Salesforce.com has fought off competition from Amazon, Google and Microsoft to top a list of the world's top 100 cloud service providers (CSPs).
Carried out by Nine Lives Media, the Talkin' Cloud 100 report ranked cloud service providers based on several factors, including their cloud revenue last year, cloud revenue growth, revenue per employee and type of cloud services offered.
The top 100 CSPs generated $15.7bn (£10bn) in combined cloud services sales in 2012, a 37 per cent rise on last year, with six firms generating sales of more than $1bn from the fluffy form of IT.
Cloud CRM specialist Salesforce.com topped the standings after growing revenue 35 per cent to $3bn last year.
Infrastructure-as-a-service kingpin Amazon Web Services, which analysts estimate is also now a multibillion-dollar outfit despite Amazon's refusal to disclose its numbers, ranked second.
Microsoft, whose Office 365 cloud productivity suite now has an annual revenue runrate of more than $1.5bn according to the report, finished third, with Oracle and Google rounding out the top five. SAP, recent IBM acquisition SoftLayer, Verizon-owned Terremark, Rackspace and NetSuite completed the top 10.
Backup/disaster recovery was the most prevalent area of specialisation among the top 100, with 76.9 per cent working in this field. Cloud storage, email and email security were the next most common fields of specialisation.
The research considered a diverse range of CSPs, as well as cloud brokerages, aggregators, MSP and VARs. Didata, Logicalis and Ingram Micro were among the big channel names to place in the standings.
Amy Katz, president of Nine Lives Media, said: "Our research shows that the cloud ecosystem is thriving, growing and rewarding a range of companies from various channel backgrounds – including pure CSPs, brokers, aggregators, VARs and MSPs."
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