IBM expands its cloud services

A little over 90 days have passed since IBM acquired Dallas-based managed hosted, cloud provider SoftLayer Technologies Inc. and Big Blue is already out with its biggest cloud portfolio to date.

From the release of these cloud products, the SoftLayer infrastructure will form the foundation of IBM’s go-to-market cloud services. The $2 billion SoftLayer acquisition brought with it more than 21,000 customers in roughly 140 counties along with product build on open standards. 

The new IBM cloud offerings will see a newly commercialized Social Learning platform, a new line of PureSystems and Power systems solutions for private and hybrid clouds that will be mapped to SoftLayer’s technology, and the Xtify assets will create an in-app mobile messaging for SoftLayer’s cloud.

One of the new cloud services is a SaaS product customized to meet the specific needs of lines of business leaders such as Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) spanning all industries.

Adding to its Smarter Workforce portfolio, IBM also launched the new IBM Mobile Feedback App, a cloud-based mobile application that allows human resources professionals and line of business executives such as sales, marketing or research to plug into the opinions and ideas of employees.

Also released is IBM Survey Analytics application that uses text and visual analytics to automatically extract and display more than one million pieces of anonymous unstructured data derived from employee surveys, including more than 4.2 million employee comments collected annually through surveys conducted by Kenexa.  It then provides findings via a sentiment “heat map” of trends broken down by employee segments.

In addition to the new software and services, IBM also recently announced the availability of IBM SmartCloud for Social Business on SoftLayer’s infrastructure.

New additions to IBM’s retail merchandising cloud include a new capability to help multi-channel and pure play retailers increase sales and profitability, while maintaining a competitive price position.  Merchandisers using IBM’s DemandTec solutions can now automated updates to pricing delivered online or in-store. This new flexibility enables merchandisers to respond to competitive price changes.

Dennis Quan, vice president of IBM Cloud Infrastructure Services, said the cloud is going to be a transformational engine that is driving growth for our customers. With today’s latest offerings, IBM is continuing to move its cloud strategy forward by helping put the tools for business innovation directly in the hands of leaders tasked with reshaping their organization’s vision. 

According to new research from Gartner, 60 per cent of all enterprises are predicted to adopt some form of cloud computing this year. GigaOm Research forecasted $158 billion in global cloud computing investment by 2014.

The new PureFlex and Power systems will be targeted at managed service providers (MSPs) to help them build private and hybrid clouds. These new machines are available as a single chassis configuration only. The PureFlex System comes with selectable rack offerings and is designed for scalable cloud deployments with built-in redundancy for resilient operation. Both systems support all Power processor and x86-based compute nodes.

IBM also announced that its software patterns for PureApplication System can now be deployed on SoftLayer.

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