IBM Inks $1.25B Hybrid Cloud Deal With WPP

IBM continues to land large multi-year cloud deals, pulling in a new seven-year, $1.25 billion hybrid cloud deal with WPP.


Following on a series of large cloud and services deals, IBM announced a new multi-year, billion-dollar agreement with British advertising and public relations giant WPP.

Big Blue said it is building on its long-term relationship with the WPP communications services group. The agreement will enable WPP to innovate new digital services that will be run and managed within a global hybrid cloud infrastructure. This new strategic partnership includes a seven-year, $1.25 billion services contract for IBM to transform and manage WPP’s global technology platform.

As part of the agreement, IBM will provide a service delivery and technology platform for WPP to integrate its operations while delivering significantly improved productivity. The new flexible hybrid cloud infrastructure will enable the company to expand the use of big data and analytics to drive decision making and amplify the creative process. IBM also will help WPP beef up its digital and mobile infrastructure, more quickly deploy new products and services, and foster greater horizontal communication and collaboration across its multiple brands.

“As the world’s largest communications group, we are seeking to exploit IBM’s cloud computing expertise to allow us to innovate and add value to both the service and the product we deliver to clients across 111 countries,” said Robin Dargue, CIO of WPP Group, in a statement.

“This announcement is a significant milestone in the deployment of enterprise cloud and extends IBM’s position as the premier global cloud platform,” said Erich Clementi, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services, in a statement. “Our secure, open enterprise cloud platform will enable WPP to quickly deliver new innovations to their customers.”

IBM also announced a new multi-year services agreement with Thomson Reuters to provide IT services to the media giant’s employees globally. IBM will help Thomson Reuters deliver internal-facing IT support services that enable its increasingly mobile workforce to leverage enterprise technology resources to anticipate and address opportunities in global markets.

“Thomson Reuters will be able to capitalize on IBM’s industry-leading IT capabilities and expertise to improve operational processes and internal services across our businesses to enable our employees around the globe to focus on faster innovation for our customers,” said Rick King, executive vice president and chief operating officer for technology at Thomson Reuters.

“With rapidly changing dynamics in how businesses access, analyze and consume information, global enterprises require greater agility and continuous innovation in order to remain competitive,” said Philip Guido, general manager of IBM Global Technology Services in North America. “This new agreement demonstrates how IBM is the partner of choice for enterprise clients looking to maintain a competitive edge.”

It appears that IBM is becoming a partner of choice for enterprises looking for long-term agreements with service providers. In the last few weeks, IBM announced three billion-dollar-plus enterprise cloud and services deals with WPP, ABN AMRO and Lufthansa. These clients are turning IBM to help them build and manage a hybrid IT environment using the IBM Cloud.

IBM has more than 25 years in the outsourcing business and long-standing relationships with the many of the world’s largest enterprises. Recently, IDC named IBM as a leader in the U.S. government private cloud space as well as a leader in a survey of U.S clients for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) for large companies. Also, the latest global analysis from Synergy Research Group ranked IBM as the top provider of hybrid and private cloud services for the enterprise.

IBM is working with customers such as ABN AMRO, Lufthansa, Dow, WOOX, Delhaize America, and Pearson to evolve their IT environments. In its agreement with Dow Water & Process Solutions, a business unit of Dow Chemical, IBM is working to deploy a new app using IBM Cloud that will help Dow Water’s global engineering customers perform faster and more effective water treatment modeling. The cloud provides secure, scalable infrastructure that can rapidly scale as customer usage grows and will also allow customers to access the app on a desktop, tablet and mobile device.

With WOOX Innovations, a global leader in audio, entertainment and related accessories, IBM is moving key operations to the IBM Cloud, including global supply chain, over 100 business applications and core IT infrastructure services. By leveraging IBM’s global network of cloud centers, the company will drive greater consistency and collaboration across its 21 operating locations while accelerating its ability to expand operations overseas, IBM said.

Delhaize America, operator of the Food Lion and Hannaford grocery chains, is using the IBM Cloud to study the impact of local weather on store and product sales. By running analytics in the IBM Cloud, the food retailer is gaining deeper insights into customer buying patterns that will help improve decisions on inventory, promotions, pricing and staffing.

And Pearson is implementing the IBM Cloud as part of an enterprise-wide transformation that will help accelerate the learning company’s shift toward fast-growing markets, like South Africa and China, and digital educational products. Using IBM Cloud, the company is creating a more flexible global hybrid infrastructure with common systems and processes, which frees up resources to invest in new products that deliver measurable outcomes for learners.