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AWS Tops Azure, Google in Cloud as Channel Becomes ‘Integral’ to Success

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate the growing public cloud market.

The infrastructure giant owns 31 percent of the global cloud infrastructure services market, according to a report from Canalys Research. Microsoft Azure trails in second place, followed by Google and IBM.

The study reflects a slight increase in competition, as AWS had 33 percent of the market in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“Competition for enterprise customers is intensifying among leading cloud service providers, which are investing heavily to secure key national and global accounts,” said Daniel Lieu, analyst for Canalys. “Timing is crucial, as many large accounts are assessing, formulating and executing strategies to move existing workloads and infrastructure to the cloud, and develop new types of workloads as part of digital-transformation initiatives.”

The study found that the market reached $11 billion in the first quarter thanks to a growth rate of 42 percent.

The study praised the indirect sales channel as key for these vendors as they look to expand their reach and make support available for their solutions.

“The channel has become integral to winning in the enterprise, with top cloud players focusing on channel expansion plans,” said Jordan De Leon, senior analyst with Canalys.

The research firm credited Google for bolstering its channel program in order to stay competitive with AWS and Azure.{ad}

“It has made progress toward meeting the technology and feature requirements of large enterprise customers. But to rival the others, it needs to demonstrate its enterprise readiness and enhance its credibility,” De Leon said. “To achieve this, it needs to sustain investment in both technology and go-to-market, and continue to highlight key customer wins.”

De Leon said the deciding factor for the success of these vendors will be go-to-market strategy, which is where the channel comes into play.

“Larger enterprises will adopt a multi-cloud strategy to distribute risk,” he said. “Ultimately, to challenge AWS, vendors will need deep financial resources to continue to participate and advance.”


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