.
"Or they partner with one of the hyper-scale cloud vendors - we're seeing a little bit of that as well."
However, whether or vendors would agree with these claims is doubtful, with Oracle touting its recent success in the cloud market while IBM is pouring billions into its SoftLayer platform including building new data centres.
Microsoft has even struck a deal with IBM that sees the two company's hosting each others services in the cloud, in a deal that suggests Big Blue isn't quite the second-tier cloud provider Microsoft would like to pretend it was.
Nevertheless, the bold comments from Microsoft underline the increasingly competitive nature of the cloud market as all the major technology vendors make it a central aspect of their delivery strategies going forward.
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