VMware and IBM forge closer ties to build industry-specific hybrid cloud services

Tech giants reinforce commitment to working together with pledge to co-develop industry-specific cloud services for regulated enterprises

IBM and VMware are taking their long-standing technology partnership to the next level, with a commitment to jointly create and bring to market more industry-specific products and services to help enterprises get more value from their hybrid cloud deployments.

The pair are long-time collaborators, having worked together for more than two decades, culminating in the creation of offerings such as the IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions setup. This was launched in 2016 and is geared towards enabling enterprises to run, migrate and manage their on-premise VMware workloads in Big Blue’s public cloud environments.

However, this new phase of their partnership will see the pair concentrate on co-developing offerings for enterprises in highly regulated industries, including financial services, healthcare and the public sector, to help accelerate their digital transformation plans.

They have also committed to expanding the VMware and IBM Joint Innovation Fund, which was set up in 2018 and is designed to aid collaboration between the firms’ engineering, sales and marketing functions to help their joint customers solve their technical issues.

The fund has so far resulted in 20 hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence projects coming to fruition, extending the functionality of the IBM Cloud platform for the benefit of VMware users.

As an example of this, the firms cited the development of a VMware-enabled reference architecture that has been integrated into the IBM Cloud for Financial Services platform.

“The new agreement will expand the Lab’s innovation pipeline for another three years with funding for the development of joint products and solutions,” the companies confirmed in a joint statement.  

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Additionally, the technology tie-up between the two tech giants has also seen IBM Consulting sign up to become a VMware Global Systems Integrator Partner to provide additional assistance to enterprises on their journey to the cloud.    

“In today’s market, organisations want to modernise and transform operations quickly,” said Howard Boville, head of IBM Cloud Platform. “But modernisation and innovation cannot come at the cost of security and trust built with clients.

“Together, IBM and VMware are supporting our mutual clients in regulated industries by offering something no two other companies are delivering: to more easily leverage hybrid cloud services securely, wherever and however they wish to run them.”

Mark Lohmeyer, senior vice-president and general manager of the cloud infrastructure business group at VMware, said the arrangement will bring plenty of benefits for both firms’ customers.

“With IBM and VMware, our customers get a combination of innovation and consulting experience based on decades of close collaboration and experience in meeting the business challenges of thousands of customers around the world,” said Lohmeyer.

“This ongoing collaboration will enable us to better streamline the user experience for our mutual enterprise customers looking to run VMware mission critical workloads that require higher levels of security, resiliency and compliance support in financial services and regulated industries.”

News of the expanded partnership between IBM and VMware comes at a time of big change for both firms. VMware is still in the throes of being acquired by Broadcom, while the first-year anniversary of IBM severing ties with its managed infrastructure service business is coming up in November 2022.

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