In the latest sign that the cloud services market is maturing, major technology companies are aligning with "preferred" cloud services providers (CSPs). Two examples from this week: Microsoft Azure is now Citrix Systems' preferred public cloud. And Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Salesforce.com's preferred choice.
The big question: Should MSPs and VARs also align with a preferred CSP -- basically betting the house on a single vendor's cloud infrastructure? In some ways that trend has already started. Aldridge, a fast-growing MSP in Texas, leveraged M&A to launch a Microsoft-centric cloud business in Seattle. And within our own business, our IT consulting partner has a 'preferred' CSP for managed Wordpress sites.
Still, I think it's unusual for massive companies -- names like Citrix and Salesforce -- to essentially say they've got a preferred cloud provider for infrastructure services. Generally speaking, ISVs tend to support both Amazon Web Services and Azure, the way PC application writers often embraced Windows and Mac OS. Google Cloud Platform also is part of the conversation for many ISVs.
Going forward: I wonder if more tech and business giants will publicly 'endorse' a specific cloud provider as their preferred platform. And I'll wonder, behind the scenes, what special perks and incentives were involved...