A report published Monday by ABI Research ranked Microsoft as the leading blockchain service provider, followed by IBM. Here, the logo of French headquarters of American multinational technology company Microsoft, is pictured outside in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, a Paris suburb, March 6, 2018. GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images

Microsoft earned the top place as the leading blockchain service platform, followed by IBM, market foresight advisory firm ABI Research said in a report Monday. According to the report, Microsoft was able to beat competitors in terms of carrying out the implementation of different blockchain-based services.

ABI Research assessed nine other blockchain service platforms — Alibaba, Amazon, Baidu, Cisco, HPE, Huawei, Oracle, SAP, and Tencent. All of these platforms were analyzed on the basis of two metrics — innovation and implementation. Under innovation, attributes like market penetration, proof of concepts, and ecosystem support were examined; while under implementation, platform diversity, primary features, developer resources, and integration with their own solutions were examined.

Microsoft’s Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform has a host of services on its Azure cloud computing platform, which has the second-largest market share around the world (13 percent), behind Amazon Web Services (33 percent). The company best known for making Windows operating system has been working on blockchain projects since 2015.

“The advent of cloud offerings in the space shows that blockchain technology is ripe for productization. Microsoft and IBM are capitalizing on the numerous proof of concepts and pilots that have been tested on their platforms in the last 2 years, the first of which are already being commercialized. While IBM has some of the more advanced pilots to date, Microsoft leads on the implementation front, with a broad range of platform choices and deep integration with its existing cloud services," Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research, said.

These findings are from ABI Research’s BaaS Competitive Assessment report. The report is part of the company’s blockchain research service, which includes research, data, and executive foresight. According to the report, the other nine vendors were grouped at the same level for BaaS, even though most of them offer SaaS products and services which are at different stages of development.

This report comes at a time when the BaaS market is anticipated to grow over $30 billion by 2024, according to research published by Zion Market Research, which said the global BaaS market was valued at around $410 million in 2017.

On Monday, IBM and Columbia University in collaboration announced two blockchain accelerator programs aimed to build and scale the next generation of blockchain innovation. These programs form part of the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency, a innovation center that was established by the technology company and Ivy League school. According to a press release by IBM, each program would support 10 startups, giving them a network of business mentors, technical support, design assistance, access to Columbia’s student talent and research community, and IBM cloud technology resources.

Microsoft released a new software development kit Tuesday on its Azure cloud platform that would allow businesses to create their own distributed ledger technology to work with SaaS (software as a service) solutions. The new software development kit is called Azure Blockchain Workbench.