Welcome to the Era of Great Data Center Consolidation

“Friends don’t let friends build data centers,” said Charles Phillips, chief executive officer of Infor, a business software maker, about two years ago.

His remark—which launched a flood of T-shirts—came at an Amazon Web Services conference in April 2014, when he announced that Infor would move all of its IT operations into AWS data centers—and out of its own.

That was a bold statement at the time, and it presaged a change in how big software companies are building and distributing their products.

Since then, a slew of these software companies—including Box (box), Salesforce, NetSuite, Tableau

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