The #CloudInfluence battle heated up in February as Microsoft and IBM stole a mind share lead over Amazon in cloud.
All the cloud players are in a massive battle for market share and mind share, and while AWS remains in a league of its own in terms of scale, it can no longer claim to be bigger than its closest four competitors combined. This month’s rankings show AWS’s rivals are not only catching up in terms of market share, but have taken an outright lead in terms of mind share.
Amazon prides itself on being a relatively lean operation compared to the traditional players, but it cannot afford to be complacent or to underestimate these giants. Microsoft and IBM have massive marketing machines and huge ecosystems supporting their products and services, and both giants are focused on displacing AWS.
Here are the February 2015 Global #CloudInfluence rankings for organisations. January’s rankings are shown in square brackets when applicable.
Top of the charts: February’s Top Ten
Yet again Microsoft  top the ranking of #CloudInfluence organisations, with a commanding lead over the rest.
IBM  leapt to 2nd place in the rankings following the announcement of a $4 billion investment with which IBM says it plans to increase revenue from growing areas like cloud computing to $40 billion by 2018. Its InterConnect event was brimming with cloud announcements covering new services, data centres, customers, and partners – such as the announcement with Juniper which joined the top 50 this month sneaking in to 39th position on the back of the announcement.
Amazon  and Apple  ranked in reverse order this month with Apple moving ahead to 3rd as it announced anyone — even PC-users — can access its suite of iCloud web-based productivity apps – Pages, Numbers, and Keynote – for free. However as some consolation for Amazon’s slip to 4th, its cloud operation AWS  jumped to 5th. Amazon will break out its AWS revenues separately for the first time in its next financial report, until then we are still reliant on market share reports such as the recent one by Synergy Research Group (SRG), which catapulted to 18th in the rankings on the back of the report. The SRG report found that AWS’s cloud growth had faltered in competition with Microsoft and IBM in the second quarter of 2014. While AWS remains to be the largest singularity, its competitors combined growth has finally disproven AWS’s claim to fame of being bigger than all its competitors combined.
Akamai  and Google  jumped to 6th and 7th respectively. Akamai reported record results up 25% adjusted for foreign exchange, while Google’s addition of features such as a private docker registry, a cloud benchmarking tool and an incident reporting dashboard failed to mask the somewhat embarrassing two hour outage experienced by its cloud engine.
Oracle  dropped to 8th place, VMware  slipped one place to 9th, and SAP  dropped all the way to 10th.
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Making a big splash: firms with announcements that boosted their rankings
Consolidation in the data centre sector continues at a pace, as was seen with MegaPath Corp. in 38th selling its managed services business division to GTT Communications, and leading British data centre provider Telecity in 19th agreeing to merge its operations with Netherlands based Interxion. At the same time Rackspace jumped to 21st place on the back of speculation about its future (see also the Data Centre Special Report which appear prior to the MegaPath GTT deal).
Special guests: cloud customers appearing in the rankings
Additional comment pushed the European Space Agency  up to 26th place in February. The National Hockey League, in at 28th, was widely quoted about seeking to increase fan engagement and deepen fan loyalty with the newly released statistics platform on NHL.com, powered by the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service. Meanwhile the Indian army came in at 47th after announcing a move to a highly encrypted cloud storage system as it works towards becoming a “100 per cent digital” force.
Missing in action: big names that were missing until now
HP and Salesforce were both notable absentees last month. However there is a stark difference between the two firms’ cloud presence. HP after having wasted billions on acquisitions like Autonomy, EDS, 3Com, and Palm trying to buy growth, have no real cloud revenue to speak of – even their recent deal with Deutsche Bank could hardly be seen as cloud. Meanwhile Salesforce.com has come from nowhere in the same period to grow to a market cap nearly three-quarters of HP’s size, and is well on its way to becoming the fastest company to achieve $10 billion in revenue. Consequently while Salesforce made it into the Global #CloudInfluence top 50 at 48th, HP rose only as far as 60th– although HP’s Enterprise Services (the part of the company being split away from the PC business) did appear in this month’s ranking – albeit in unlucky 13th on the back of considerable negative coverage.
Tune in again next month to see how these players all do next time, and come back tomorrow to see who the Top 50 Global #CloudInfluence Individuals are.