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 Custom TV
Razorsight Expert's Advice on Real-Time Analytics

11|27|14   |   1:43   |   (0) comments


Razorsight's powerful cloud-based Predictive Analytics solutions are used by the world's leading communications and media brands to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. Get expert advice.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, 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
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Net Neutrality Even Mark Cuban Could Love
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/26/2014
Eurobites: Net Neutrality Battle Looms
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/27/2014
Why 5G Is a Different Beast
Robert Clark, 11/26/2014
New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2014
Operators Should Block Ads to Get Their Cut, Startup Says
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed