Should enterprise vendors consider becoming service providers? When Rich Rogers of HDS tweeted this my initial response was: @RichRogersHDS Imagine a bookseller building an IT infrastructure that the world comes to rely on? Couldn't happen... — Martin Glassborow (@storagebod) June 22, 2013 This got me thinking. Why does …
"If enterprise vendors move into the service provider space, they compete with some of their largest customers" - what has any of this got to do with a book seller building an IT infrastructure?
If the said booksellers only customers were people buying books from them to resell then it might make some sense but otherwise?
Agreed, AWS isn't a good example. If anything it's the opposite, a customer potentially competing with its IT suppliers. What Amazon should have done, of course, is outsourced its IT to a real service provider and concentrated on the day job, selling books.
Yes, I didn't follow that logic either.... Amazon launching a publishing company or a transportation/logistics company would be more apropos. Amazon launching an IT infrastructure company didn't put them in competition with any of their existing customers.
A more analogous hypothetical situation would be that new low cost airline providers come into the market and decided to start building their own planes on the cheap and cutting Boeing out of the air transportation business... so Boeing then decides to start an airline to compete with them. Google and Amazon do not have any EMC in their data centers, but they are attempting to move people who are using EMC, and other enterprise systems, to their white box, DIY infrastructures.
Or maybe a Computer Producer taking over the entire worlds music retailing....
Pffft, that would never happ....wait a second!!
Cloud providers are not enterprise vendors' customers
Amazon, Google and other clouds don't use enterprise gear. They build their own infrastructure from commodity hardware and tweaked open source software, eschewing all the proprietary crud enterprise vendors add to build lock-in.
Dell is a better example
The AWS reference has some relevance but I think a better example is Dell. Dell resold storage equipment from EMC and others and networking equipment from various vendors including Cisco but they decided to acquire the ability to make their own label equipment to go into those spaces and in effect started to compete with their vendors (or so called partners). Now EMC and Cisco compete pretty much against Dell and this is likely to only become a more common situation.
Service providers don't really care about much other than cost. They sell features and capabilities but they are extremely cost focused and in the cloud world where the services provided are abstracted behind APIs the underlying hardware becomes less and less relevant including the expensive software enhancements that vendors provide that also helps the vendor's margins. It is a bit analogous more with the Auto companies in that they really don't care what brand fuel you use and as a result the only real differentiator is their cost and convenience.
Storage companies that don't look to own the data interface layers are ceding control of their future to their competitors and partners which is a good way to find yourself out of business.
Um.... Boeing did run an airline
And it was quite profitable too.
Boeing was forced to divest itself of the airline business in the 1930s as an anti-monopoly measure. Something to do with selling themselves aircraft at higher rates then they sold to 3rd parties.
Bound to happen and is happening...no surprises or shocks there...
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