IBM Launches Cloud Marketplace, Takes On AWS

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-04-28

IBM Launches Cloud Marketplace, Takes On AWS

LAS VEGAS–IBM launched its IBM Cloud Marketplace to deliver its portfolio of cloud services from both IBM and partners to the world at large.

The new cloud marketplace provides a simple and easy experience for three key user groups within the enterprise – developers, IT managers and business leaders to learn, try and buy software and services from IBM and its global partner ecosystem. IBM announced the new marketplace at its IBM Impact 2014 conference here.

With the new marketplace, IBM joins the ranks of cloud competitors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google, among others, who offer services via cloud computing. IBM has previously clearly stated its intent to become the leader in the cloud computing space, aiming squarely at AWS and its market-leading position.

“The IBM Cloud Marketplace is really more than an app store; it’s a place where you can get everything you need,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Software & Cloud Solutions.

The launch of IBM Cloud marketplace represents the next major step in IBM's cloud journey. This single online destination will serve as the digital front door to cloud innovation, bringing together IBM’s capabilities-as-a-service and those of partners and third-party vendors with the security and resiliency enterprises expect.

The marketplace offers a gateway for IBM’s vast global business partner ecosystem to tap into the growing $250 billion cloud market opportunity, with instant access to IBM’s rich intellectual capital, array of services and software capabilities and access to IBM’s enterprise client network. For partners, IBM's cloud marketplace provides a global path to the enterprise and new opportunities to collaborate with a network of channel partners in its ecosystem to generate new revenue streams driving cloud innovation.

This marketplace will serve as a cloud innovation hub where technology meets business with hundreds of cloud services from IBM, partners and third-party ecosystem. Clients can access a full suite of IBM-as-a-Service with 100 SaaS applications, IBM's BlueMix platform-as-a-service with composable services, the powerful SoftLayer infrastructure-as-a-service and third-party cloud services.

"Increasingly cloud users from business, IT and development across the enterprise are looking for easy access to a wide range of services to address new business models and shifting market conditions," LeBlanc said in a statement. "IBM Cloud marketplace puts big data and analytics, mobile, social, commerce, integration -- the full power of IBM-as-a-Service and our ecosystem -- at our clients' fingertips to help them quickly deliver innovative services to their constituents.”

The IBM Cloud Marketplace has three main components and is aimed at developers, line-of-business professionals and IT departments. For developers, the marketplace provides an integrated, get-started-now, cloud-based development environment where individual developers, development shops and enterprise development teams can quickly and effectively build enterprise applications via services and application protocol interfaces (APIs).

IBM said these applications can be easily and securely integrated in hybrid on-premise and off-premise cloud environments. It is built on an open environment so developers can choose any open source or third-party tools and integrate apps, as needed. Building on IBM’s $1 billion investment in its BlueMix open platform-as-a-service, IBM also announced the expansion of BlueMix with 30 cloud services, bringing advanced big data and analytics, mobile, security and DevOps services to developers and bringing enterprise developers into the cloud.

IBM Launches Cloud Marketplace, Takes On AWS

For line-of-business professionals, IBM Cloud Marketplace will serve as a single stop where business and IT professionals can learn about, deploy and consume more than 100 SaaS applications ranging from marketing, procurement, sales and commerce, supply chain, customer service, finance, legal, and city managers.

Meanwhile, for IT departments, IBM Cloud Marketplace provides a secure set of cloud services built on SoftLayer that helps clients deploy cloud services and support high performance businesses at enterprise scale. SoftLayer gives clients the ability to choose a cloud environment and location that best suits their business needs and provides visibility and transparency to where data reside, control of data security and placement with a choice of public, private or bare-metal server options. Services include big data, disaster recovery, hybrid environments, managed security services, and cloud environments for small and midsize businesses, among others.

For instance, IT managers will be able to access two new IaaS offerings from IBM's Big Data and Analytics portfolio in the cloud marketplace. InfoSphere Streams will allow organizations to analyze and share data in motion for real-time decision management, and InfoSphere BigInsights will make it easier for developers to use Hadoop to build secure big data apps. With the addition of these new solutions, IBM now offers more than 15 solutions from its Big Data and Analytics portfolio, Watson Foundations, for business users in the cloud marketplace. IBM's Enterprise Content capabilities will also be available to help knowledge workers actively engage and manage content in a trusted cloud environment.

IBM officials said the new cloud marketplace offers an ideal environment for business partners and independent software vendors to monetize their solutions as cloud services for the enterprise. Several IBM partners including SendGrid, Zend, Redis Labs, Sonian, Flow Search Corp, Deep DB, M2Mi and Ustream have featured a wide array of cloud services on IBM marketplace for enterprise clients.

“IBM has brought together a full suite of enterprise-class cloud services and software and made these solutions simple to consume and integrate, whether you are an enterprise developer or forward-looking business exec,” said Andi Gutmans, CEO and co-founder of Zend, in a statement. “We will support the rapid delivery of our applications through the IBM Cloud Marketplace, enabling millions of Web and mobile developers, and many popular PHP applications to be consumed with enterprise services and service levels on the IBM Cloud.”

"Most cloud marketplaces are tied to one specific product offering. If you don't use the particular service for which the marketplace was built - even if you're a customer of other products by the same company, that marketplace is irrelevant for you,” Jim Franklin, CEO of SendGrid, said in a statement. “But the IBM Cloud Marketplace will be available to all IBM and non-IBM customers. Whether you're using BlueMix, or SoftLayer, or another IBM product, the IBM marketplace will be there to serve you. As a vendor, being able to reach all IBM customers from one place is very exciting.”

IBM said its new cloud marketplace is the next significant step in IBM’s continuing march toward building a comprehensive cloud portfolio for the enterprise. This year alone IBM announced a $1.2 billion investment to expand its global cloud footprint with SoftLayer; $1 billion in cloud development with the launch of its BlueMix platform-as-a-service to provide cloud access to much of IBM middleware; $1 billion in the launch of a new business unit, the Watson Group, for cloud-delivered cognitive innovation; and the acquisition of Aspera and Cloudant, bringing the total to $7 billion invested in 17 cloud acquisitions since 2010.

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