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New deals bolster IBM’s European cloud business

IBM has signed up a number of new customers for its European cloud, focusing on the platform and software services in the IBM public cloud

Several European businesses have signed contracts to use artificial intelligence, blockchain and analytics in the IBM Cloud.

Sebastian Krause, general manager, IBM Cloud Europe, said: “The IBM Cloud focuses on enterprise  IT. Customers want to modernise IT, drive a new business model and lead in digital transformation.

“To innovate the business model, you need technology that bring fast time to value such as blockchain, IoT [internet of things] and analytics. We are focusing our energy on these areas to ensure our customers can focus on their core business.”

As an example of how IBM is looking to differentiate its cloud, Krause said analytics on the IBM Cloud provides all capabilities to manage the full information lifecycle, based on an open design.

According to Krause, enterprises across Europe are gravitating towards the IBM Cloud because it helps them modernise their existing infrastructures.

IBM said Netherlands-based trucking transportation and logistics services company Koopman Logistics will use its blockchain technology to replace paper-based tracking, employing the service for tracking and tracing consignments across its entire supply chain.

A deal with French bank Crédit Mutuel will see IBM Watson virtual assistants deployed across all of the bank’s business lines to help the company’s 20,000 relationship managers serve customers better.

In the UK, said IBM, RS Components has launched a new peer-to-peer marketplace called DesignSpark, powered by the IBM Cloud and built in IBM’s London Cloud Garage.

RS Components said DesignSparks helps startups and small businesses promote, test and sell their inventions to an online community of more than 650,000 members.

In Germany, a deal with Osram will see see the lighting company use an IBM-built hybrid cloud to help it transform its operations to focus on innovative digital products.

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Other recent contracts include a £1.3bn deal with Lloyds Banking Group in the UK and ExxonMobil in the US, which has adopted the IBM Cloud as the foundation for its Speedpass mobile app, which is  available at more than 11,000 Exxon and Mobil petrol stations.  

Meanwhile, global eye health company Bausch & Lomb has selected IBM Cloud for its next-generation cataract surgical system, and Australian bank Westpac Banking Corp has migrated to a secure and dedicated IBM Cloud infrastructure.

IBM recently announced the expansion of its cloud capabilities with 18 new availability zones in North America, Europe and Asia. It said its global footprint is helping businesses to gain greater control of their data in the face of tightening data regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Krause said IBM has expanded its datacentre capabilities with 18 new availability zones, including two new ones in London and Frankfurt. Among the security standards these new availability zones support is the German C5 standard (Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue) from Bsi, the German federal office for information security.

“C5 is a requirement in the public sector and highly regulated industries,” said Krause. “C5 is a mandatory starting point for open tenders.”

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