The Top 10 Enterprise Cloud Services Companies10:00 AM EST Tue. Apr. 16, 2013
Baird Technology Research has issued a list of the top 10 largest companies offering cloud-based services. Based on total reported revenues, and sometimes the estimated revenues after the companies are snapped up by larger corporations, the field of contenders is not necessarily a list of the players you would expect to find. The list is not limited to platform or infrastructure companies; it's about companies that leverage the cloud to deliver a variety of business-to-business services. Here's a look at the biggest cloud services companies in the business.
CEO: Larry Ellison, Oracle
Now a business unit of Oracle, Taleo is a cloud-based human resources application suite focused on a variety of features, including recruiting, on-boarding, performance management, succession planning, analytics, and compensation. Oracle has been trying hard to build a name for itself in the cloud, given the company's long-standing footprint in the world of traditional software. The acquisition is largely viewed as a counterweight to SAP's acquisition of SuccessFactors, which follows next in the countdown.
CEO: Lars Dalgaard
SAP bought SuccessFactors in December 2011 for $3.4 billion, adding cloud-based personnel-management applications to its portfolio. SuccessFactors focuses on a variety of HR-related functions, including payroll, collaboration, training, performance tracking, workforce analytics and recruiting, through cloud-based applications. The company's business execution software is intended to improve business alignment and performance while at the same time extending efficiencies through the use of the cloud. The industry is watching SAP and Oracle go head-to-head in this space.
CEO: Steven Singh
Concur Technologies provides SaaS-based solutions to support travel and expense management, including corporate travel booking, expense report automation, reimbursement, audit, business intelligence and corporate card integration. The company claims a user base of more than 5 million people. Last month, Concur acquired privately held conTgo, which adds a mobile communications and messaging platform to the value proposition. This technology is expected to be used to support location-based services to the Concur T&E Cloud.
CEO: Shantanu Narayen, Adobe
A business unit of Adobe, Omniture adds Web analytics, measurement and optimization technologies to Adobe's content creation tools. The net result is intended to increase profitability of digital media investments for advertisers, publishers and e-tailers. The offerings are now being sold as part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, providing a dashboard from which to assess a wide variety of data on customer marketing campaigns.
CEO: Robert Calderoni
Ariba, which was acquired last year by SAP as a means of strengthening the German vendor's position in the cloud-based world, leverages cloud-based collaborative commerce applications to support a Web-based trading community for enterprise-level commerce. Ariba claims that its network supports daily transactions of nearly $1.1 billion per day in more than 140 countries. The service line is aimed at increasing competitiveness and efficiencies in the midst of reduced inventories, reduced infrastructure, outsourced processes and extended supply chains. The acquisition is clearly part of a strategic move by SAP with respect to the cloud.
CEO: Jeff Weiner
LinkedIn is included on this list based on the fact that its service is built upon the company's own platform and powered by its own servers and other infrastructure. Although researchers concede that the company is not likely to offer cloud services in the usual sense, the emphasis upon leveraging the cloud architecture is the basis for LinkedIn's inclusion on the list. "They are an example of the company that can fit into the software-as-a-service or platform-as-a-service model," said Baird Technology Research analyst Colin Sebastian, in an interview with CRN.
CEO: Larry Page
According to Baird Technology Research analyst Colin Sebastian, cloud services such as Google Apps are "right up Google's alley." Online email, calendar and documents are seen as fitting nicely into the company's service portfolio, but it's also true that these efforts have attracted the attention of Microsoft, which has responded with its "Scroogled" marketing campaign, aimed at generating fear, uncertainty and doubt around the extent to which Google is looking over the shoulders of users and using the data for marketing purposes.
CEO: Tom Leighton
A long-time mover-and-shaker in the online video content business, the analyst group sees Akamai as a good example of a company that has driven it success through cloud-based services. But, the content services business can be tricky, especially as competitive upstarts have arrived on the scene with strategies based on cost cutting and margin reduction. Akamai has responded with a strategy that focuses on product innovation and an emphasis on identifying and satisfying unaddressed portions of the market. The company also promotes its environmental consciousness and has worked to reduce the power consumption of its data centers.
CEO: Jeff Bezos
Amazon Web Services continues to cut prices while at the same time accelerating product development, as a means of establishing a moat to protect itself against competing offers. By accelerating its efforts, the company also hopes to avoid time-to-market issues associated with falling into a reactionary mode in response to future developments in the industry overall. Profit margins are slender, but the company makes up for it through volume. Most recently, the company rolled out new technology to support the automatic upload of customer data to its storage service.
CEO: Marc Benioff
According to Baird Technology Research, Salesforce.com has legitimized the software-as-a-service market, which is having a major impact on traditional software companies at the same time that infrastructure as a service and platform as a service are posting gains. Analysts expect XaaS to bring about a significant disruption not just on a shifting of dollars but also on the reduction of overall tech spending, as the use of the cloud increases, offloading dollars that would otherwise be spent on customer premise equipment.