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June 15, 2016

IBM Cloud turns into an enterprise software hub with VMware and Sugar partnerships

News: Access to third-party vendors increasingly important to cloud providers.

By James Nunns

For some time IBM has been trying to forge a position for itself in the cloud market as the best provider to access enterprise software services, now it has additional services from VMware and SugarCRM.

Both Sugar and VMware are existing partners of IBM but the latest deepening of their relationships will see VMware offering its Horizon Air cloud-hosted desktops and apps globally via the IBM Cloud, while the SugarCRM will now offer customers the option of running the whole of its platform on IBM’s cloud.

Big Blue’s moves in this area highlight an increasing desire from cloud players to partner with third-party enterprise software providers. The idea is that this will create an easier path to IBM’s cloud for customers that are using VMware and Sugar’s enterprise software.

Robert LeBlanc, SVP, IBM Cloud. "Every company will need to transition to the cloud to remain competitive. The strategic partnership to support VMware Horizon Air on IBM Cloud, provides a fantastic example of how IBM and VMware are helping customers dramatically simplify this move."

The partnership between Sugar and IBM should benefit organisations that work in regulated industries such as banking, healthcare, and financial services.

With businesses in these industries facing strict policies on security, compliance, and how sensitive customer data is handled outside of their corporate network, a more secure link to a cloud formed through a partnership should make cloud connectivity less of a concern.

Clint Oram, co-founder and CTO at SugarCRM, said: "IT strategy should not be held hostage by vendors who offer a proprietary, multi-tenant cloud configuration as the only option. Instead, choice should be the rule of the day for cloud deployments, so organizations can implement systems in a way that fits their business and IT needs."

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Oram said those its customers should consider IBM Cloud as their platform of choice if they are looking for greater control over their data and more deployment options.

SugarCRM customers that choose IBM Cloud will be able to deploy it across bare metal cloud servers, dedicated off-premises clouds or private cloud environments behind the firewall. As with the VMware deal, Sugar’s platform will be available across IBM’s 46 cloud data centres.

IBM’s partnership push has seen it reveal deals with the likes of GitHub, Bitly, and extended deals with Apple. It is clear that these partnerships hold great strategic value for Big Blue.

As part of the VMware deal, the two will market and sell services together such as pre-configured VMware SDDC environments for VMware vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN, in addition to hybrid cloud services developed by IBM.

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