Innovation Competitions in the Cloud
ISE545 – Technology Development and Implementation (2021 fall iPodia Class) – Page 1
Innovation Competitions in the Cloud
The Internet has reshaped the landscape of technology innovation and opened a new frontier
for innovative companies to complete in the Cloud. Unlike market competitions in the physical
world, which mostly center around products and services, players in the Cloud space are
competing to become “the dominant platform” in the virtual world. Winners of this new type of
“platform innovation” will become the “gateway” for all other innovators to create and conduct
business in the future. Hence, the stake is high, and the competitions are fierce for companies
that are involved and interested in this emerging innovation space.
The platform innovation is not for everyone – only few companies which have been successful
in some real-world markets are qualified to play. For example, Amazon is the leading company
in e-Commerce; Microsoft is dominant in enterprise services; Google is the most influential
company in data search; and Alibaba is the largest Internet company in China. All of them have
already devoted major resources to compete in the Web service businesses in the Cloud. Other
innovation companies, like Apple and Facebook, which have achieved major successes in
consumer products and social networking, respectively, are also eyeing on this emerging
market. The innovation competition in the Cloud has become the most important battle for all
major players these days.
The following articles provide some general backgrounds of the subject of your case study:
1. How Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba compete in Web services
2. About Amazon Inc.
3. About Microsoft Corp.
4. About Google Inc.
The iPodia Alliance offers “glocal education” opportunities for students around the world to
enjoy “global learning from local campuses” in a joint iPodia class. USC ISE-545 (Technology
Development and Implementation) is included in the iPodia class in fall 2021. Besides other
assignments for the iPodia class, students enrolled in ISE-545 need to complete a Case Study
Report based on the requirements explained in this document.
ISE545 – Technology Development and Implementation (2021 fall iPodia Class) – Page 2
5. About Alibaba Group
6. About Apple Inc.
7. About Facebook Inc.
The first article gives an overview of the current market competitions among Amazon,
Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba – the top four leading players in the Cloud space today. The next
four articles provide some general background for each of these companies. Articles 6 and 7
have information about two other major players who have the most promising opportunities to
enter the Web services market.
You need to study these articles carefully to develop an in-depth case-study report that
addresses the following questions:
A. What is platform innovation, and why is it so critical in the future?
B. What is the status of the Web service market, and who you think will be the winner in
the next five years? (Assuming no new players enter the competition)
C. Why are Apple and Facebook qualified for, and interested in, joining the innovation
competition in the Cloud space?
D. As relatively new commers in this highly competitive market, how should Apple and
Facebook compete with existing players like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba?
E. Assuming Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba, Apple, and Facebook are all competing
in the Cloud space five years from now, which company do you think will be the
Your TA will be available for 30 minutes right after the weekly live class to answer any questions
you may have regarding these articles and the deliverable.
• Your case study report is to be up to 15 pages in length (space taken by figures is not
counted), 12 pt., typewritten, double-spaced, with maximum of 1″ margins.
• Reports are due at 11:59pm on Thursday, December 2, 2021 (i.e., at the end of Week 14
• Your case study report counts 10 points of your final grade. Students can turn in reports
one week late for 50% of the credit. No credit will be given afterwards.
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