Might Apple Take On AWS, Azure and Google in Cloud?

By | Managed Services News

May 13

Speculation is rampant that Apple could be the next big public cloud provider.

This early-in-the-week cloud news roundup highlights a range of activity. First, the question of a possible leap into the cloud game by one of Silicon Valley’s most vaunted companies. Then, a partnership featuring a Google Cloud-only MSP. We wrap with highlights from a China-based cloud computing vendor.

Apple Getting Into the Cloud Game?

Is Apple preparing to launch a cloud computing platform to go up against AWS, Azure and Google?

That’s the question posed over at tech site Protocol, which spotted a recent trend: Apple has hired several software engineers known for their expertise in containers and Kubernetes. Plus, the company has posted dozens of cloud-centric jobs over the past few months, as well as this week.

The new hires of note include Michael Crosby, who used to be at Docker and has proven integral to container development; Arun Gupta, who came from AWS and now leads Apple’s open-source efforts as senior engineering manager; Maksym Pavlenko, also from AWS, who now works as a software development engineer; and Francesc Campoy, from Google, who is working on Apple’s Kubernetes efforts as engineer manager – developer experience.

Apple may just be interested in supporting its applications and other services through its own private cloud platform, rather than continuing to use AWS and Azure. Or, it could be gearing up to compete for its share of world’s lucrative cloud revenue. And if so, that sounds like more opportunity for the channel.

Maven Wave Adds Snowflake’s Data Analytics to Portfolio

Managed service provider Maven Wave and cloud data warehousing vendor Snowflake have joined forces.

Todd Truesdell is managing director, data analytics at Maven Wave.

Maven Wave's Todd Truesdell

Maven Wave’s Todd Truesdell

“We view Snowflake as one of the go-to platforms for cloud data analytics,” said Truesdell.

The deal, of course, adds another revenue stream for Maven Wave. But the bigger picture is that teaming with Snowflake helps Maven Wave customers avoid cloud vendor lock-in, Truesdell told Channel Futures.

“Snowflake technology offers clients an alternative to the native cloud data analytics platform that the three major clouds provide,” Truesdell said.

Because Snowflake runs on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud (as of February), enterprises can reduce reliance on a single vendor, Truesdell said.

There’s more to the partnership as well.

“We also see ‘data exchanges’ having significant growth as more companies share their data with their other business partners,” Truesdell said. “Snowflake is on the forefront of this with its data exchange, which offers clients a mechanism for monetizing on their data with other business partners, suppliers and so on.”

Maven Wave says it’s the first Google Cloud partner to launch such a partnership with Snowflake. The MSP’s clients will get access to Snowflake’s training and support, as well as a certification program.

Katie Ecklund is director of SI partnerships, Americas at Snowflake.

“It’s the perfect fit, given Maven Wave’s deep expertise in Google Cloud and data analytics,” said Ecklund. “This partnership will elevate their ability to help enterprises realize the true value of their data.”

For its part, Snowflake achieved general availability on Google Cloud in February after months of initial legwork; that pairing combines Snowflake’s platform with Google Cloud’s AI, machine learning and analytics capabilities, the companies said. Snowflake already worked with AWS and Microsoft Azure. The company serves more than 3,000 users worldwide, including eight of the top 10 Fortune 500 firms.

Tencent Cloud Eyes Expansion in Japan

Tencent Cloud, part of China’s internet services behemoth Tencent holdings, aims to triple its sales in Japan this year, according to a Japan Times report.

This could bode well for the channel; Tencent distributes through resellers, consultants, developers and service providers.

Tencent has targeted Japan since last year but now wants to broaden its focus beyond gaming enterprises.

“We want to develop together in the fields where Japan leads the world, including games, cars and medical services,” Zhao Jiannan, managing director of Tencent Cloud for Northeast Asia, told Japan Times.

Such a strategy will more directly pit Tencent against AWS, Azure and Google. Indeed, recent statistics from Synergy Research Group show Tencent gaining significant traction in the cloud computing market. This may put more pressure on the vendors while also giving channel partners more options.

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