A recent IDC survey ranks IBM as the top IaaS cloud computing provider as measured by responses provided by over 400 companies and 1000 employees. IDC’s survey asked respondents which vendor is most capable of providing Infrastructure as a Service for public and private clouds. Survey results ranked Cisco second, HP third, AT&T fourth, Google fifth, Microsoft Azure sixth and Amazon Web Services seventh. Whereas IBM captured 35% of votes, Microsoft and Google claimed 16 percent and Amazon Web Services garnered 13%. According to IBM’s press release, factors used in IBM’s survey include cost, simplicity, provisioning speed and quality of service with respect to availability. Building on its July 2013 acquisition of the SoftLayer IaaS platform, Big Blue has launched a multitude of recent investments in its portfolio of cloud products and services including the IBM BlueMix Platform as a Service in February, the first BlueMix garage based in San Francisco’s Galvanize start-up community and the IBM Cloud Marketplace. While all available data suggests that IBM lags far behind Amazon Web Services in terms of IaaS cloud market share whether it be measured in revenue or installations, IDC’s recent survey underscores the positive perception had by IBM as a trusted provider of enterprise software and professional services. IDC’s report notes that “buyers selected IBM as their overall top preference among providers they believe can most effectively provision IaaS, whether private or public,”. Although the IDC report reinforces analyst concerns about the ability of vendors such as Amazon and Google to gain credibility amongst enterprise customers, its precise significance remains difficult to evaluate without more details regarding the 400 participants involved. What seems certain, however, is that IBM is progressively establishing its credibility with respect to cloud-based products and services and that its long history of collaboration with the open source community and developers, in conjunction with its infrastructure business, means that it will be a force to be reckoned with as the battle for cloud market share unfolds.
BMC Software today released the BMC Marketplace, a turnkey solution that enables customers to develop their own, external facing app store with a functionality comparable to the AWS marketplace. The BMC Marketplace is deployed as a SaaS solution that can manage everything from app branding, licensing protocols, custom-built app search taxonomies and monetization of mobile, desktop and other applications. Instead of building their own marketplace from scratch, interested parties can now leverage BMC’s Marketplace technology to set up a fully functional marketplace within 6-12 weeks. The BMC Marketplace differs from its AppZone product, which delivers internal facing apps for corporate users as a result of its acquisition of Partnerpedia.
Christine Dover, Research Director, Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce Research, IDC Software Business Solutions Group, remarked on the significance of BMC’s Marketplace as follows:
Customers and partners have been asking for faster, better ways to experience and deploy software. The answer clearly is the app – particularly mobile apps. BMC Marketplace will transform how businesses automate the publishing and purchasing of on-line applications, drive and track sales leads, and increase sales velocity and efficiency.
The 6-12 week deployment phase begins with BMC’s requirements gathering of customer needs and expectations followed by the set-up of branding and site appearance, before the final phase marked by go-live of business processes and the integration of apps into the marketplace. BMC’s Marketplace additionally offers customers data and analytics on app usage, details of specific app components on which users clicked and data about how users navigated to the app. As mentioned in the company’s press release, Gartner predicts that 25% of large companies will create their own app store by 2017. Expect BMC to build upon its early positioning in the turnkey, app marketplace space while analogous app marketplaces proliferate because of the potential for marketplaces to accelerate customer ability to experience software applications.