HURSLEY, England and ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In a deliberate move to quickly prepare its global ecosystem of business partners for the coming wave of cloud computing opportunities, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today launched a first-of-its-kind Cloud Computing Lab in the United Kingdom to help partners capture cloud computing business opportunities. The new lab will help IBM Business Partners cloud enable their technologies and gain the sales and marketing skills they need to take advantage of this fast-growing market.
In a recent IBM developerWorks survey of 2,000 IT professionals from 87 countries, 91 percent of respondents said they anticipate cloud computing to overtake on-premise computing as the primary way organizations acquire IT by 2015. Industry analysts also are predicting significant growth for cloud computing services, estimating that this year's $68 billion opportunity will reach nearly $150 billion in four years.
Partners at the new Cloud Computing Lab in the Hursley IBM Innovation Center can access the latest in IBM cloud technologies to develop and test new cloud services, and work with industry experts to build a go-to-market plan. A typical project at the lab will help a partner explore a wide variety of cloud computing models and become cloud builders, application, technology and infrastructure providers, and cloud resellers and aggregators, depending on their individual business.
Unlike IBM's competitors who ask their partners to do the heavy lifting in cloud enabling their technology -- then come up with a business plan to sell it -- IBM works directly with its partners on these crucial steps to help ensure joint success in the marketplace.
For example, IBM Business Partner Maxima, a leading IT business systems and managed services company based in the UK, recently signed an agreement and developed a go-to-market plan with IBM to deliver cloud based services to its 1,400 mid-market customers across the US, Europe and Asia, including 500 of its own resellers. Maxima will deliver business applications hosted on an IBM cloud to its clients in the construction, manufacturing and distribution, financial services, telecommunications, and public sector industries. The company will market cloud services through its Maxima Reseller Portal, allowing customers and resellers to use and market business applications using the portal.
"Businesses are looking for reliable performance and security in cloud services," said Graham Kingsmill, CEO, Maxima. "The combination of Maxima and IBM cloud services addresses these issues and can help our joint clients and resellers grow their business and reach new markets."
Experts from IBM's Cast Iron development team will be on-hand at the lab to help partners connect on-premise and cloud computing environments for clients in the finance, healthcare, telecommunications and energy and utilities industries. IBM acquired Cast Iron earlier this year for its expertise as a leading integration-as-a-service company.
Partners can access the lab from any of IBM's network of 38 Innovation Centers worldwide. As a result, partners at these centers can work virtually with the cloud experts at the Hursley IBM Innovation Center to enable their technologies and gain the skills they need to build and deliver new cloud services.
"Our business partners are ready to cash-in on cloud computing, and they are looking to IBM for hands-on assistance to drive new business opportunities," said Jim Corgel, general manager, IBM ISV and Developer Relations. "The new Cloud Computing Lab will help our partners gain the skills they need to build next generation business applications and services for the cloud using IBM technologies."
Today's announcement builds on recent cloud news where IBM continues to demonstrate its commitment to help business partners capture cloud business opportunities:
- IBM's Cloud Service Provider Platform -- the new platform provides telecommunications clients with industry specific hardware, software and services to help clients rapidly deliver cloud computing on their own. IBM partners such as Broadsoft, Corent Technology, deCarta, Jamcracker, Juniper Networks, NetApp, Openet, RightScale and Wavemaker are supporting the platform today. IBM's Venture Capital Group worked with six of these nine partners during their startup phase, helping them to become IBM Business Partners and make their technologies enterprise-ready for the cloud using IBM hardware and software.
- Expansion of the Smart Business Development &Test on the IBM Cloud -- this cloud allows enterprise clients to expand and enhance internal development and test processes with instant access to resources through IBM's secure, scalable cloud delivery model. IBM continues to build an ecosystem of partners to deliver the most complete and comprehensive cloud computing solutions to clients. This ecosystem comprises existing and new cloud partners: Cohesive Flexible Technologies Corp (Cohesive FT) allows customer controlled networking in a cloud, and Servoy provides a rapid application development and deployment environment for creating and building high-end enterprise applications on the cloud. "
- IBM Cloud Computing Architecture Certifications -- IBM Software partners and any IT professional looking to certify their cloud computing knowledge can now become IBM Cloud Computing Architecture certified, demonstrating they have mastered skills to design public and private cloud computing solutions based on IBM technology. The first-of-its-kind certification adds credibility to partners that have demonstrated their cloud knowledge, and helps customers identify them as industry experts. MSI Systems Integrators and Ultramatics are among 90 IBM partners certified today.
To hear about cloud computing from IBM Business Partners, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5xEsnoHTyg.
For more information on IBM Innovation Centers, visit: http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/iic.
For more IBM Cloud news, visit: http://www.ibm.com/press/cloud.