IBM Takes Aim at Amazon in New Marketing Campaign

IBM Takes Aim at Amazon in New Marketing Campaign

IBM has thrown down the gauntlet (again). The company is taking particular aim at Amazon Web Services with a new marketing and advertising campaign meant to turn AWS customers over to IBM's cloud services.

It didn't take long for IBM (IBM) to take another shot at Amazon (AMZN) Web Services (AWS). Big Blue only recently ceded the disputed CIA cloud contract to its competitor, but now an aggressive advertising and marketing campaign is aiming to position IBM as a serious competitor to AWS.

IBM will be running a print and online campaign against AWS, showing how it serves 24 of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies and noting it hosts 30 percent more top websites than any other hosting provider in the world.

Here's a snippet from the new campaign:

"IBM supports 270,000 more Web sites more than our nearest competitor. The fact is that leading companies want to partner with a reliable and secure company with technology built on open standards. IBM, with over a century of driving innovative solutions, protects our clients' investments and supports their growth through open cloud computing models, while managing mission critical applications in a secure and scalable cloud environment."

The data IBM based its figures on is based more on SoftLayer numbers than on its own figures, so the indication seems to be that Big Blue bought itself into a leading position. That may not be too much of a stretch, of course. IBM recently announced the end of SmartCloud in favor of supporting and transitioning customers over to SoftLayer architecture.

In an email to Talkin' Cloud, IBM's representatives also noted the company is "winning the war in cloud." An interesting claim, particularly in the federal space, but how well it fares would really depend on the market area. It's hard to argue Amazon's hold in the public cloud space in general.

IBM is positioning the war as a battle between open source OpenStack and Amazon's proprietary cloud infrastructure. Of course, that's IBM's old cloud model. SoftLayer, which IBM has been pushing as the new foundation for its cloud, has been involved in OpenStack since the beginning, but its support for the open source cloud platform is fairly light. Big Blue plans to transition SoftLayer completely over to OpenStack in the next six to 12 months, and that move will put the company in a much stronger position in the OpenStack world.

That's not to say IBM hasn't had its share of wins in the cloud space, but Big Blue may be facing an uphill battle when it comes to AWS. IBM's cloud revenue to date (not counting the SoftLayer acquisition) has been questionable, and IBM even found itself under SEC investigation this past summer for the way it reports cloud revenue.

IBM has had strong words in the past for what is one of its biggest competitors. Even if the company is correct in its criticisms, it has a long way to go before it can really give AWS a run for its money on all battlefields. SoftLayer might be the cornerstone in the foundation IBM needs to really step up its competition, and the marketing campaign is just the beginning.

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