Six months ago when SAP announced plans to buy Qualtrics for $8 billion, the ankle-biters screeched, “They’re paying way too much!”Three months ago when SAP announced it was going to churn a tiny percentage of its workforce to ensure it could bring in top-priority skills for the future, the nickel-counters howled, “They’re gutting the company!”
As the digital revolution sweeps across every industry, the #1 business priority for CEOs has become creating and delivering great customer experiences. Specifically, experiences fashioned around what buyers want and need, rather than on what’s convenient for the seller.
While the relentless advance of digital-industrial technologies continues to dazzle, we would all do well to remember that the primary ingredient in digital transformation—regardless of industry—is optimizing the customer experience.
The world’s three largest cloud vendors by revenue are likely to reach $23 billion in combined Q1 cloud revenue with Microsoft having an excellent chance to hit $10 billion and Amazon’s AWS cloud unit $8 billion along with the $5 billion IBM reported for cloud revenue last week.
With its $19.5-billion enterprise cloud being pretty much the only growth driver across its massive products and services landscape, IBM is restructuring its strategy and operations to become a cloud-first company in preparation for the final approval of its acquisition of Red Hat later this year.
The IBM Q1 earnings announcement yesterday reveals that while IBM’s cloud business almost reached $20 billion in revenue for the 12 months ending March 31, its growth rate is lagging significantly behind those of all of IBM’s major cloud competitors.
In another sign that the cloud-computing business ranks among the greatest growth markets ever, Microsoft is likely to crack $10 billion in quarterly cloud revenue when it posts its earnings results next week.A little perspective on that: a cloud vendor with $10 billion in revenue for a full year—let alone the 3-month period in Microsoft’s case—would be the sixth-largest enterprise-cloud company in the world.
Great expectations can be a crushing burden for some businesses and some leaders. But Google Cloud and CEO Thomas Kurian are about to wrap up up not just a hugely successful global customer conference with Next ’19, but also what has to be seen as a massive relaunch of a brand eager to move from under-performer to world-class competitor.
In launching a hybrid platform that can solve one of enterprise IT’s most-difficult challenges, Google Cloud has greatly intensified the competitive heat on Microsoft and Amazon. Anthos will set a new level of expectations among business customers, who will soon demand that all of their cloud vendors offer similar capabilities.
Two months after offering a compelling glimpse into how Google Cloud will become an aggressive and highly capable competitor in the Cloud Wars, CEO Thomas Kurian this week must win the confidence of customers and partners during the company’s highly anticipated Next ’19 event by filling in the details about core positioning, industry solutions, and customer-success stories.