IBM Looks To Shift Cloud Computing Kit Through Managed Service Providers

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Big Blue targets SMBs with its MSP cloud push

Rather than looking to shove its cloud computing gear on its lonesome, IBM is hoping it can gain more traction in the market via managed service providers (MSPs).

IBM believes MSPs, which Big Blue defines as providers who deliver solutions or services on a pay-as-you-go model, offer an ideal approach to small to medium-sized businesses who need help in jumping up to the cloud, due to a lack of resources.

Yesterday, IBM announced plans to open up its various cloudy technologies to let MSPs build attractive cloud packages. That includes its recently-announced PureSystems products, which bring together compute, networking and storage.

Not aping Amazon

IBM’s services will also be opened up to MSPs to sell on, as will its SmartCloud lineup, which includes various technologies to support private clouds, or as-a-service offerings, from platform to compute to software.

Additionally, MSPs will now be able to access IBM’s Global Centres of Excellence, where Big Blue will help them put together compelling cloud offerings.

There are also 12-month, zero percent loans on offer for IBM systems, storage and software, hinting IBM is willing to take a revenue hit to challenge the likes of Amazon, which continues to dominate the public cloud market. Payment plans from IBM Global Financing may also attract MSPs looking to gain cheaper routes into the cloud industry.

The IT giant said it had already built solid relationships with over 1400 MSPs, including the likes of Oxford Networks and PEER 1 Hosting.

“These new initiatives launched by IBM are unfolding new opportunities for our organization not only to create new business opportunities with clients but also seize the opportunity to expand our global reach,” said Craig Gunderson, CEO of Oxford Networks.

“The combination of  IBM’s technical expertise and focus on helping clients drive innovation with advanced technologies and its marketing engine will enable us to move beyond our traditional client base and reach new markets,” he added.

IBM is also part of the OpenStack push, as it wants to be part of the anti-Amazon community that will let their clouds work together. The OpenStack crew, which is currently being led by one of the founders, Rackspace, believes that the ability to move easily between OpenStack-based clouds will attract businesses away from the proprietary beast that is Amazon.

Big Blue believes this will benefit MSPs looking to sell on IBM services too.

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