IBM bolsters cloud portfolio by integrating SoftLayer assets

IBM has started shifting its cloud services on to SoftLayer’s infrastructure and has launched new SaaS products based on SoftLayer’s technology

IBM has started shifting its cloud portfolio on to SoftLayer’s infrastructure and has launched new SaaS products based on SoftLayer’s technology, four months after it purchased the company for $2bn.

IBM has integrated cloud capabilities with SoftLayer assets for hybrid cloud computing environments and has also launched social business and mobile offerings for its existing SaaS (software as a service) portfolio.

The company’s new SaaS offerings are designed to meet the specific needs of professionals such as CIOs, CMOs and human resource officers. 

The expansion of IBM’s cloud portfolio comes at a time when the opportunity for cloud is growing exponentially and as it goes mainstream. According to analyst firm Gartner’s research, as much as 60% of all enterprises are likely to adopt some form of cloud service before the end of this year.

Previously, IBM had made just its SmartCloud for Social Business available on SoftLayer’s infrastructure in a new Amsterdam datacentre.

Among the first of the new services IBM has shifted to SoftLayer’s infrastructure is IBM Social Learning platform -- social media service that is part of IBM’s Smarter Workforce portfolio. Starting from December 2013, the offering will be delivered as a service to enterprises.

Running the social platform on SoftLayer technology will help IBM apply it across a variety of industries, such as retail, energy and utilities, government, healthcare and automotive and provide enterprises the ability to share knowledge and expertise through real-time videos via a hybrid cloud.

For example, doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital – which uses IBM Social Learning platform -- can share training videos with clinicians halfway across the globe to demonstrate the latest life-saving techniques in child care, according to IBM.

As part of its strategy to integrate cloud with SoftLayer’s assets, IBM will also run Xtify services on SoftLayer. IBM recently acquired Xtify which provides cloud-based mobile messaging tools.

Cloud is going to be a transformational engine that is driving growth for our customers, said Dennis Quan, vice president, IBM Cloud Infrastructure Services. "With today’s 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 organisation’s vision". 

Adding to its Smarter Workforce portfolio, IBM is also launching a cloud-based mobile application -- Mobile Feedback App -- to allow business executives to gain insights into employees’ feedback and use the data to make decisions and strategies.  

It has also launched a tool with cloud analytics capabilities. The IBM Survey Analytics application uses text and visual analytics to automatically extract and display over one million pieces of anonymous unstructured data. It then provides findings via a sentiment "heat map" of trends broken down by segments, to arm CIOs with useful business data. 

Meanwhile, it has also added new features to its retail merchandising cloud and cloud marketing suites.

New IBM Systems for private and hybrid cloud Deployments  

IBM has also introduced new systems to help managed service providers (MSPs) build private and hybrid clouds to get the most out of social, mobile and Big Data workloads.

These include new IBM PureFlex Systems and IBM Power Systems solutions to provide the flexibility MSPs need to deploy clouds and cloud services. IBM also announced that its software patterns for PureApplication System, which are designed to streamline the set-up and management of hardware and software resources, can now be deployed on SoftLayer.

Lastly, IBM has also launched support for OpenStack across all models of PureApplication System to enable lower entry points starting at 32-cores.

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