IBM Taps Startups in European Cloud Expansion

IBM is targeting startups and young companies as it expands its cloud presence in the Central and Eastern European region.

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IBM is leading with its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure and Bluemix platform as a service to expand its cloud presence in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by targeting the untapped startup and emerging business market in the region.

Indeed, Big Blue officials noted that startups throughout the CEE region are increasingly turning to IBM to accelerate cloud-based business models and deliver new services. By adopting IBM Cloud's Bluemix and SoftLayer platforms, emerging companies in industries such as health care, gaming and public safety are growing their businesses in CEE and beyond.

"In Central and Eastern Europe, spending on cloud services, which includes public, private and hybrid cloud, is on the rise and is far exceeding the growth rates of traditional technology delivery models," said Vladimir Kroa, associate vice president of IT services for IDC's Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) region, in a statement. "Cloud delivery—along with other modern technologies and delivery models such as mobility, big data/analytics and social media—is becoming a de-facto business model and requires a new sourcing approach and a transformation of services management."

According to International Monetary Fund, across much of the CEE region, the economy has begun to recover at a relatively solid pace. With a strengthening business climate, organizations are committed to investing in technologies like cloud, mobile and analytics, IBM said.

"Consequently, the integration of internal and external resources is becoming more frequent as end users are opting for a hybrid cloud model that, on one hand, solves some of the legislative concerns about data privacy, and, at the same time, enables more flexibility, price transparency and acceleration of go-to-market strategies," Kroa added.

CEE businesses that adopt the IBM Cloud gain infrastructure and tools to extend their businesses to the cloud through a variety of deployment models, including hybrid cloud. And the Bluemix cloud development platform enables developers to build mobile and analytics-based applications that can be hosted on SoftLayer infrastructure.

IBM launched Bluemix with a $1 billion investment in 2014. The platform provides developers with a catalog of more than 100 tools and services—including open-source technologies combined with IBM and third-party services. SoftLayer became part of the IBM Cloud in July 2013 after IBM acquired the company for $2 billion. The SoftLayer infrastructure is now the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio. In January, IBM committed to investing $1.2 billion to expand its global cloud operations in all major geographies and financial centers. IBM Cloud operates SoftLayer facilities in North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe, including data centers in the greater London area; Paris; Frankfurt, Germany; and Amsterdam and Almere in the Netherlands.

IBM also earlier this month opened its first cloud data center in Italy. Located in Cornaredo, a municipality in the province of Milan, the new facility provides the fast-growing Italian cloud market with a local IBM Cloud presence, allowing customers to deploy their workloads in the country and benefit from a low-latency connection into IBM Cloud's global platform, which integrates data and applications for users around the world.