IBM Takes On AT&T Managed Application, Hosting Services

AT&T’s networking, security and mobility solutions coupled with IBM Cloud offer companies a fully managed IT environment.

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IBM and AT&T announced an expansion of their long-term strategic relationship to bring businesses a full suite of networking, application and hosting services.

Under the agreement, AT&T will transition its managed application and managed hosting services unit to IBM. IBM will then align these managed service capabilities with its IBM Cloud portfolio. IBM will also acquire equipment and access to floor space in AT&T data centers currently supporting the applications and managed hosting operations.

"This announcement represents an expansion of our strategic relationship with AT&T and continuing collaboration to deliver new innovative solutions," said Philip Guido, IBM general manager of Global Technology Services for North America, in a statement. "Working with AT&T, we will deliver a robust set of IBM Cloud and managed services that can continuously evolve to meet clients' business objectives."

Together, AT&T and IBM will enable companies to more easily integrate networks and cloud workloads with their IT environments. After the close of the deal, IBM will deliver the managed applications and managed hosting services AT&T provides today. AT&T will continue to provide networking services including security, cloud networking and mobility that it provides today.

Moreover, IBM will provide enterprise, e-commerce and communications applications, along with private cloud services and managed hosting to clients. The majority of AT&T employees supporting these services will move to IBM and continue in their current roles. And the two companies will work closely to innovate and deliver a full suite of integrated solutions to customers.

"AT&T and IBM have worked together for nearly 20 years," said Jon Summers, senior vice president of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions, in a statement. "This is a natural expansion of our relationship, and it demonstrates our continued commitment to serve customers based on our respective strengths and capabilities."

As the new operator of these managed application and managed hosting services, IBM will bring its extensive enterprise experience and a rich portfolio of cloud, data and application solutions to bear, IBM officials said.

This move comes just a couple months after IBM and AT&T teamed up on a mobile cloud security solution to secure devices, connectivity and data.

In October, AT&T announced that in conjunction with IBM it would deliver a scalable mobile cloud solution to help protect corporate data and apps. IBM and AT&T's new approach enables a workforce to be productive without compromising security and the mobile user experience.

The AT&T and IBM mobile cloud security solution helps users secure their device, connectivity and data. It gives companies simple tools they can use to properly enable their growing mobile workforce. The reference architecture includes components from both companies, including IBM MobileFirst Protect, which helps organizations manage and control mobile devices, apps and documents. AT&T NetBond provides a secure, scalable network connection to IBM's Cloud infrastructure services, SoftLayer, while IBM Cloud, the SoftLayer infrastructure, secures public and private clouds for applications and data storage. Finally, AT&T Work Platform enables separate billing of business and personal charges for voice, messaging and data use on an employee's personal handset.

"More employees are using mobile devices to be more productive. At the same time, data and apps are moving to the cloud. The changes are exciting, but security needs to be top-of-mind," said Steve McGaw, chief marketing officer for AT&T Business Solutions, in a statement. "Trusted collaborators like IBM are helping us better address changing business models. Together we're giving options to deliver highly secure mobile access to cloud apps and data."