Blog Post

Don’t look to Europe to create an Amazon rival

Amazon (s amzn) is trying to be the Amazon of Europe. But could a homegrown cloud player take that title? It’s not going to be easy, said Marten Mickos, the CEO of Eucalyptus Systems at the GigaOM Structure Europe conference.

Mickos said Europe has some advantages thanks to its 500 million Internet users and population density, which helps with latency. And there are pockets of cloud innovation in the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia and even Spain. But he said Europe also struggles with its own set of issues.

“But then you have all of the inertia in this continent and resistance to change and a refusal to acknowledge some changes that are happening in the world,” he said.

Competing with Amazon overall is hard work, he said, especially considering that Amazon has been working on the cloud for six years. A new global competitor might be more likely out of China, which has four times the number of Internet users than the US.

“That’s a fundamental number that drives cloud adoption,” Mickos said.

Europe also doesn’t have a history of creating a pan-European competitor. In most cases, companies look to go global instead of focusing on Europe, Mickos said. That’s why you see more American companies with pan-European products.

But with startups and fast-growing companies emerging in Europe, it’s likely to propel home-grown cloud development. But it may be that Europe develops mobile clouds faster, said Mickos.

Check out the rest of our Structure Europe 2012 live coverage here, and a video recording of the session follows below.