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As a relatively new industry, cloud is rapidly changing, but Microsoft Azure is continuing to do well in 2019. Though AWS is clearly dominating, enterprises are increasingly deploying multi-vendor solutions.

As ZDNet notes, a recent survey by Kentik saw 40% of organizations using more than one provider. The 310 business large survey was published earlier this year from quizzing at an AWS event, so is naturally biased. RightScale’s numbers say 84% of its respondents use multi-cloud strategy, with an average of close to 5 clouds.

Much of this is down to the slightly different strategies of providers. This year, Microsoft has been moving increasingly into AI, and that’s where much of the difference is. Though AWS and Google offer their own solutions, Azure has differing techniques and available services. This means the most innovative of companies will mix and match to get the best result.

Azure a Close Second in Some Areas

That said, ZDNet points to clear leaders in certain areas. AWS is still the clear leader for IaaS and PaaS solutions, as per Gartner, but Microsoft has been pulling in a lot of revenue in recent times. It also offers services beyond the usual, with bundled Office and Dynamics 365 solutions in its commercial cloud offering, as well as a focus on AI, analytics, and IoT.

As we mentioned earlier in the month, Microsoft’s non-competitive nature has also won it some very high profile customers. Early in the year, the company announced a partnership with retail giant Kroger for automated checkouts. This is a service many are unwilling to buy from Amazon due to its retail dominance.

In fact, statistics from RightScale suggest Microsoft is gaining on Azure in 2019. 9% of organizations are reported as experimenting with Azure, versus 7% for AWS. Microsoft provides strong offerings in rapidly growing areas like machine learning and containers but doesn’t match Amazon in some regards.

Even so, Azure adoption is growing, at 85% of AWS’ speed according to RightScale, up to a massive 70% from last year. Meanwhile, Azure Stack and workloads are trailing AWS but experiencing some of the fastest growth.

Meanwhile, Oracle and Salesforce continue to dominate SaaS.  SAP trails a little in third place but is poised for growth with recent partners with Microsoft and other cloud vendors as part of its Project Embrace.