Amazon and Alphabet announce Q2 financial results: Cloud directly and indirectly the key

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.


Amazon Web Services (AWS) generated $2.89 billion (£2.19bn) over the last financial quarter, according to financial figures released by the infrastructure giant yesterday.

The figures represent an almost 58% rise from this time last year. For the past two quarters, the figure stands at almost $5.5bn – up 61% from the six months ending June 30 2015.

Considering specific AWS figures were kept out of all its financial releases until last year, instead being bumped in with ‘other business’, it does rather beg the question why it ever took them so long to disclose the figures. Among the highlights Amazon disclosed in the AWS section of its release – there were five bullet points in total – was the launch of a data centre zone in Mumbai, its sixth in the Asia Pacific region, as well as FedRAMP high compliance certification and the customer win of Salesforce.

“It’s been a busy few months for Amazon around the world, and particularly in India,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO in a statement. “The team in India is inventing at a torrid pace, and we’re very grateful to our Indian customers for their welcoming response.”

Elsewhere Alphabet, parent firm of Google, announced its second quarter financial results, hitting overall revenue of $21.5bn, up 21% year on year, with particular highlights in mobile search, desktop and tablet search, YouTube, and programmatic advertising.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in an earnings call, discussed cloud in-depth and emphasised its importance in the context of Google’s machine learning initiatives. As reported by Seeking Alpha, Pichai told analysts: “Many tremendous digital experiences are being built in the cloud today, and businesses are working to take advantage of the cloud as part of their digital transformation.

“We have strong momentum with businesses like [workflow platform] Symphony, who recently announced that its cloud computing business is available on the Google Cloud Platform,” said Pichai, adding that ‘more and more’ Fortune 100 companies are choosing Google for its cloudy operations. “We provide the high reliability and performance needed by Symphony’s customers in the financial services industry.”

Unlike Amazon, Google does not disclose its cloud revenues specifically; however, industry analysts have long been trying to join the dots. As reported by Business Insider, a note from Goldman Sachs argues AWS quadrupled the sales of Microsoft over the past 12 months, and generated 15 times that of Google. The note also reveals that AWS sees 72% year over year growth.

Back in February, Synergy Research put Amazon’s year on year growth from Q415 at 63%, and put AWS at 31% share of the overall market, significantly ahead of Microsoft (9%), IBM (7%) and Google (4%). AWS’ yearly growth according to Synergy is behind Microsoft and Google, although the firm’s lead is such that it is merely a drop in the ocean.

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