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November 27, 2023

AWS and Kyndryl launch AI ‘innovation factory’

The two vendors will work together to bring new AI systems to market for customers, targeting specific verticals.

By Matthew Gooding

Kyndryl has signed a multi-year collaboration with AWS which will see the companies work together to develop and deliver AI and machine learning (ML) products. As part of the deal, the two vendors will launched an Innovation Factory aimed at developing bespoke generative AI solutions for different industries.

Kyndryl has enhanced its partnership with AWS. (Photo by T.Schneider/Shutterstock)

The strategic collaboration agreement builds on an existing partnership between the companies which has been in place since 2022, shortly after IT services provider Kyndryl spun out of IBM. Public cloud market leader AWS is currently holding its re:Invent 2023 developer conference in Las Vegas.

How Kyndryl and AWS will work together

Under the deal, Kyndryl and AWS will establish the Innovation Factory, which is described as “a mutual investment to co-create generative AI and ML solutions focused on specific industry use cases.” A statement from the companies said that by “leveraging the Innovation Factory and Kyndryl’s data-driven capabilities, customers can jump-start their cloud modernisation journey and accelerate their business transformation.”

Kyndryl is the largest ITSP in the world, having inherited legacy contracts from IBM covering some of the biggest names in industry, particularly in the field of financial services. While today’s announcement doesn’t specify any industries that are being targeted with the Innovation Factory, many financial services companies are reticent to adopt AI because they fear they may run into data security or regulatory problems. Using bespoke AI products for different verticals, rather than the general purpose tools developed by vendors like OpenAI and Anthropic, is seen by many as a way to assuage these concerns.

Elsewhere, the businesses will work together to enhance capabilities to design, implement, migrate, modernise, and manage AWS cloud services across complex information technology environments, and offer “speed modernisation of enterprise resource planning systems and other applications on AWS through a shared strategic execution plan designed to reduce costs, complexities and time.”

The deal will “help Kyndryl scale its reach and ability to facilitate customers’ digital transformations on AWS through a growing variety of application modernisation options,” said Nicolas Sekkaki, Kyndryl’s applications, data and AI global practice leader.

For Kyndryl, which has its roots in on-premises infrastructure and services, partnerships with providers such as AWS are key to proving its relevance in a market where businesses are increasingly looking to the cloud, and have a range of cloud-native vendors ready to manage their deployments. It has struggled to grow its income beyond its base clients, with revenue declining in each quarter since the spin-out from IBM.

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AWS and Salesforce deepen their ties

Kyndryl isn’t the only vendor getting into bed with AWS at re:Invent, which got underway today. Salesforce also announced it was strengthening its partnership with Amazon’s cloud platform, with a heavy focus on AI services. It will see select Salesforce products made available in the AWS marketplace for the first time.

AWS’s Bedrock generative AI product will now be available on Salesforce, accessible via API. Bedrock will be included in Salesforce’s Einstein trust layer to power AI-driven apps and workflows in Salesforce. AWS will also expand its internal use of Salesforce products such as Data Cloud, which will enable “AWS to create a single unified customer profile allowing them to deliver more personalised experiences to customers.”

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said the partnership creates “a trusted, open, integrated data and AI platform, and ensuring we meet massive customer demand for our products on the AWS Marketplace.”

He added: “With these enhancements to our partnership, we’re enabling all of our customers to be more innovative, productive and successful in this new AI era.” 

The integrations will come online next year, the companies said. US customers can now purchase Salesforce products in the AWS marketplace, with other regions to be added in 2024.

Read more: Broadcom finally closes $61bn VMware deal

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