Recently Microsoft Azure won a whopping ten billion dollar contract with the US government. This was a massive win for Microsoft as it positions itself as the leading cloud provider against its two biggest rivals Amazon AWS and Google Cloud Services. Even though this specific contract has a lot of controversy around it due to the high-level politics being involved, I still think Microsoft will continue to win large enterprise and government contracts going forward all around the world. Why? Simple short, one-word answer — TRUST!
In Microsoft They Trust!
Yes, big enterprises specifically can be made to trust Microsoft, even if its cloud provider resume is not as experienced as Amazon AWS. Just imagine a pitch from the Microsoft cloud team to a large enterprise retail customer:
Amazon AWS — by a company that seemingly aims to compete with almost every business in every sector. It started as an online bookseller and now has expanded to consumer food, electronics, shoes, fulfillment, shipping, streaming content to just about anything they want. Would a large enterprise feel comfortable running their core business infrastructure in the premise of a potential competitor?
Or would they be more comfortable with Microsoft, whose core business remains in consumer and enterprise computing and now has expanded to cloud services?
On top of that old school, large enterprises still use massive databases that are either Oracle or Microsoft SQL server-based, and Microsoft is sweetening the cloud deals for SQL servers a great deal — perhaps 5x times cost-effective than the AWS hosted SQL servers!
And do I dare to mention the other selling points — Outlook and Sharepoint?
Is that a Bad Thing?
As a pro-Linux server guy who has avoided most things Microsoft for a long time, it is a bit weird to see Microsoft Azure winning big time in cloud computing. To be accurate, Azure does offer Red Hat Linux and lets customers decided whatever operating system they want to use in the cloud. So Linux or Windows operating system is not the differentiator anymore. Microsoft can sell the “trust” that is winning them the big deals.
Frankly, I think that Amazon AWS is a beast of a platform with all the bells and whistles, and they needed a bit of competition — Microsoft delivered that competition. Google Cloud Service never clicked on for me, and I think Google does not sell it well. I believe Google suffers from not needing to sell its first products — advertising platform on Search and YouTube — and never learned the selling game as much as Microsoft. This is my personal opinion. I see the three major cloud players as:
- Amazon AWS — too big and too focused on technical domination
- Google Cloud Service — does not do an excellent job of selling its services
- Microsoft Azure — best sales team for enterprise and government computing
- Rest of the cloud providers — too small to be counted
I think that the competition from Microsoft will bring some fear of God into Amazon AWS, and hopefully, their pricing will come down to Earth. So I am for the competition, and I think that most people will agree with me on this point.
We don’t use Microsoft Azure. My company, EVOKNOW, Inc., employs a combination of Amazon AWS and a much smaller cloud vendor with a clean and straightforward infrastructure API — Linode! We provide mid-range enterprise e-commerce services for multinational retail brands.