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Microsoft Mad that AWS Got NSA Contract, Forbes Unveils Cloud 100 List

Plus, ServiceNow, Ingram Micro Cloud and Virtana all have channel-centric announcements. Get the scoop.

Kelly Teal

August 11, 2021

6 Min Read
Cloud contract
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If you’re looking for the week’s latest cloud computing news, look no further. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft once more are facing off over a federal contract — one that almost no one knew about. Plus, Forbes has released its sixth Cloud 100 list. Many names will strike channel partners as familiar, while others will not. Along the way, ServiceNow, Ingram Micro Cloud and Virtana each have made announcements that partners will want to know. Get the scoop in this roundup.

AWS, Microsoft Once Again at Odds

The world’s two largest public cloud providers are once again at odds.

A number of news outlets are reporting that Microsoft is contesting Amazon Web Services’ win of a secret $10 billion cloud computing deal with the National Security Agency. Microsoft says the NSA did not conduct a proper evaluation; if that had happened, Microsoft says, it would have landed the contract.

Sounds familiar, right? AWS made the same claims about the Defense Department’s now-scrapped Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project, which had gone to Microsoft. The rounds of AWS-initiated court battles eventually brought JEDI to its knees. (However, FedScoop notes that the DoD plans to launch a “cloud marketplace” approach for its next take on JEDI, now called Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability. The hyperscalers will get initial priority. After that, though, the contract will open up to smaller companies, including integrators and cloud service providers. That’s great news for the channel.)

Nextgov now reports that Microsoft filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office late last month.

“We are exercising our legal rights and will do so carefully and responsibly,” the company said in a widely circulated statement.

The GAO is expected to issue an opinion by Oct. 29.

Stripe, Databricks Lead Forbes’ Sixth Cloud 100 Ranking

Forbes has unveiled its latest Cloud 100 list. For the sixth year in a row, the publication has ranked the top 100 private cloud companies in the world. Its criteria include growth, sales, valuation and culture.

All told, the firms hold a combined market value of $514 billion. That’s nearly double last year’s total, and one vendor, Stripe, accounts for almost one-fifth of that amount. Forbes, with the help of Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures, calculated the online payments processor’s value at $95 billion. Databricks came in second at $28 billion. Forbes said that valuation would place the data warehousing provider halfway down the S&P 500 if it were public.

In terms of leadership, women run only six of the vendors on the Cloud 100 list.

The top 10 companies on the Cloud 100 are:

  1. Stripe

  2. Databricks

  3. Canva

  4. HashiCorp

  5. Toast

  6. Plaid

  7. Figma

  8. ServiceTitan

  9. com

  10. Freshworks

Find the complete Forbes Cloud 100 here.

ServiceNow Snaps Up Mapwize for Hybrid Work

As hybrid work becomes a more widespread trend, ServiceNow is buying France-based Mapwize.

Mapwize, founded in 2014, specializes in indoor mapping and wayfinding. ServiceNow wants those capabilities so users may reserve seats, conference rooms, workspaces and more. They’ll be able to navigate all that from their desktop computers or mobile devices.

ServiceNow says this all is critical to making hybrid work function smoothly. The company sees indoor navigation as a “natural step” as it helps organizations operate in new and faster ways. Mapwize will come in handy because, presumably, fewer employees will know …

… the layout when they do come in to the office.

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ServiceNow’s Blake McConnell

“In the new world of hybrid work, the role of workplace services has never been more critical in creating great employee experiences,” said Blake McConnell, senior vice president of employee workflows at ServiceNow. “With Mapwize, ServiceNow will power the future of employee experiences by making it easier for people to navigate their work environment and … remain productive.”

ServiceNow will build MapWize’s technology into the Now Platform and the Workplace Service Delivery Suite. It will complement ServiceNow’s Workplace Service Delivery tool, as well as Workplace Space Mapping, Workplace Reservation Management, Workplace Space Management, Workplace Visitor Management, Case and Knowledge Management and the Safe Workplace Suite.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

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Mapwize’s Médéric Morel

“Our technology, paired with the Now Platform and Workplace Service Delivery Suite, will remove the stress and time of navigating the workplace, allowing employees to stay agile and efficient in any environment, on any device,” said Médéric Morel, CEO and co‑founder of Mapwize.

ServiceNow did not disclose the deal’s financial terms.

To be sure, vendors throughout the channel space have been busy releasing new tools to support hybrid work. Among them, to name just a few: Cisco, 8×8, Microsoft and Zoom.

Ingram Micro Cloud, Virtana Announce AWS News

Two AWS partners this week announced milestones with the world’s No. 1 cloud vendor.

First, Ingram Micro Cloud says its team has earned a collective 200 AWS Certifications. That means the vendor continues to prove its cloud acumen, and support its resellers with the latest capabilities.

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Ingram Micro’s Duncan Robinson

“Building the best cloud infrastructure requires deep technical knowledge and experience, and our team of experts globally are constantly honing their skills and staying on top of new disciplines in the sector,” said Duncan Robinson, vice president of portfolio management at Ingram Micro Cloud.

The achievement comes about six months after Ingram Micro Cloud inked its Strategic Collaboration Agreement with AWS. That contract calls for Ingram Micro Cloud to accelerate the growth and footprint of its AWS practice. Part of doing that entails internal personnel obtaining more certifications.

Ingram Micro Cloud works with about 1,000 AWS partners.

Next up, Virtana. The company – whose technology monitors hybrid cloud infrastructure for cost, performance, capacity and more – has added the SaaS product to the AWS Marketplace.

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Virtana’s Kash Shaikh

Virtana built the platform on AWS. System integrators now may access it through the AWS Marketplace.

“The combination of AWS best practices and our deep observability and insights are leading to stronger migration methodologies, reductions in cloud expenses, and acceleration of a more powerful digital transformation for our Global 2000 customers,” said Kash Shaikh, president and CEO of Virtana.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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