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Microsoft, IBM take top spots in Blockchain-as-a-Service rankings

Tony Zerucha

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Microsoft’s Blockchain-as-a-Service platform is the best of 11 offerings recently ranked by ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies. IBM was a close second

The competitive assessment ranked 11 vendors currently competing in the BaaS space: Alibaba, Amazon, Baidu, Cisco, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Tencent, based on ABI Research’s proven innovation/implementation criteria framework. Each vendor was analyzed on innovation metrics such as market penetration, proof of concepts and pilots, ecosystem support, and implementation metrics such as platform diversity, primary features, developer resources, and integration with their own solutions.

Microsoft has been involved in blockchain projects since at least 2015, and today offers a host of services on its Azure cloud computing platform including Azure Blockchain Workbench. While Microsoft leads overall, it is followed very closely by IBM, which is marginally ahead in terms of innovation.

The two firms are a league ahead of other vendors in terms of their BaaS offerings, ABI said.

“The advent of cloud offerings in the space shows that blockchain technology is ripe for productization. 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,” said Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research. “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.”

The rest of the assessed vendors are grouped loosely into a peloton, headed by SAP and followed closely by Oracle and Cisco. As more recent reentrants into the market, all three have accelerated the commercialization of their offerings, providing feature-rich platforms, broad market range, dynamic ecosystem support, and integration with both their own and third-party solutions.

The remaining vendors also offer some interesting BaaS platforms at varying stages of maturity and deployment, with the most recent, Huawei, launching only last month. As such, ABI said their relative youth and the nascent nature of the BaaS market means that this current standing is likely to change very rapidly over the coming year.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Blockchain-as-a-Service Competitive Assessment report. This report is part of the company’s Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies research service, which includes research, data, and Executive Foresights.

Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha is an alternative finance journalist with more than seven years experience in the space. The author of more than 1,000 articles, Tony was named LendIt's 2018 Journalist of the Year.

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