I read a headline today that Amazon took a CIA contract away from IBM. Hmmm. IBM, Amazon, Verizon, Savvis, AT&T and others are all fighting for the same contracts.
Meanwhile Savvis is rolling out new integrated solutions to go head-to-head against IBM and Verizon. I can't tell the specifics from the press release because it is filled with keywords and buzz terms that mean nothing.
Verizon is going against Amazon for IAAS (computing and storage power) with a story about reliability. Amazon has had some famous outages, but that isn't why companies use them. It's because it is easy, flexible, dynamic and cheap. Those words don't show up anywhere on Verizon stationary.
This space reminds me of the UC space that Cisco and Microsoft are fighting over. There are maybe 15,000 customers in that space. Have at it. Customer acquisition costs will be high. And sales will be like you work at Boeing where you get 20 minutes to pitch an airline to buy your planes - a sale that will make or break your company's year.
In my experience selling IAAS, most customers don't know what it is, what they are actually getting, and more importantly what they are not getting. It's computing power -- it's parts of a server that you piece together. I don't know how big that market is, but I am sure that IDC or Gartner guess that it is zillions of dollars by 2025.
What set UPS and IBM apart from many companies is managing logistics and professional services. Amazon is doing that today with distribution and marketplace services for many, many partners. Taking care of logistics, deployment, distribution and other nitty gritty is where the sale gets made.
It won't get made by talking about energy efficient AMD micro-servers or our new data center location or our new integrated solutions portfolio. It all comes down to UX (user experience). I haven't heard any of those stories yet.