Yesterday I had an interesting moment where the available data was completely the opposite of what I expected. I wanted to test my assumption that leading with the name of an open source project would capture more interest than company’s distributions of that project. My thesis was that Cloud Foundry for example would be a term people searched for more than IBM Bluemix. I was wildly wrong
Helpfully Google Trends allowed me to disambiguate “Pivotal” to some extent. The graph is interesting because the recent marketing efforts of Pivotal and notably IBM are paying dividends for both parties. Cloud Foundry shows a gentle growth curve, with Pivotal trending up nicely. The Bluemix graph however is much steeper. IBM has been engineering and marketing resources into Bluemix since January 2014 – it is a Ginni Rometti level strategic initiative and it seems to be working, if search volume is a leading indicator of potential adoption.
IBM financial results were disappointing again this week but in terms of leading indicators Bluemix is definitely moving in the right direction, with interest growing sharply. I know Pivotal is closing some significant deals right now, though i have a less insight into Bluemix’s sales motion. But in search volume it appears that Bluemix is set to overtake Pivotal in short order.
It’s beginning to look a bit like the 1990s app server market, with Pivotal playing the role of BEA, as two major players carve out leading positions in an emerging market, with Cloud Foundry playing the Apache web server role. The best packagers in tech waves win big, and the PaaS market is now apparently a thing.
While we’re at it, let’s check out another project. It turns out searches for Hadoop do indeed dwarf those of the distribution companies, which represents the pattern I expected to see with Cloud Foundry.
IBM, Pivotal and Cloudera are all clients.
Obviously basing analysis on Google Trends is subject to all kinds of caveats. But search volume does tell us something about intentions and opportunities.