IBM announced a major cloud deal with Marriott along with three other hybrid cloud wins today.
IBM said Marriott will use IBM’s cloud to power its IT operations for its more than 4,000 properties across the globe. Marriott will migrate a significant portion of its core IT systems and applications to IBM’s open cloud platform over the next few years. IBM did not disclose the value of the deal.
Big Blue will also provide managed DevOps services to enable the development of “born on the cloud” capabilities using the cloud solution. And Marriott will be deploying IBM’s Big Insights analytics software.
“Marriott continually transforms its technology to ensure we provide a seamless and enjoyable experience for guests throughout their entire stay,” said Bruce Hoffmeister, global chief information officer at Marriott International, in a statement. “IBM Cloud provides the analytics to see early-stage data patterns and the scale and flexibility to enable timely, innovative new services that will meet guests’ expectations in a predominantly digital world.”
“Industry leaders stay ahead by moving to the next paradigm ahead of competitors,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud, in a statement. “Through our powerful enterprise cloud platform and ability to integrate it seamlessly with existing on-premises technology, IBM is enabling Marriott’s transformation and global expansion.”
IBM also announced that Opera Software has deployed its Web browser on bare metal servers in IBM’s Singapore cloud center to support delivery of mobile Web browsing and meet substantial mobile growth for end users across Asia.
With more than 350 million unique users, Opera Software provides one of the world’s leading Web browsers and one of the leading browsers on mobile platforms and smart TVs, with more than 270 million unique mobile users around the world. In fact, Opera Mini servers, which run the browser specifically for mobile phones, delivered more than 177 billion Web pages in just one year and have compressed more than 350 petabytes of data since Opera Mini’s launch in 2006.
IBM said Opera Software has deployed Opera Max and Opera Rocket Optimizer solutions for mobile video on bare metal servers from IBM’s SoftLayer unit to install and manage the Opera software in a single-tenant environment. SoftLayer’s cloud infrastructure will support video streaming and downloads on mobile devices, and will allow Opera to seamlessly scale access as it grows across Asia.
“Asia is one of the fastest growing markets for mobile Internet, and this is the first time Opera’s compression services have run on a third-party cloud,” said Anthony Nichols, vice president of global IT procurement at Opera Software. With IBM’s cloud infrastructure, Opera is “able to deliver our services in Southeast Asia in a cost-effective way and run our services close to where our users are located, giving them the best quality service.”
Opera Max and Opera’s Rocket Optimizer solutions for mobile video are server-centered applications supporting users’ mobile Internet browsing and video streaming activity. As more users watch more videos on their mobile devices—and as these users expect a clear, uninterrupted delivery of their video content—more computing power and bandwidth are required to meet expectations for consistent delivery.
Moving these types of applications to the IBM Cloud will help Opera meet its users’ demands for uninterrupted video streaming services by minimizing the number of network nodes and increasing bandwidth capacity while also ensuring that the applications are hosted in cloud centers near the end user, thereby lowering network latency.
IBM Lands Cloud Deals With Marriott, Others
“Seamless integration, scalability and security are key attributes of IBM’s cloud that will help Opera Software empower millions of users across Asia with mobile access to the Internet,” said Magnus Arildsson, cloud services leader at IBM Nordic. “With a global network of cloud centers around the world and across Asia, the IBM Cloud will ensure that Opera’s end users are able to access video and browse the Web with uninterrupted access.”
Meanwhile, data management company Sohonet announced it is offering IBM Cloud’s SoftLayer platform to its extensive network of film and media companies specializing in post-production, visual effects (VFX) and animation.
Sohonet’s customer base includes British film studios, global media companies, and film and television productions. With SoftLayer, Sohonet addresses the challenges of moving huge digital media files through the production and post-production pipeline by offering scalable cloud computing environments to manage and store that data.
Film rendering has always been compute-intensive, but the increased scale of studio film production and the ability to service concurrent projects have made it increasingly desirable for media companies to “buy in” cloud rendering when extra capacity is needed. With IBM Cloud, Sohonet’s customers can scale their infrastructure based on workflow needs. They can quickly spin up a mix of virtual and bare metal servers on demand and configure them as if they were their own on-premises servers.
“Functionality and operational expertise is critical to our clients’ business success,” said Chuck Parker, executive chairman of Sohonet, in a statement. “This unique relationship with IBM Cloud offers our customers a low-latency, high-bandwidth private network link into the most versatile and customizable of infrastructure platforms. The SoftLayer infrastructure offers the flexibility to design your environment the way you know it works best, aligning operational expenditure with incoming revenue. This allows creative teams to experiment without overinvesting on-premises for peak workloads.”
In addition, IBM and Kallo announced that Kallo has deployed its remote health care delivery system on the IBM cloud to bring real-time medical services to rural areas of the world.
Kallo’s mobile health-care systems will be used to build and extend primary care infrastructure in countries including Guinea and Ghana. The company’s mission is to deliver public health services, manage communicable and infectious diseases such as Ebola, balance health care delivery inequities, and address rural disease and health threats. On-demand telehealth services will be delivered from the company’s global command center in Markham, Ontario, and regional command centers in countries of operation.
IBM provides Kallo with technology consulting and services as well as a cloud infrastructure hosted at the recently opened SoftLayer cloud center in Toronto. The Toronto location is part of IBM’s expanding global network of more than 40 cloud computing centers.
“The health-care industry is in a time of accelerating change that needs continual innovation,” said John Cecil, Kallo’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “IBM’s cloud technology enables us to ‘reach the unreached’ to scale and securely deliver North American standards of health care to some of the world’s most remote or underserved populations.”
Kallo services include MobileCare, RuralCare, DialysisCare, hospital information systems, telehealth systems, pharmacy information, disaster management, air and surface patient transportation systems, and clinical training.