IBM has expanded its European datacentre services by launching a social business datacentre in Germany, targeting customers that want to use cloud-based social business services to remain relevant in the IT consumerisation era.
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According to analysts at Forrester Research, the market for social enterprise apps and related services will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 61% to become a $6.4bn market in 2016.
Enterprises are seeking “security-rich, flexible cloud environments that let them drive a smarter enterprise”, said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, at IBM.
With the SmartCloud for Social Business datacentre, the company will provide either public or private cloud or a mix of cloud and on-premises services to customers. Enterprises can use tools such as online meetings, email, calendaring, instant messaging and more from the datacentre facility.
IBM SmartCloud is a line of enterprise-class cloud computing technologies and services for building and using private, public and hybrid clouds. SmartCloud offerings can be purchased as self-service or managed services.
Businesses can also invite external partners and clients to take part in these interactions while meeting regulatory requirements for data privacy.
For example, to improve the speed of marketing and sales execution, employees can build collaborative networks in real time, both internally and externally. They can use the “presence awareness capabilities” to see if colleagues are online to chat about the plan, review the document and engage in collaborative and concurrent real-time editing, IBM has said.
Some of IBM customers including Arnold Clark and Centrax TCL are already using cloud-based social business offerings to develop their workforces, according to IBM.
The European datacentre hosting cloud-based social business services will join IBM’s similar facilities in North America and Asia Pacific.
The German facility that will serve the European market comes as the company’s cloud sales continue to grow. In 2012 alone, IBM said its cloud revenue grew by 80%.
Last year, the Wimbledon website was redesigned on IBM’s SmartCloud for the 16 million unique visitors expected to access the site during the tennis tournament.