IBM Expands Federal Cloud Ecosystem, Spurs First Responders

Big Blue welcomes five new partners to its federal cloud ecosystem and taps developers to build cloud apps for first responders.

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IBM announced that five new cloud partners have joined its growing ecosystem serving the U.S. federal government. In addition, IBM is working with developers to create new cloud apps for first responders.

Together with IBM, these resellers and distributors will focus on delivering new hybrid cloud solutions across federal agencies. Arrow, Avnet Government Solutions, Ingram Micro, Tech Data Corporation and ViON will combine and bundle their solutions with IBM Cloud.

Yet, despite all the attention that the federal government has placed on cloud, IDC estimates that only about 6 percent of federal applications run in the cloud. At the same time, the Obama Administration's proposed fiscal 2016 budget estimates that about $7.3 billion will be spent on cloud computing and not simply for cost savings, but also to change how services are delivered.

"Federal agencies are really beginning to view cloud as transformational, but first they need a reliable partner to help them get started," said Anne Altman, general manager of IBM U.S. Federal and Government Industries, in a statement. "With our partners, we have a strong understanding of the IT investments agencies have made, and how to help them with their migrations to cloud in a secure and strategic way."

The new partners include Arrow, which helps partners integrate IBM's Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) into their products and services, and assists in building cloud solutions from the IaaS layer up.

"The federal government's ‘Cloud First' policy puts FedRAMP-approved data centers at the forefront of the hybrid-public cloud movement," said Steve Robinson, global vice president and general manager of Arrow's cloud business, in a statement. "We have a unique opportunity to deliver value to public-sector channel partners through our collaboration with IBM, and by leveraging Arrow's commercial value-add cloud model in our federally focused immixGroup organization."

Meanwhile, Avnet Government Solutions helps business partners accelerate the development of their cloud portfolios with a scalable, secure base for the delivery of cloud services across its entire network around the world. Avnet and IBM Cloud capabilities will allow federal agencies to place their data where and when it is required.

"With our recently opened office in the Washington, D.C., area and investments in public sector capabilities, Avnet Government Solutions is perfectly positioned to help our partners sell IBM's FedRAMP-certified SoftLayer federal cloud," said Pete Rzonca, vice president of Avnet Government Solutions. "For federal clients, Avnet brings more than 30 years of IBM expertise, our skilled cloud solutions team and the recently launched Avnet Cloud Marketplace."

For its part, Ingram Micro sells and supports IBM Cloud on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. Through a single online portal, channel partners can configure and manage IBM Cloud while driving cross-sell and revenue-generating opportunities within its partner community. As a master cloud services provider, Ingram Micro offers its cloud onboarding capabilities, partner enablement, marketing support, and end-to-end technical and operational support to its channel partners focused on building cloud solutions.

"Ingram Micro is pleased to partner with IBM to serve U.S. federal government agencies in their transition to the cloud," said Tarik Faouzi, vice president of Global Cloud Partners and Solutions at Ingram Micro Cloud, in a statement. "By leveraging our cloud migration capabilities and value-added services, we remove the barriers and complexity of the migration process to ensure a seamless and secure migration that supports business transformation to the cloud."

In addition, Tech Data, one of the largest distributors of technology products, services and solutions, is working with IBM on the cloud in the federal sector. Tech Data provides logistics capabilities and value-added services that enable 115,000 resellers to support the diverse technology needs of users in more than 100 countries.

Also, ViON offers its on-premises private cloud, taking advantage of 13 years of experience as an IaaS solution provider. With IBM's FedRAMP-certified SoftLayer, ViON can integrate the security of an on-premises solution with the scalability of a public cloud to address federal hybrid cloud initiatives, the company said.

"For nearly two decades, ViON's partnership with IBM has enabled our federal customers to achieve their mission success," said Tom Frana, CEO of ViON, in a statement. "Our customer service intimacy model coupled with IBM's public cloud offering will allow us to continue to meet the demands of our customer today and tomorrow."

IBM noted that federal agencies are turning to its SoftLayer Federal cloud, which integrates existing and new services in a hybrid environment, driving new innovations and helping agencies better decide, manage and secure where their data and apps reside. SoftLayer meets all Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements for government workloads.