IBM Cloud Strategy Expands Global Presence

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-02-28

IBM Cloud Strategy Expands Global Presence

IBM announced a new pay-as-you-go cloud storage model to help enterprises more easily and efficiently manage their swelling data volumes and adopt cloud storage solutions.

The new IBM Advanced System Placement program for clients is a pay-as-you-go program that lets organizations purchase IBM XIV storage systems for only a fraction of the price upon installation. Only when the system reaches a predetermined capacity threshold will the client be charged for the full balance of the price. At that time, a second unit will be delivered for only $1. The cycle continues and clients only pay for the full balance of subsequent systems when they reach the threshold, and another system is delivered for an additional $1.

"Though this is a data consumption model, the technological impact on our clients, whose data volumes are growing rapidly, will be profound," Luc Greefs, director of Shared Technology and Infrastructure Delivery at managed services provider Cegeka, based in Belgium, said in a statement. Cegeka provides private cloud solutions, such as infrastructure as a service, software as a service, storage as a service, telephony services and more in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania. "For Cegeka, it means we'll be able to get customers onto cloud storage solutions quickly, and they'll be able to pay for it when they have the revenue to support it."

A financed version of the Advanced System Placement program is also available through IBM Global Financing, IBM said. With this option, qualified clients sign a 36-month Fair Market Value (FMV) hardware lease and software loan, and payments for the first six months are set at a fraction of the overall cost.

As with the cash purchase version, when the first system reaches a certain threshold, a second system is delivered and the payments for the first system continue as planned. The second system will come with a second 36-month lease, but the first six payments are free. By combining the Advanced System Placement program with a hardware lease program, payments become predictable and manageable. Each lease and loan is subject to prior credit approval by IBM Global Financing. The offering is available in North America and Europe today and other select countries later this year.

The Advanced System Placement program complements IBM's existing Capacity-on-Demand pricing program, which is designed to help organizations with less aggressive growth projections deploy high-capacity storage systems with ease.

The Advanced System Placement programs are available now worldwide through IBM. The company plans to expand the program to include additional IBM System Storage products and IBM Business Partners over the next quarter.

IBM announced the Advanced System Placement program at its Pulse 2014 conference in Las Vegas earlier this week. At the conference, Big Blue said new programs like Advanced System Placement as well as infrastructure improvements and new environments such as BlueMix are bringing new customers from all across the globe to IBM's cloud.

Indeed, IBM said clients from across industries and around the world are taking advantage of IBM's cloud solutions to improve flexibility, drive international expansion and better respond to today's fast-moving and ever-changing business environment.

Through IBM's engagement with global industry leaders like Turk Telecom, The Loft Group, Music Mastermind, KUULUU and many others, IBM continues to extend its cloud presence.

"We wanted to make our system administrators and developers aware of the costs related to their demands," Mehmet Selçuk Karaca, a Turk Telekom consultant, said in a statement. "IBM's cloud offered a metering and billing solution to help us do that."


IBM Cloud Strategy Expands Global Presence

Cloud initiatives delivered $4.4 billion in revenue for IBM in 2013, up 69 percent from 2012, company officials said.

"IBM's commitment to invest in high-growth areas stems from our focus on delivering the solutions our clients need to be successful in today's market and enabling them to be better positioned for tomorrow's growth," Jim Comfort, IBM's general manager of cloud services, said in a statement. "Our work with companies like the ones we are announcing today demonstrates that IBM is the only company that can deliver cloud solutions at a truly global level."

IBM has made lots of noise in the cloud space, most recently, announcing plans to invest $1 billion into a new platform-as-a-service environment. IBM's journey to provide ongoing innovation in cloud computing includes $7 billion in 16 acquisitions and 40,000 industry experts, the recent acquisition of SoftLayer and the $1.2 billion commitment to expand its global cloud offerings to 40 data centers across five continents. In doing so, IBM intends to double SoftLayer's cloud capacity by the end of 2014. Since the acquisition, IBM SoftLayer has served nearly 2,400 new cloud clients and continues to see demand grow.

In the United States, Music Mastermind is taking advantage of IBM SoftLayer cloud capabilities to create a hybrid cloud environment for Zya, an application that allows people to make music, create beats and change vocals into instruments. Music Mastermind switched to an IBM SoftLayer cloud not only to lower costs, but also to scale and prepare for higher customer traffic more quickly and effectively with SoftLayer's cloud capabilities, IBM said.

Additionally, Turk Telekom, Turkey's leading telecom solutions provider, is using IBM's cloud to host automated provisioning and manage the company's development and test environment. Given that Turk Telekom's network infrastructure spans the entire country to offer a variety of telecom services to residential and commercial customers, the company engaged IBM to develop a cloud solution that could ease the burden that nationwide service delivery places on its IT staff. Through its relationship with IBM, Turk Telekom is able to use its existing infrastructure, closely track costs and clearly communicate the pricing structure of the new cloud services to its customers.

In Australia, The Loft Group, a creative digital agency specializing in e-learning campaigns for global clients, including L'Oreal, has adopted IBM's cloud services to transform its business. Based on its need to quickly scale to several new global markets, The Loft Group is migrating its digital learning platform onto IBM's SoftLayer cloud infrastructure to deliver custom, mobile education and training platforms to clients. The Loft Group was also attracted to IBM SoftLayer because the technology provided the company's customer support teams with the ability to use analytics to monitor and tune their networks in the cloud.

With the launch of the highly anticipated RECHARGE game, KUULUU a game development studio in Switzerland, needed a high-performance and scalable service to support the game. Together with music group Linkin Park, they created a third-person 3D online experience that combines puzzle, adventure and action elements. The game supports Music For Relief Power the World campaign, by introducing players to real-world clean energy solutions in the game. A big percentage of Linkin Park's audience are gamers, and the band's 55 million Facebook followers can play the game on Facebook.

IBM has helped more than 30,000 clients around the world with 40,000 industry experts. Today, IBM has more than 100 software-as-a-service offerings. IBM holds 1,560 cloud patents focused on driving innovation. In fact, IBM for the 21st consecutive year topped the annual list of U.S. patent leaders. IBM processes more the 5.5 million client transactions daily through its public cloud.


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