Way back in 2012, it was discussed that “Amazon is Coke, and there is no Pepsi.” The closest competitor then might have been Rackspace, (but maybe not in the Federal space – I think I heard a rumor that they weren’t planning on applying for a FedRAMP certification).
Of course 2012 was ages ago, and now it looks like Amazon might finally have a worthy foe in form of IBM (via the SoftLayer acquisition). Earlier this week IBM ran an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal saying that IBM’s cloud “powers 270,000 more websites than Amazon.” This is basically IBM’s way of saying “Bring it!”
But no good statement goes unchallenged – Ben Kepes, a writer for Forbes, wrote that “IBM is stretching the truth on this one and, frankly, it feels like a desperate move by a company that has failed to win the competitive battle based on innovation.” The competitive battle is a reference to Amazon’s win over IBM for the CIA Cloud Program.
What Ben forgot to mention is that the SEC is investigating how IBM is reporting their Cloud Computing revenue. This stems from IBM having reported this past summer that they had a rise of 70% in cloud-related sales in the first half of 2013.
So is the IBM ad just another case of cloud-washing? Or are they finally the “Pepsi” to Amazon’s “Coke?” Either way I expect more battles ahead as Federal Departments like DISA, DHS, and DOC move forward with major cloud procurements this Fiscal year.