MyPOV – This is a significant expansion to IBM’s original plans of moving to 40 locations as announced in January of 2014 – my analysis is here. And it’s a sign of something working for IBM here – as IBM communicates locations and signs up deals with customers, more locations than the 40 will be in demand. What works well for IBM here is that it has one of the smallest pod footprints in the industry, among the large players. We estimate Amazon AWS being 4-5 times and Microsoft Azure 2-3 times larger than the smallest IBM Cloud / SoftLayer footprint. That certainly helps when putting your flag around locations in the world, as less business needs to be acquired to reach economies of scale for a location.
IBM will reach customers in 12 new locations including IBM Cloud centers in Frankfurt, Mexico City and Tokyo, and nine more centers through a strategic partnership with Equinix in Australia, France, Japan, Singapore, The Netherlands and the US.
IBM's agreement with Equinix provides direct access to the full portfolio of SoftLayer cloud services via the Equinix Cloud Exchange™ in nine markets worldwide spanning the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, including Amsterdam, Dallas, Chicago, Paris, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. Through this partnership, SoftLayer provides customers with the ability to easily move production workloads in and out of the cloud, thus better enabling them to fully realize their hybrid cloud strategies.
Hybrid Cloud Growth in Enterprises
Enterprise cloud deployments, specifically hybrid cloud, are growing at a significant rate. According to leading technology research firm, Gartner, Inc., nearly half of all enterprises will have a hybrid cloud deployed by 2017. Chief among the driving forces behind the adoption of cloud computing worldwide including hybrid cloud, are requirements for businesses and governments to store certain data locally to comply with data residency regulations, as well as a growing desire for startups to expand their businesses globally. IBM estimates about 100 nations and territories have adopted laws that dictate how governments and private enterprises handle personal data.
The new IBM Cloud centers in Frankfurt, Mexico City and Tokyo are part of IBM's $1.2 billion commitment to grow IBM's Cloud presence around the world to meet these local mandates with performance, security and data controls built in. These centers further expand IBM’s global cloud footprint which includes facilities in Mumbai, London, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne, Toronto, Dallas and Raleigh, N.C., opened this year. This effort includes IBM's business consulting division, which features thousands of cloud experts with deep industry knowledge who are located around the globe to help clients to move to cloud. IBM consultants are dedicated to working face-to-face with clients to address all of their industry specific needs as they transform to the cloud era.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the new facilities offer an array of solutions including proven cloud resiliency services. These services guarantee customers up times of 99.99 percent across any IT environment, including traditional IT, public, private, or hybrid cloud deployments. In the event of an outage, the centers’ support team can recover data in minutes to ensure that is has little to no impact on business operations while going virtually unseen by customers.
Clients around the world are using IBM cloud centers spread across every major market to help them adopt cloud for growth and innovation. Since the start of November, IBM has announced more than $4 billion worth of cloud agreements with major enterprises around the world including Lufthansain Germany, ABN AMROin the Netherlands, WPPin the UK, Woox Innovations in Hong Kong, Dow Water and Thomson Reuters.
IBM today announced that global transport operator National Express Group PLC is delivering a data-driven railway to improve both operational performance and customer experience on the IBM Cloud to provide up-to-the-minute train information and allow postcode-to-postcode journey planning – a first in UK rail.
In addition, born-on-the-web innovators are increasingly choosing to build their business on the IBM Cloud. In just the last month, IBM has announced wins with Diabetizer and Preveniomed in Germany,Hancom in South Korea, Musimundoin Argentina and Nubity Inc.in Mexico. Collectively these wins reflect IBM's unique ability to deliver a full range of services through the cloud in ways that other cloud providers cannot match.
“IBM recognizes that businesses and governments need the cloud to help them innovate, grow and operate more efficiently in concert with their existing IT investments," said Jim Comfort, General Manager, IBM Cloud Services. "Everything IBM does is designed to help companies transition to the cloud in a responsible way at a pace that best fits their business model and industry. Just as we helped major organizations transform in each preceding era of IT, IBM now serves as the cloud platform for the enterprise.”
IBM has announced key cloud investments throughout 2014. In addition to expanding its global cloud footprint and the establishment of the Bluemix PaaS to bring enterprise developers into the hybrid cloud era, IBM also launched a new Cloud marketplace that brings together IBM’s vast portfolio of cloud capabilities and new third-party services in a way that delivers a simple and easy experience for the enterprise. The IBM Cloud marketplace serves as a single online destination serves as the digital front door to cloud innovation bringing together IBM’s capabilities-as-a-service and those of partners and third party vendors with the security and resiliency enterprises expect.
IBM Cloud Growth through Strategic Partnerships
Today's announcement with Equinix further extend the reach IBM has achieved through its own cloud portfolio and well as a string of recent cloud partnerships with other notable companies including:
- SAP selected IBM as a premier strategic provider of Cloud infrastructure services for its business critical applications to accelerate customers’ ability to run core business in the cloud. SAP applications are now available through IBM’s highly scalable, open and secure cloud and enables SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud to major markets with the addition of the IBM cloud data centers.
- IBM and Microsoft are working together to provide their respective enterprise software on Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud. This relationship will give clients, partners and developers more choice in the cloud, helping them drive new business opportunities, spur innovation and reduce costs.
- IBM and Tencent Cloud recently signed a business cooperation memorandum to collaborate on providing public cloud with Software-as-a-Service solutions for industries. The companies will focus on emerging small and medium enterprises in the smarter cities, healthcare industries and other fields to enable these industries to utilize mobile, cloud computing and big data tools to transform internal processes and operations, thus achieving cloud transformation in the era of mobility.
- AT&T and IBM are collaborating to speed business adoption of cloud services by extending AT&T NetBondSM services to the SoftLayer platform for stronger security and performance. This extension of the IBM and AT&T alliance will allow businesses to easily create hybrid-computing solutions.
- IBM and Intel worked together to make SoftLayer the first cloud platform to offer its customers bare metal servers powered by Intel® Cloud Technology that provides monitoring and security down to the microchip level. Through this agreement, the Intel® Trusted Execution Technology provides hardware monitoring and security controls that help assure businesses that a workload from a known location on SoftLayer infrastructure is running on trusted hardware.
In addition to these partnerships, IBM is also contributing Private Computing services from IBM Cloud OpenStack Services platform to the OpenStack and Cloud Foundry Foundations. The initial usage of these services will offer expanded capabilities to enable automated integration, reduced cycle time and increased quality for software distribution. This will accelerate time to market for all uses of OpenStack based infrastructure.
By better enabling the open community, partnering with key companies that provide even greater value to the IBM Cloud portfolio and continuing to make financial and technological investments that has helped IBM achieve significant growth in its cloud business:
- IBM reported cloud revenue of $4.4 billion for 2013 – up 69 percent year-to-year
- IBM cloud revenue has increased 50 percent through the third quarter 2014 with a $3.1 billion run rate in as-a-service revenue.
- IBM Cloud supports 47 of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies
- For two years in a row, IBM has been named a leader in the IDC MarketScape on Cloud Professional Services. (IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Cloud Professional Services 2014 Vendor Analysis, doc #250238, August 2014)
- Businesses across the U.S. recently ranked IBM the as the number one cloud computing provider, according to an IDC survey of US market preferences for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). *Source: IDC's U.S Outsourced Cloud Services Survey, 4Q13
- In addition to overall top ranking, IBM was also rated the leader in six of eight major industries covered in the study including Financial Services, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Professional Services, Wholesale and Retail and Public Sector (government). *Source: IDC's U.S Outsourced Cloud Services Survey, 4Q13
- IBM also finished in the top three in Transportation and Telecommunications, the only vendor to lead in as many industries and rank no lower than third in any industry. *Source: IDC's U.S Outsourced Cloud Services Survey, 4Q13
- Synergy Research Group recently ranked IBM among the top three cloud providers and the leader in hybrid and private cloud engagement in a market analysis of public, private and hybrid IaaS and PaaS.
- IBM certainly knows when it needs to invest into something that works. The race to the announced 40 locations of January 2014 – that was not responded for by the usual competitors – has even more accelerated with IBM tracking to 48 locations now.
- IBM’s reputation to help enterprises in technology transformation times is a well working and resonating messaging with customer and prospects.
- Bluemix is, remains and will be a critical component of IBM’s cloud success. How well IBM can not only attract the new ‘cloud developer’ but also the existing (Rational) IBM developer will be a key area to watch in 2015 and beyond.
- The service capabilities of IBM work to its favor with the enterprise need to be advised and often literally ‘taken by the hand’ to move to the public cloud.
- IBM knows how to partner and will have more partnerships in stock for us to see in 2015.
- Event Report - IBM Insight 2014 - Is it all coming together for IBM in 2015? Or not?
- First Take - Top 3 Takeaways from IBM Insight Day 1 Keynote - read here
- IBM and SAP partner for cloud - good move - read here
- Event Report - IBM Enterprise - A lot of value for existing customers, but can IBM attract net new customers? Read here
- Progress Report - The Mainframe is alive and kicking - but there is more in IBM STG - read here
- News Analysis - IBM and Intel partner to make the cloud more secure - read here
- Progress Report - IBM BigData an Analytics have a lot of potential - time to show it - read here
- Event Report - What a difference a year makes - and off to a good start - read here
- First Take - 3 Key Takeaways from IBM's Impact Conference - Day 1 Keynote - read here
- Another week and another Billion - this week it's a BlueMix Paas - read here
- First take - IBM makes Connection - introduces the TalentSuite at IBM Connect - read here
- IBM kicks of cloud data center race in 2014 - read here
- First Take - IBM Software Group's Analyst Insights - read here
- Are we witnessing one of the largest cloud moves - so far? Read here
- Why IBM acquired Softlayer - read here