Here's Who Made Gartner's 2016 Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant

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Strengths: CenturyLink has been emphasizing its API-accessible cloud vision, called Platform CenturyLink.

"It has built a solid platform for increasing CenturyLink's own agility and ability to deliver new service offerings," Gartner noted.

At the same time, the telecom is "increasingly signaling the desire to be platform-neutral." That plan includes the possibility of managing other providers' cloud services or a customer's on-premise infrastructure.

Cautions: CenturyLink's cloud might be capable and well-implemented, but it's evolving along a roadmap that "is not sufficiently aggressive for the pace of the market," Gartner noted.

CenturyLink Cloud falls into an awkward position where it's neither a market leader with a broad feature portfolio and abundant MSP partners, nor is it the kind of niche provider that specializes in specific applications or compliance requirements.

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