The latest Gartner cloud infrastructure Magic Quadrant was released Friday, again reminding anyone who might have forgotten that Amazon Web Services still dominates the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market. That superior market position is also driving the success of many Amazon channel partners, including one Premier Consulting Partner that got a shout-out in the prestigious report.
Matt Gerber, executive vice president of sales and marketing at 2nd Watch, said his company’s mention by Gartner as an AWS MSP with a cloud-native approach was another sign of the spectacular growth of the business over the last year.
“We’re obviously thrilled because it’s the first time we’ve been cited in a Magic Quadrant report,” Gerber told CRN.
AWS was off alone in the heights of Gartner’s Leader quadrant, where cloud service vendors rated high as far as their "completeness of vision" and their "ability to execute" get to camp out. The only other vendor in that quadrant was Microsoft.
A section of the report evaluated AWS strengths, including an extensive network of partners that can assist enterprises in adopting the platform. That’s where Gartner’s analysts mentioned 2nd Watch, as well as Datapipe, as partners that provide application development and managed services expertise to the end user.
2nd Watch being cited in that context shouldn’t be a surprise in light of the company’s phenomenal recent growth. In the first fiscal quarter, 2nd Watch increased its bookings by 400 percent compared with the same quarter of the previous year.
The growth has been due to “a tremendous interest swing from enterprise-level customers” over the past year, Gerber told CRN.
“When you look at what that’s meant to us as a business, a year ago it would have been a struggle to name one enterprise customer. Currently we have 17 enterprise customers, and another 53 that we’re in dialog with” about AWS, he said.
“When you look at that as a barometer for change, it’s a pretty strong indicator that you’re starting to see some very significant enterprise interest and adoption,” Gerber said about both cloud services in general, and AWS specifically.
The managed service provider helps customers move workloads to Amazon’s cloud and into its own platform running on top of AWS. Gerber told CRN that based on his customers, he sees the market falling into three types of consumers:
There are conservative, cautious businesses that like to test drive certain cloud services, dip their toes in the pool before diving in.
“They might peel off a single workload,” Gerber said, usually one that poses a problem and needs to be executed in a different environment. For those consumers, the promise of flexibility and agility in the cloud trumps any consideration of cost.
Then there are what Gerber describes as “market-driven” customers.
“They are peeling off all their customer-facing workloads— that is websites, pricing applications, ordering applications—to speed up spooling and provisioning websites."
“In that market-driven bucket, they’re more concerned about agility and flexibility than price,” he added.
Most potential customers that fall into that category have already overcome security concerns, which used to be the biggest obstacle, Gerber said.
Finally, there’s the “all in” category of customers, like one Japanese conglomerate that’s shutting down two data centers next month and moving their entire set of workloads into AWS.
Companies like that think of their cloud usage in a multiyear road map, and for that reason are expense-conscious, carefully considering long-term costs associated with the migration, Gerber said.
Selling managed cloud services and platforms running on top of AWS to all these types of businesses has changed tremendously, Gerber told CRN, both in getting them to consider the cloud, and then convincing them AWS is enterprise grade. A year ago both conversations usually were necessary before a sale was closed, now neither really happens anymore.
“In the last four or five months, we haven’t needed to have a discussion around is AWS an enterprise-capable platform,” Gerber said.
PUBLISHED MAY 30, 2014