Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2004 (Revised June 2010)

Akamai Technologies

by Benjamin Edelman, Thomas R. Eisenmann and Eric J. Van den Steen

Abstract

As the leading content delivery network, Akamai helps Internet companies deliver Web site content to end users with fewer delays and lower costs. Describes the strategic management challenges facing Akamai in early 2004. The company is poised to offer its next generation of services for enterprise customers, which will allow them to run Internet-enabled applications ("Web services")—on demand, with minimal capital investment—from Akamai's network of 15,000 servers located in ISP facilities at the Internet's "edge"—close to end users. Many large enterprise software companies have developed proprietary platforms for creating and managing Web services. Akamai must decide which of these software companies would be attractive partners and whether it can and should remain uncommitted to a platform as it helps customers deploy Web services. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

Keywords: Market Platforms; Partners and Partnerships; Strategy; Internet; Technology Networks;

Citation:

Edelman, Benjamin, Thomas R. Eisenmann, and Eric J. Van den Steen. "Akamai Technologies." Harvard Business School Case 804-158, March 2004. (Revised June 2010.) (request a courtesy copy.)