August 5, 2015

The Four Musketeers: Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft

CIO Strategy Exchange, New York, 2013

This CIOSE Report explores the next computing frontier through the lens of four companies that provide mainstream mobile and cloud capabilities as well as content: Microsoft, Apple, AWS and Google. Can these giants provide enterprises with robust rules of engagement in sales and support? The table below quick-frames a few indicators.

Comparable Growth Trajectories
Amazon and Google are true phenomena, having achieved revenues almost on par with Apple and Microsoft – in half the time. Their successes were built entirely on the consumer market rather than enterprise IT. Microsoft looks a little blue around the fingernails since the Windows 8 debacle. Will it survive the current seismic shift in technologies? Apple has shone with incredible brilliance — but only in one decade and because of two devices. Can it generate another transformational gadget? That said, our focus remains on enterprise sales and support. So we contacted seniorities at all four companies, explaining that our goal was to understand how CIOSE members could establish more businesslike relationships and emphasizing that, unlike the press, we had no interest in gleaning forward product announcements. Then we raised company-specific questions on service breadth, direct sales, user support, professional services, and planning assistance for enterprises. Case studies on Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple follow – in that sequence.