This Page

has been moved to new address

Amazon is Overlooking the Fiancial Value of eDiscovery

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
----------------------------------------------------- Blogger Template Style Name: Snapshot: Madder Designer: Dave Shea URL: mezzoblue.com / brightcreative.com Date: 27 Feb 2004 ------------------------------------------------------ */ /* -- basic html elements -- */ body {padding: 0; margin: 0; font: 75% Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: #474B4E; background: #fff; text-align: center;} a {color: #DD6599; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none;} a:visited {color: #D6A0B6;} a:hover {text-decoration: underline; color: #FD0570;} h1 {margin: 0; color: #7B8186; font-size: 1.5em; text-transform: lowercase;} h1 a {color: #7B8186;} h2, #comments h4 {font-size: 1em; margin: 2em 0 0 0; color: #7B8186; background: transparent url(http://www.blogblog.com/snapshot/bg-header1.gif) bottom right no-repeat; padding-bottom: 2px;} @media all { h3 { font-size: 1em; margin: 2em 0 0 0; background: transparent url(http://www.blogblog.com/snapshot/bg-header1.gif) bottom right no-repeat; padding-bottom: 2px; } } @media handheld { h3 { background:none; } } h4, h5 {font-size: 0.9em; text-transform: lowercase; letter-spacing: 2px;} h5 {color: #7B8186;} h6 {font-size: 0.8em; text-transform: uppercase; letter-spacing: 2px;} p {margin: 0 0 1em 0;} img, form {border: 0; margin: 0;} /* -- layout -- */ @media all { #content { width: 700px; margin: 0 auto; text-align: left; background: #fff url(http://www.blogblog.com/snapshot/bg-body.gif) 0 0 repeat-y;} } #header { background: #D8DADC url(http://www.blogblog.com/snapshot/bg-headerdiv.gif) 0 0 repeat-y; } #header div { background: transparent url(http://www.blogblog.com/snapshot/header-01.gif) bottom left no-repeat; } #main { line-height: 1.4; float: left; padding: 10px 12px; border-top: solid 1px #fff; width: 428px; /* Tantek hack - http://www.tantek.com/CSS/Examples/boxmodelhack.html */ voice-family: "\"}\""; voice-family: inherit; width: 404px; } } @media handheld { #content { width: 90%; } #header { background: #D8DADC; } #header div { background: none; } #main { float: none; width: 100%; } } /* IE5 hack */ #main {} @media all { #sidebar { margin-left: 428px; border-top: solid 1px #fff; padding: 4px 0 0 7px; background: #fff url(http://www.blogblog.com/snapshot/bg-sidebar.gif) 1px 0 no-repeat; } #footer { clear: both; background: #E9EAEB url(http://www.blogblog.com/snapshot/bg-footer.gif) bottom left no-repeat; border-top: solid 1px #fff; } } @media handheld { #sidebar { margin: 0 0 0 0; background: #fff; } #footer { background: #E9EAEB; } } /* -- header style -- */ #header h1 {padding: 12px 0 92px 4px; width: 557px; line-height: 1;} /* -- content area style -- */ #main {line-height: 1.4;} h3.post-title {font-size: 1.2em; margin-bottom: 0;} h3.post-title a {color: #C4663B;} .post {clear: both; margin-bottom: 4em;} .post-footer em {color: #B4BABE; font-style: normal; float: left;} .post-footer .comment-link {float: right;} #main img {border: solid 1px #E3E4E4; padding: 2px; background: #fff;} .deleted-comment {font-style:italic;color:gray;} /* -- sidebar style -- */ @media all { #sidebar #description { border: solid 1px #F3B89D; padding: 10px 17px; color: #C4663B; background: #FFD1BC url(http://www.blogblog.com/snapshot/bg-profile.gif); font-size: 1.2em; font-weight: bold; line-height: 0.9; margin: 0 0 0 -6px; } } @media handheld { #sidebar #description { background: #FFD1BC; } } #sidebar h2 {font-size: 1.3em; margin: 1.3em 0 0.5em 0;} #sidebar dl {margin: 0 0 10px 0;} #sidebar ul {list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0;} #sidebar li {padding-bottom: 5px; line-height: 0.9;} #profile-container {color: #7B8186;} #profile-container img {border: solid 1px #7C78B5; padding: 4px 4px 8px 4px; margin: 0 10px 1em 0; float: left;} .archive-list {margin-bottom: 2em;} #powered-by {margin: 10px auto 20px auto;} /* -- sidebar style -- */ #footer p {margin: 0; padding: 12px 8px; font-size: 0.9em;} #footer hr {display: none;} /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { }

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Amazon is Overlooking the Fiancial Value of eDiscovery

On April 4, 2012, Dick Harris posted a really interested article on Gigacom.com titled "How the cloud could boost Amazon’s slow-moving margins".  Mr. Harris quoted an analyst from Morgan Stanley who indicated that Amazon’s cloud computing division could be a shining star (even if not too bright) on the company’s long road toward increased profit margins. However, while their forecast isn’t glowing, it also doesn’t account for the evolution of Amazon’s cloud business from pure infrastructure-as-a-service into higher-level (and higher-margin) services.  He went on to state that in the new research report published Monday morning, analysts Scott Devitt, Andrew Ruud and Nishant Verma come to a possibly disconcerting conclusion for any investors banking on Amazon for short-term returns. The report’s gist: “After analyzing Amazon.com’s cost structure in detail and by segment, we conclude that there are far more variable costs than investors believe, leading to an overly optimistic timeline for margin expansion.” But Amazon Web Services is an opportunity Amazon might be able to exploit.

The report estimates that AWS was responsible for $1.19 billion in revenue in 2011 (I predicted in October the business was on a billion-dollar run rate), of which $108 million (or about 9 percent) was sheer profit. It’s able to maintain this margin while constantly dropping prices on its cloud services, the report contends, because AWS uses a cost-plus pricing model. That is, it just adds a premium (about 10 percent) on top of the cost of delivering those services, which continue to drop as Amazon leverages its economies of scale to buy and operate more gear and bandwidth at lower prices.

I found all of this to be very encouraging for Amazon stockholders and the cloud computing industry. However, what really caught my eye was Mr. Harris's contention that AWS margins actually could start rising as the company expands its services beyond sheer infrastructure and into managed services.  He indicated that Its NoSQL DynamoDB database service, for example, is a service for which Amazon adds value (and cost) beyond just the delivery of cloud-based infrastructure, and there are lingering rumors of a big data analytics service that will provide higher-level services than AWS’s existing Elastic MapReduce offering. 

For those of you who read my Blog, I have been contending for that past 6 months that Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) such as Amazaon are missing a very key competitive advantage by not offering eDiscovery and Information Governance as a part of an expanded Platform-as-a-Service.  Please see The Perfect Storm: eDiscovery and Cloud Service Providers, Cloud Computing Architecture and eDiscovery, eDiscovery Will Follow the Cloud Computing Boom and Navigating eDiscovery in the Cloud Shouldn't Be That Difficult.

Based on my research that there is a latent demand for eDiscovery and Information Governance in the Cloud, I conducted a research study asking both CSPs and their clients what they thought about how CSPs were currently supporting eDiscovery and Information Governance in the Cloud.   The results were very disappointing as most of the CSPs had not idea what eDiscovery was, the legal requirements nor the vlaue that it would bring to their client bases. You can read the results of this survey at: Results of the 2012 eDSG Investigation of Cloud Service Providers and eDiscovery.

With all of this history of trying to blaze new trails within the Cloud Service Provider market for eDiscovery and Information Governance, I am very encouraged by Mr. Harris's article and optimistic that at Amazon may be headed toward offering additional services to their clients such as analytics, eDiscovery and Information Governance.  It may in fact be the key for Amazon to increasing the $1.19 Billion in revenue that AWS posted for 2011 to a much higher level than could have ever been imagined with just IaaS or even standard PaaS services.  And, if Amazon doesn't get it or doesn't want to make a move on eDiscovery, I predict that one of the other CSPs will.

The full text of the Gigacom article by Dick Harris is as follows:

According to analysts at Morgan Stanley, Amazon’s cloud computing division could be a shining star (even if not too bright) on the company’s long road toward increased profit margins. However, while their forecast isn’t glowing, it also doesn’t account for the evolution of Amazon’s cloud business from pure infrastructure-as-a-service into higher-level (and higher-margin) services.

In the new research report published Monday morning, analysts Scott Devitt, Andrew Ruud and Nishant Verma come to a possibly disconcerting conclusion for any investors banking on Amazon for short-term returns. The report’s gist: “After analyzing Amazon.com’s cost structure in detail and by segment, we conclude that there are far more variable costs than investors believe, leading to an overly optimistic timeline for margin expansion.” But Amazon Web Services is an opportunity Amazon might be able to exploit.
The report estimates that AWS was responsible for $1.19 billion in revenue in 2011 (I predicted in October the business was on a billion-dollar run rate), of which $108 million (or about 9 percent) was sheer profit. It’s able to maintain this margin while constantly dropping prices on its cloud services, the report contends, because AWS uses a cost-plus pricing model. That is, it just adds a premium (about 10 percent) on top of the cost of delivering those services, which continue to drop as Amazon leverages its economies of scale to buy and operate more gear and bandwidth at lower prices.

Although AWS margins remain flat, the report notes that AWS also comprises a significant portion of Amazon’s overall technology spending, so being able to drive steady, predictable profit from it is a good thing. Non-AWS technology spending, the authors estimate, is about 4 percent of net sales — “represent[ing] the largest opportunity for operating margin expansion in the near-term.” Keeping those cost down means a greater percentage of revenue goes toward profit.

However, the Morgan Stanley report doesn’t address the possibility that AWS margins actually could start rising as the company expands its services beyond sheer infrastructure and into managed services. Its NoSQL DynamoDB database service, for example, is a service for which Amazon adds value (and cost) beyond just the delivery of cloud-based infrastructure, and there are lingering rumors of a big data analytics service that will provide higher-level services than AWS’s existing Elastic MapReduce offering.
We shouldn’t overlook the possibility of AWS expanding its licensing activities, either. As it becomes more entrenched as the de facto cloud computing platforms for many companies, providers of other services and software are keen to get on board. Already, private-cloud pioneer startup Eucalyptus has licensed the AWS API, and Citrix wants to do the same for its CloudStack software. If it’s feeling greedy, Amazon could look to capitalize even further by charging others to integrate directly with its business.
Or it could just give that cost-plus dial about a quarter turn.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home