For a long time, the cloud infrastructure market has been defined by a group of big players competing with one another on price and features. To a large extent, that's still the case, but today if anything it's more pronounced as AWS, Microsoft, and Google wrestle and struggle for market share.
At this point, AWS is the big leader in the market by any measure. Where the other players sit is open to some debate, but it's clear the market has just been established and that AWS controls a large part of a small piece of what has the potential to be much larger market.
Just the other day AWS announced a big deal with Salesforce to run many of their services in international locales where Salesforce lacks data centers. Salesforce runs some of its cloud products on AWS already, but this appears to expand the relationship significantly.
It was interesting on a lot of levels, but partly because AWS chose to trumpet the deal in a press release. When Salesforce chooses your cloud, it's a big deal, especially when you're competing harder than ever with Google and Microsoft.
Salesforce has deals in place with Microsoft too around Azure and Office 365. This will not be the last time we see companies using more than one major cloud player. In fact, one SaaS vendor executive I spoke to the other day suggested that companies will continue to buy services from all three vendors, playing them off one another and figuring out who has the best combination of power, services, and prices for the money.
Look at me, look at me!
In March, Google screamed from the mountain tops when Apple decided to move part of its iCloud business to Google Cloud, but in fact Apple spreads its wealth just as the SaaS executive suggested, playing all the players against one another and taking advantage of each one's strengths.
Earlier this month, Uber announced it was looking for a cloud vendor, causing Business Insider to speculate it could trigger a price war among the big three vendors as they trip over themselves trying to get this high-profile customer.
Surely, this will lead to sweetheart deals to land the bigger names like Apple and Uber, driving down the price for companies that can most afford it. Indeed, rumor has it that the cloud vendors are giving great deals to get these companies on board as a way to lure other customers.
The argument goes that if Apple, Uber, and Salesforce love us, you will too. That means for the foreseeable future these companies will be competing hard on price and service, and when they land a big fish, expect each one to continue to boast loudly and try to gain as much leverage as they can from each deal.Craig Murphy on Flickr. Used under CC by 2.0 license.