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October 9, 2013

IBM bolsters cloud portfolio

$2 billion SoftLayer investment to underpin its high value cloud capabilities.

By Duncan Macrae

Building on its $2 billion acquisition of SoftLayer, IBM has released series of new offerings that fuse together high value cloud and analytics capabilities to further help clients drive business transformation and growth.

As part of this expansion, IBM has announced new social business and mobile offerings for its 100-plus software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution portfolio, integrated cloud capabilities with SoftLayer assets and new expert integrated systems for hybrid cloud computing environments.

IBM is also announcing a series of global clients that are turning to IBM’s cloud capabilities as a transformative growth engine in their industry. These include Surfline Communications, a telecommunications provider in Ghana; and TienPhong Commercial Joint Stock Bank, one of the leading financial institutions in Vietnam.

In the new era of computing, the opportunity for cloud is growing exponentially. In fact, 60% of all enterprises are predicted to adopt some form of cloud computing this year, according to Gartner Research. In addition, GigaOm Research forecast $158 billion in global cloud computing investment by 2014.

Since its recent acquisition, SoftLayer has already added 1,600 new clients to its existing roster of 21,000 clients in 140 countries. SoftLayer infrastructure will be the foundation of IBM’s cloud portfolio.

IBM is beginning to shift its cloud portfolio to SoftLayer infrastructure — first among many of these shifts includes the IBM Social Learning platform, a first of its kind social enablement platform that is part of its Smarter Workforce portfolio and is already in use under the name OpenPediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital with 420 hospitals in 78 countries on six continents.

Additionally, IBM’s recent acquisition of Xtify, a provider of cloud-based mobile messaging tools that help organisations improve mobile sales, drive in-store traffic and engage customers with personalised offers, will also run on SoftLayer technology in the future.

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Building on more than 100 SaaS applications delivered to clients today, IBM’s new SaaS offerings being rolled out are customised to meet the specific needs of lines of business leaders such as Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) spanning all industries.

Adding to its Smarter Workforce portfolio, IBM is also launching the new IBM Mobile Feedback App, a cloud-based mobile application that allows human resources professionals and line of business executives such as sales, marketing or research to quickly plug into the opinions and ideas of employees. Executives can use this feedback to make informed decisions on productivity, retention rates, and employee engagement.

New additions to IBM’s retail merchandising cloud include a new capability to help multi-channel and pure play retailers increase sales and profitability, while maintaining a competitive price position. Merchandisers using IBM’s DemandTec solutions can now benefit from automated updates to pricing delivered online or in-store.

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