On Cloud Nine

  Microsoft aggressively selling Azure and Office 365 helped it gain channel mindshare and be the topper in this newly introduced segment

Microsoft is the darling of the channel in terms of its training and certification programs for channel partners, the presence of online partner portal & its effectiveness as well as its price vs. performance ratio. With Microsoft aggressively selling Azure and Office 365, the endorsements from the channel partners and system integrators will be sounding sweet to the ears of the vendors.Going with the demands of the times, cloud computing has been introduced this year in the Channel Satisfaction Survey. While Microsoft has been ranked #1 by the system integrators in the first year, this is one category which has seen the domination of the likes of Google and Amazon Web Services over the traditional IT players.

However, on the flip side, Microsoft is lagging behind competitors in availability and competence of account managers (a common complaint against Microsoft especially in remote locations). As a corollary, there is often a lack of technical expertise on behalf of Microsoft to resolve problems as well as a lack of effectiveness with which it manages disruption due to its change in personnel.

Google has been aggressively penetrating the Indian market thanks to its marketing campaigns across the country in both metros and Tier 2 cities. No wonder, its online origin has given Google a strong foothold in the online support categories, with partners endorsing its richness of online resources offered, the highly interactive site for resolving queries making a user-friendly product.

Google however needs to pull up its sock in the commercial support parameters to keep the channel partners happy in the long term. Especially, the areas where Google needs to improve are how it offers back-end incentives and their settlement, the promptness with which it communicates its schemes/incentive programs and its reward systems.

While Amazon too like Google has a strong online portal which partners feel is very effective, many system integrators going for AWS are enamored by its flexibility in conducting localized promotions, its allocation of funds for marketing (co-op funding). There are reservations though about its credit policies, back-end incentives and their settlements and lack of dedicated personnel for maintaining relationship.

 

Cloud Computing: Place of Pride
BrandsRank (2014)Rank (2013)Difference in Rank
Microsoft100
Google200
Amazon300
Oracle400

 

cloud Computing

Swot Analysis of Winner Trio

Microsoft

 Strengths

  • Training and certification programs for channel partners
  • Presence of Online Partner Portal & its effectiveness
  • Price vs. performance ratio

 Weaknesses

  • Less availability and competence of Account Managers
  • Lack of Technical Expertise of the vendor to resolve problems
  • Less effectiveness with which vendor manages disruption due to its change in personnel

Google

Strengths

  • Richness of online resources offered
  • Interactive site for resolving queries
  • User-friendliness of the product

Weaknesses

  • Delayed back-end incentives and its settlement
  • Lack of promptness with which the schemes/incentive programs are communicated
  • Less reward systems

Amazon

Strengths

  • Flexibility in conducting localized promotions
  • Allocation of funds for marketing (co-op funding)
  • Presence of Online Partner Portal & its effectiveness

Weaknesses

  • Needs robust credit policy
  • Delayed back-end incentives and its settlement
  • Less dedicated personnel for maintaining relationship

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