IBM’s attempts to make inroads into the booming blockchain ecosystem, which has seen them plough millions of dollars into various projects in the space, received something of a blow this week. Microsoft was ranked as the top Blockchain-as-a-Service provider by researcher ABI – news that will surely sting for IBM executives.
Despite signing partnership agreements with the likes of Maersk, Stellar, Visa, and AAIS, Microsoft took the crown, this is in spite of IBM being “marginally ahead in terms of innovation”.
Eleven vendors were looked at for the assessment, including Amazon, Baidu, Cisco, and Oracle, among other high-profile IT names. According to ABI, each vendor was analyzed on a number of metrics, such as market penetration, proof of concepts and pilots, platform diversity, developer resources, and integration with their own solutions.
IBM may have garnered some of the biggest headlines in terms of their blockchain work, but Microsoft has been in the blockchain game since 2015. It currently hosts a number of services on its Azure cloud computing platform, the most notable being Azure Blockchain Workbench.
A League of Their Own
ABI Research Director Michela Menting summarized the report and its findings, revealing that IBM and Microsoft are both a league ahead of other vendors in terms of their BaaS offerings:
Microsoft and IBM are capitalizing on the numerous proof-of-concepts and pilots that have been tested on their platforms in the last two years, the first of which are already being commercialized. While IBM has some of the more advanced pilots to date, Microsoft leads on the implementation front, with a broad range of platform choices and deep integration with its existing cloud services.
With blockchain still being a relatively young technology, it will be interesting to see if some of the later entrants make up the ground over the coming year, or if IBM and Microsoft continue to lead the way.