In the on-going cloud battle for who has the biggest customers, Amazon Web Services has signed one of the biggest.
That customer is said to be Salesforce.com, which is building parts of its upcoming Internet of Things cloud on top of AWS.
The move, reported by the WSJ, could signal a change in direction for Salesforce, which has typically used its own data centres to run its services. The CRM company has previous links with the public cloud giant, having acquired Heroku, a company based on AWS that sells services for software developers, in 2010.
This latest move though could suggest a move for Salesforce to migrate more of its workload to the public cloud.
Salesforce’s plan will see it build parts of its Internet of Things on AWS in order to test the service which is designed to collect data from connected devices and give recommended actions to sales and customer-service reps.
It is believed that Salesforce is turning to AWS for its flexibility, as companies that operate their own data centres often takes weeks or months to add new hardware as their needs grow. With AWS though, Salesforce will be able to bring online new servers and storage almost instantaneously.
Adam Bosworth, EVP of Salesforce’s IoT Cloud said: "We did it because we were growing very fast."
"We had to have the safety valve of a public cloud or public clouds to do what we were doing."
As the IoT cloud is still in its testing period, it makes sense for Salesforce to utilise the flexibility of AWS before the service goes live later this year. By using AWS it can test the scale and capabilities of its latest offering much more quickly than it could by using its own data centres.
AWS has had mixed fortunes with its big name customers recently, with the likes of Dropbox migrating away and other big name clients such as Spotify and Apple starting to use rival cloud vendor services.
This would be seen as a big win for AWS and could persuade the likes of Uber, which is reported to be looking to move some of its infrastructure to the cloud, that AWS would be the best option for it.
Like Apple, Salesforce will not be looking to tie itself into using one public cloud as its IoT Cloud offering will be capable of running on any public cloud, as well as on servers within its own data centres.
Essentially this is a move for flexibility and of securing a solid backup option that will be able to handle any uncontrolled growth of the service.
AWS has become the largest of the public cloud companies recently reporting sales of just over $2.5bn in the most recent quarter at a growth rate of 64% year over year. The growth of its cloud is likely to be boosted as customers like Salesforce highlight potential use cases for large businesses.