Microsoft’s integration of its blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) offering with its Azure cloud computing platform earned the company a No. 1 ranking in ABI Research’s list of BaaS providers. The research firm studied blockchain platforms from 11 different companies and ranked them. Those rankings were based upon criteria such as market penetration, proof-of-concepts and pilots, ecosystem and developer support, and platform features.
ABI said that Microsoft was its No. 1 pick because of the number of proof-of-concept trials it has been conducting as well as its Azure Blockchain Workbench, a tool the company offers through its Azure cloud platform.
The research firm noted that Microsoft is closely followed by IBM, which has also been very innovative with its BaaS platform. ABI said that the two firms are “a league ahead of other vendors” when it comes to blockchain. “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.
Menting added that while IBM is involved in more advanced pilots, Microsoft has been doing more implementations and has more integration with its existing cloud services.
While Microsoft and IBM are the blockchain standouts, Menting said that SAP, Oracle, and Cisco have also started to accelerate the commercialization of their blockchain platforms. In particular, she said that they have a lot of features on their platforms and have a large ecosystem.
Other companies evaluated by ABI include Alibaba, Amazon, Baidu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, and Tencent.
Microsoft was an early innovator in blockchain. The company has been working on its BaaS on its Azure cloud platform since November 2015. The company is also involved in the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project.
IBM, meanwhile, has been fairly open about its blockchain trials. Earlier this month the company announced it was collaborating with Telefónica to use IBM’s BaaS in conjunction with the operator’s service delivery platform to improve call reliability and routing. And in July, IBM debuted a managed blockchain platform for the financial services industry. At the time the company said that nine banks, including Barclays and Citi, were participating in the proof of concept.