IBM Advances SmartCloud and Adds New Customers, Partners

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-05-17

IBM Advances SmartCloud and Adds New Customers, Partners

IBM (NYSE: IBM) has announced advancements to its SmartCloud Services and added customers and partners.

IBM said it has seen rapid adoption of its SmartCloud portfolio as customers and partners move to the cloud. Big Blue manages massive amounts of data and client transactions in its cloud environments, including 1 million enterprise application users working on the IBM Cloud, more than $100 billion in commerce transactions a year in the cloud and 4.5 million daily client transactions conducted through the IBM Cloud.

Moreover, customers and partners are increasingly choosing IBM SmartCloud services, software and hardware to expand into new markets, enable their mobile workforces and develop enterprise applications more efficiently, IBM said.

€œCompanies are starting to understand that cloud is more than just about gaining efficiencies and cost savings; it€™s about driving the kind of fundamental innovation that provides lasting marketplace advantage,€ said Paul Loftus, general manager of IBM Global Technology Services, in a statement. €œWe are helping all kinds of clients manage enterprise applications and processes in the cloud as well as leverage new cloud-centric applications while meeting their unique requirements for governance, security and portability.€

For instance, TopCoder, which maintains a community of competitive software developers, is moving its global community of more than 400,000 developers to IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. These developers help organizations succeed by supporting their entire innovation process€”from ideation, software engineering and analytics to implementation, testing and support. TopCoder provides high-quality application development, mobile development, user experience and graphic design, and big data project work through this competitive, multidisciplinary, global community of developers.

IBM SmartCloud Helps Customers Expand Into New Markets


Ogilvy & Mather, an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency, also turned to IBM to upgrade its IT environment. The IBM team is migrating Ogilvy from its current hosted environment to the SmartCloud for SAP applications hosted in IBM's state-of-the-art, green Smarter Data Center in Raleigh, N.C.

The Ogilvy solution includes the latest infrastructure technology and full SAP service, and it is prebuilt, preconfigured and requires minimal client resources to maintain the company's entire production SAP landscape. IBM€™s SAP Cloud solution also offers Ogilvy the benefits of solution scalability and the ability to add resources for development projects with a short-term commitment.

€œGiven the attention to cloud-based solutions, it's easy to be overwhelmed with comparisons and multiple options,€ said Yuri Aguiar, senior partner and CIO at Ogilvy & Mather. €œHowever, when it comes to critical applications like SAP, we were looking for a mature model that could scale and cater to our unique prerequisites. The SCE+ [SmartCloud Enterprise+] offering fit this need very well and had the backing of a reliable global partner.€

OTRUM, a provider of interactive TV solutions and content to the hospitality industry, uses the Cognos analytics tool from IBM to handle marketing campaigns and highlight repeat behavior patterns associated with guest interaction and purchasing. This solution leverages Cognos on SmartCloud Enterprise to deliver custom analytics to more than 500 hotels. OTRUM has now fully migrated all digital signage clients to the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, a move that eliminates the need for hundreds of physical servers at customer sites. In addition to reducing hardware, the cloud increases efficiency by allowing for central management and distribution of data.

Launched as a platform as a service (PaaS) beta program in October 2011, IBM€™s SmartCloud Application Services (SCAS) is expanding to a full pilot with new customers such as CLD Partners, a provider of IT consulting services with a focus on cloud computing.

€œWe share IBM€™s vision for how enterprise customers can achieve huge productivity gains by embracing cloud technologies. SCAS allowed us to utilize world-class software in a managed environment that greatly reduced the complexity of the deployment while also providing for future scalability that our customers only pay for when they need it,€ said Steve Clune, founder and CEO of CLD Partners, in a statement. €œUltimately, traditional infrastructure planning and configuration that would have required weeks was literally reduced to hours. And future flexibility as infrastructure needs change is virtually limitless.€

In addition, IBM is leveraging the cloud to help improve health care delivery in Haiti through its collaboration with the Colleagues in Care Global Healthcare Network. Colleagues in Care is using the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business to virtually connect medical workers and volunteers from around the globe. Using the IBM SmartCloud, the volunteers and those on the front lines taking care of patients are armed with an online medical knowledge system that includes treatment options, clinical pathways and best practices specific to the situation in Haiti.

The network consists of approximately 200 doctors, nurses and business professionals coming together virtually from all around the globe, including Canada, China, Haiti, France, Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Additional new clients, including Ricoh, Neiman Marcus, University of Texas at El Paso, Hindustan Motors, Bonduelle and Apave have chosen IBM's SmartCloud to help drive social business adoption across the enterprise. Using IBM social networking tools in the cloud, these organizations are seamlessly collaborating and sharing information and ideas, resulting in increased efficiency and productivity in a security-rich and cost-effective environment.

For these social businesses, IBM is also introducing IBM SmartCloud Archive Essentials, a cost-effective email-archiving solution. IBM SmartCloud Archive Essentials provides customers with the confidence of knowing their email is archived continuously and securely, while making the data accessible for compliance and e-discovery requirements in the IBM SmartCloud.

Launched in February, IBM€™s Ready for IBM SmartCloud Services validation continues to grow with more than 30 new ISVs and partners, making it easier for clients to quickly find technology from Business Partners that are validated for IBM SmartCloud Services. In the new online directory, certified Business Partner technologies are divided into categories, such as business applications, collaboration, development and test tools, infrastructure services, and security and monitoring.

New ISVs and partners include AppZero, Cloud Prime, Cohesive FT, Convertigo, Corent, Jaspersoft, NViso, SOASTA, Sproxil, SugarCRM, Vacava, Vision Solutions, Zementis and many others.

Additionally, IBM is enhancing its SmartCloud portfolio; for example, SmartCloud Enterprise 2.1 offers new and enhanced functionality in a simple to deploy, robust infrastructure as a service (IAAS) for building and deploying innovative applications that can optionally integrate with private cloud and traditional IT elements. SmartCloud Enterprise 2.1 offers a new service-level agreement (SLA) of 99.9 percent.

And SmartCloud Enterprise 2.1 also supports two new Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating systems. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 will add functionality for enhanced performance, flexibility and security while Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 delivers improvements in virtualization, resource management and high availability, and offers new features in storage, file system performance and identity management. It also delivers upgrades to the persistent storage system, enabling increased speed and performance, and upgrades to embedded Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisors providing greater security and performance improvements.

Meanwhile, SmartCloud Enterprise + is now available in North America and Europe with plans for additional global rollout in the third quarter of 2012. SmartCloud Enterprise+ provides support for both x86 and P-Series€”running operating systems, including Windows, Linux and AIX on top of either VMware or PowerVM hypervisors, and delivered with the expertise of IBM services.

IBM also offers Migration Services for SmartCloud Enterprise+, which provide patented tools and methods to help clients speed up the transition from traditional outsourcing to the cloud. This offering also is projected to be available in the third quarter of 2012.

IBM€™s SCE+ is designed to support different workloads and associated technology platforms, including a new System z shared environment that will be available in the United States and the United Kingdom later this year, the company said.

SmartCloud Application Services, IBM€™s PaaS, will now be more widely available to select customers moving from the beta to the pilot stage. Customers will be able to take advantage of both Application Workload Service as well as Collaborative Lifecycle Management Service to develop and deploy applications on top of SmartCloud Enterprise to jump-start their SmartCloud Application Services (SCAS) projects.

While in the pilot phase, customers will be able to use SmartCloud Application Services at no charge, except for the underlying IBM SmartCloud Enterprise infrastructure used by the SCAS pilot services. Available in English around the world, the SmartCloud Application Services pilot will run from May 15 until general availability, which is projected for the third quarter of 2012.

As part of the broader IBM SmartCloud family, SmartCloud Application Services are compatible with the newly announced IBM PureSystems family. For example, through SmartCloud Application Services, clients can rapidly design, develop and test their dynamic applications on IBM's public cloud and deploy those same applications on a private cloud built with PureApplication Systems, or vice versa.

Across both IBM SmartCloud Enterprise and Enterprise+, IBM now supports the Microsoft License Mobility program. Offering new flexible options for deploying Microsoft applications, such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, and Microsoft SQL Server on IBM's SmartCloud Enterprise, customers can choose between deploying Microsoft applications on premises or on IBM's SmartCloud, leveraging the value of volume licenses with Microsoft's Software Assurance. This option can help customers lower operating costs using IBM's SmartCloud's shared infrastructure.

IBM also offers financing for customers looking to move to the cloud. IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing arm of IBM, helps credit-qualified clients make the transition to cloud computing with low-rate financing for cloud solutions and zero-percent loans for IBM software. For more information, on IBM€™s cloud financing options, click here.

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