The world’s largest and most-influential cloud provider is now flexing its muscles in the industry-cloud space so I’ve moved Microsoft up to #4 on my Industry Cloud Top 10 rankings following its acquisition of AT&T’s 5G mobile network.
Since I launched the Industry Cloud Top 10 rankings a few months ago, Microsoft has held the #6 spot due to its relatively late decision to become a force in the white-hot industry-cloud market.
Microsoft’s takeover of AT&T’s 5G mobile network last week is a powerful indicator of the company’s technological depth, its ambition for becoming a leading for in vertical-market solutions, and its vision for moving into the center of industries that are on the verge of or in the midst of monumental changes as they fully commit to the digital economy.
And that was the single factor that persuaded me to push Microsoft up to #4, displacing SAP, which is now #5 and still doing excellent work in the industry space, and #6 Infor.
While the Microsoft maneuver delivers a clear message to the entire Industry Cloud Top 10 that the price of poker has just gone up—significantly—I believe this escalation will prove to be particularly challenging to Infor, which is by far the smallest cloud provider on the Industry Cloud Top 10. Infor will have to become even more aggressive and more innovative in its approaches as Microsoft and other top industry-cloud players ratchet up the customer-facing intensity and capabilities.
Here’s part of my analysis of the Microsoft-AT&T deal from last week called Microsoft Cuts Loose the Dogs of War in AT&T 5G Cloud Deal:
Microsoft has indeed just blasted its way into the heart of the communications industry and set itself up to be a global power-player in the 5G era. The AT&T 5G mobile network, part of what AT&T called the Network Cloud, will now become part of Microsoft’s own purpose-built and industry-specific Azure for Operators cloud.
Talk about shaking up an industry! I mean, it’s truly exciting that Microsoft and other major cloud vendors are creating industry-specific applications to help customers move into the digital economy and be able to run their businesses more capably and intelligently than ever before.
But what Microsoft’s doing here is on an entirely different scale: an entire industry cloud for 5G, which will rapidly become one of the most disruptive technologies of all time.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, SAP was among the many clients of Cloud Wars Media LLC and/or Evans Strategic Communications LLC.
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