Clouds need the channel more than ever: Canalys

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Clouds need the channel more than ever: Canalys

The channel is becoming a new catalyst for the continued growth of major cloud providers as customers start to adopt multi-cloud and hybrid IT environments.

Research from Canalys reveals that cloud providers are “reaching a critical point” in their growth strategies amid the popularity of multi-cloud and hybrid IT models, with some either exploring application-specific functionality or investing in more than one provider to spread risk.

“This balancing creates a huge demand for channel partners to provide consulting, migration, integration and management services across multiple platforms,” Canalys research analyst Daniel Liu said.

“The channel is becoming a new catalyst for continued growth for hyperscale cloud service providers, particularly as competition intensifies.”

Canalys cited the recent contract win by Azure over AWS with the US Defense Department’s JEDI cloud contract as one of many instances of spreading risk.

Canalys chief analyst Alastair Edwards added that success will “increasingly be defined” by technology alliances, as well as developing relationships with key channel categories.

“Microsoft has built new partnerships with Oracle, VMware and most recently SAP, which gives it greater credibility with enterprises as core applications are migrated to the cloud,” Edwards said.

Canalys also released numbers for Q3, showing that AWS remains the dominant cloud infrastructure provider globally, but competitors Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are growing faster and taking away more market share.

AWS’s growth rate for the period slowed to 35 percent, while Azure and Google Cloud grew 59 percent and 69 percent respectively. The overall cloud infrastructure services market for the period also grew 37 percent.

AWS also saw its market share slip to below 33 percent, with Azure rising to 16.9 percent and Google Cloud rising to 6.9 percent.

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