IBM claims it's cloud revenue front-runner, but is it cloud washing?

IBM is no rookie at blasting AWS. But with IBM's history of cloud washing, are its recent revenue claims valid? Also in the podcast: Oracle's future.

In another marketing ploy, IBM is taking jabs at Amazon Web Services, claiming that its cloud revenue is actually higher than that of AWS. IBM's PR team released an email blast on the heels of Amazon's revenue report, showing that its $4.4 billion revenue defeated AWS' $3.9 billion. But back up a second, says David Linthicum in this podcast -- what is IBM considering to be cloud?

IBM isn't the only one threatened by AWS: On-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) providers and Oracle say the agile cloud provider is stealing their business. "What would you do if you were Oracle?" Linthicum asks his guest Mike Kavis, VP and principal architect at Boston-based Cloud Technology Partners. Kavis retorts, "I'd quit and go work at Amazon."

Topics in this podcast include:

  1. Linthicum and Kavis discuss whether IBM is really the cloud leader. It's not the first time IBM has attacked AWS; in November, IBM blitzed the re:Invent cloud conference with Big Blue ads. But are these revenue claims just a result of cloud washing? If so, that also wouldn't be the first time -- the SEC undertook an investigation into IBM's stated revenue. Just what are providers calling cloud these days? And if Amazon really is still on top, can these traditional IT providers ever get over that a bookseller was able to enter the market and beat them?
  2. According to Gartner, by 2016 on-premises ERP systems will be labeled as legacy. . Are Software as a Service (SaaS) providers beating companies like SAP out of the market? And what does this say for the acquisitions forecast? Will ERP companies start scooping up SaaS providers? Will this truly change the market, or are we just moving from big ERP to big cloud? Maybe, but maybe enterprises will find value in mixing and matching cloud providers.
  3. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says that IBM and SAP are no longer Oracle's main competitors – instead, he said that cloud providers such as Amazon are his main threats. Ellison says their agility is hard to beat. Is this the reality? And what does that mean for Oracle's future?

 

This was first published in February 2014

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