Beancounters at Canalys said that Google Cloud was the fastest growing cloud infrastructure provider in 2018, besting market leaders Amazon and Microsoft.
The latest data from the market watcher indicated that Google had grown its global infrastructure services 90 percent year on year, as well as growing its market share from six per cent in 2017 to eight percent in 2018.
AWS holds 32 percent of the market, followed by Azure with 17 percent, Google in third and Alibaba holding four percent.
Spending on cloud infrastructure services topped $80 billion last year and Canalys expects this figure to hit $143 billion in 2020.
Canalys said that the channel was responsible for around 30 percent of the $80 billion spent on cloud infrastructure services last year.
Canalys chief analyst Alastair Edwards said that AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba Cloud are all increasing channel investment to raise their profiles, as competition for enterprise customers increases and workload cloud migration diversifies.
“The channel will play a vital role for the cloud service providers, in terms of boosting their customer reach, from both a sales and technical perspective. But each of the cloud service provider titans’ current partner reach, engagement and programme maturity differs, with Google Cloud trailing both AWS and Azure in all areas. Alibaba Cloud is further back, though it too is investing in the channel as part of its international push.”
The top three providers represented 65 percent of the channel’s total cloud infrastructure services business last year, the research house estimated, noting that Microsoft is considered the most important.
Microsoft manages one of the largest channel ecosystems in the technology sector and its cloud solution provider programme is the most mature among the cloud titans. About 74 percent of revenue from Azure is estimated to come via its partners, which is by far the highest percentage in the sector.
” AWS’ channel business accounts for around 15 percent, though its reach is growing rapidly, AWS having recruited over 35,000 partners to date, with hundreds a month wanting to join its partner programme.”
Despite being the fastest-growing cloud vendor last year, Google Cloud’s channel business accounts for just over a quarter of its $7 billion cloud infrastructure revenue.
Alex Smith, senior director of channels at Canalys, stated: “In spite of Google Cloud’s rapid growth, its channel reach is relatively small, though it is trying a differentiated approach by being more focused on specific applications and verticals.
“An estimated 13,000 partners have joined its partner programme, of which just over 100 have achieved the highest-tier Premier Partner status, while less than a third of those have achieved a Specialisation Partner designation.
“Google Cloud’s new leadership brings experience of working with the largest enterprise customers, but it has not captured the broader channel where AWS and Microsoft are being more proactive.”