Light Reading
Amazon Web Services' price cuts contributed to the parent company's bad quarter and stock plunge -- but there's still gold in its clouds.

No Crocodile Tears for AWS Just Yet

Carol Wilson
7/28/2014
50%
50%

If you were one of the folks in the cloud computing industry who spent the weekend celebrating the downturn in Amazon's financial results and their reflection on Amazon Web Services, this is Hangover Monday. And here's your real headache: It turns out Amazon isn't doing all that badly after all.

The company admitted to sinking margins in reporting a second-quarter loss of $126 million, and a big chunk of that is attributed to price wars in the cloud computing segment. Amazon Web Services LLC has cut its prices between 28% and 51%, due to competitive pressures, and that is helping squeeze its margins. Some folks are saying this amounts to an AWS crisis and are questioning the company's ability to respond, given all the things that parent Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is currently attempting to tackle.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group Inc. , issued his quarterly report today, and admitted Amazon is no longer as dominant in the cloud computing space as it has been. But in a follow-up email exchange, Dinsdale characterized Amazon's woes as "champagne problems" that most companies would love to have.

"It is continuing to invest and to roll out new services and is building increasing levels of credibility within the enterprise market," Dinsdale notes. "In its earnings material, it pointed to 90% growth in AWS usage over the last twelve months, so there is plenty of customer momentum behind AWS."


Our NFV & the Data Center event digs deeper into how telecom service providers are evolving their data center strategies. You can check it out here on Light Reading.


Dinsdale's research shows Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are the two companies gaining the most against Amazon. But Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is not quite keeping up, largely because it doesn't have the enterprise connections that Microsoft and IBM have by virtue of their software, computing and integration businesses.

"I think the biggest issue that Google has to face is that it does not have an established presence and credibility in the enterprise/business sector," Dinsdale says. "IBM and Microsoft do and they can leverage that. Amazon didn't but it is benefiting from being the first to market and staying in front of the pack – so it has built the scale and now has credibility with enterprise customers."

Synergy is estimating that the cloud infrastructure service market hit $3.7 billion in revenues in the past quarter, with the total market growing at greater than 45%. AWS and Google have about the same market share they had a year ago, while both Microsoft and IBM have increased market share, as shown below.

Amazon is definitely facing some tougher competition, Dinsdale notes, and can no longer claim to be bigger than its four largest competitors.

But where does all of this leave the telecom cloud players? Many of them have taken aim at AWS in particular. Synergy shows they are growing but still lack the scale to be among the market leaders. They are also having problems moving outside their traditional network footprints into a position of global reach. (See Verizon Looks to Bridge Amazon, CenturyLink Cuts Cloud Prices, Touts Power.)

"The leading telcos are still, in essence, national players that have a hard time growing substantial business beyond their home country or companies that are headquartered in their home country," Dinsdale comments in his email.

Synergy shows NTT Group (NYSE: NTT) as the leading telco cloud provider, ranked eighth overall in the market, with Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Enterprise Solutions , Orange SA , BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), and CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) making the top 100 list.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/29/2014 | 11:13:02 PM
Re: Microsoft Margins
I don't even understand the "rooting" for Google.  Google already controls so much of our lives and invades our privacy in ways that make Facebook look like Diaspora.  Do we really want them to dominate the cloud market too?

Rather, I'm rooting for someone to come out with a search engine that is better than Google's.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/29/2014 | 11:09:53 PM
BAA BAA, black sheep.
Word on the street at a conference I attended a few months ago in Boston is that part of the issue is that Google still isn't offering BAAs for many of its services, which makes it less palatable to customers in markets with burdensome data compliance issues (e.g., healthcare, finance, etc.).
Liz Greenberg
50%
50%
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/29/2014 | 1:33:12 PM
Re: Microsoft Margins
@burn0500, Google and IBM really aren't paying for their software either.  Realistically, it shows that there is a lot of room from growth in the cloud market and that those who can give great service and great prices will have customers.  Customers will probably choose not just based on price but on SLA, distribution and other metrics that make sense to each company.  It is good to see the competition here.  Keeps everybody honest and gives the customer a lot of choice.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/29/2014 | 1:30:59 PM
Re: Microsoft Margins
Even if the competition gets fierce Amazon is still in a great position. Whether Amazon can survive it's retail side without profit is another matter. But, as pointed out, AWS is ready for our sympathy quite yet.
burn0050
50%
50%
burn0050,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/29/2014 | 10:48:24 AM
Microsoft Margins
Looks like when you don't have to pay for licenses for your own software, it makes cloud very profitable!
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive