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Canalys: Public cloud PR campaign needs to be countered

AWS, Google and Microsoft are winning the PR battle around public cloud and other vendors and MSPs need to fight back with an alternative argument

The public relations battle over the cloud is being won by the likes of AWS and Google and the traditional IT industry has to fight back to remind customers that there is an alternative.

One of the main concerns expressed by Canalys CEO Steve Brazier in his keynote at the analyst firm's Channel Forum event was that the cloud market was getting dominated by just a few players.

With all of the vendors at the event, Dell, HPE, Cisco along with some others like Oracle, all talking about cloud there is a danger that they, along with their channel partners, will be swerved in favour of AWS, Google and Azure because the buyer has been swayed by those brands.

As well of squeezing the channel Brazier made a wider warning that the three big public cloud providers could become "too big to fail" with so many customers putting data through their platforms.

In the last 12 months AWS had delivered 59% growth, Microsoft with Azure had pushed the channel to sell its cloud offering and had grown 100% and Google was not too far behind.

"We are starting to see three giants," he added "the public cloud is growing at over 50%."

He called out Lenovo, Dell, HPE and others to do more to counteract the public cloud argument and to work in a more co-ordinated way to present an alternative PR message.

"They need to work together more to provide a common view of why the public cloud is not the future for everything. Right now the investment community largely thinks that because the pr has been excellent," he said.

"Their pr is relentless and so many people now believe they are the future," he said of AWS.

Brazier said that even in the pure public cloud area the competition was narrowing as more of the smaller players exited the market leaving the big three to dominate more and more market share.

he said that the negative consequences of not combating the rise of the big three is that customers would face lock-in on those platforms and also they would become too big to fail.

"We have seen that play out in the banking industry before and it's not a good place to be," he added "If one of these three companies goes down then thousands of customers would be hit."

"The issues around lock in and too big too fail are very serious ones and everyone should be protesting," he said that the positive was that more resellers had become managed services providers and were in a position to provide an alternative for customers.

His keynote also looked at the current state of the market, with the conclusion it had been a tough year so far, particularly on the traditional products front.

Brazier said that according to Canalys numbers so far this year EMEA PC revenues had dropped by 12%, storage was down by 5%, servers by the same amount and smart phones could only manage a single digit improvement.

Where there had been growth was in some of the product areas that were seen as emerging with hyperconverged systems up by 74%, detachable tablets by 150% and flash had seen a 100% improvement in the first half, year-on-year.

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