ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 29 – IBM today announced global availability for its cloud service on five continents—plus a new center opening in Spain—based on its industry-leading sourcing business to host SAP applications and other core operations. Now clients can turn to cloud computing for enterprise applications while reducing the overall cost of IT and at the same time, expanding online access and investing in innovative analytics, social business and mobile computing.
Many organizations are eager to leverage the economic advantages of cloud computing to run their critical applications on the cloud. These applications require deep technical expertise, around-the-clock customer service, tight security and ongoing maintenance – features typically found in IT sourcing arrangements but not in the "one-size-fits-all" model of self-service clouds.
To address this, IBM developed an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud built on decades of hosting experience gained by being the world's largest provider of IT sourcing services with more than 1,000 clients. Called IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ (SCE+), the service combines the best features of sourcing – high service level agreements, security and reliability – with the best features of cloud – elasticity and subscription-based pricing.
This service offers the same level of assurance normally associated with a hosted service to make sure clients can always access their core applications for ERP, CRM, analytics, social business and mobile computing from the cloud. The new service goes beyond the infrastructure offered as a service with typical public clouds. With this cloud service, IBM also helps manage patch updates and identity management, improving security, which analysts often cite as an inhibitor to cloud adoption.
"This is a logical evolution of IBM's sourcing business that gives us an advantage both in our services relationships and the cloud market as we define a new enterprise-grade cloud today," said Jim Comfort , general manager of IBM SmartCloud Services. "Our clients want sophisticated, economical cloud-based services that provide the same quality and service level as a private, hosted IT environment. With that assurance, they can focus more on driving business value from their data and operations, and less on managing their IT."
An Enterprise-Grade Cloud Service—SmartCloud for SAP Applications
IBM is announcing today that IBM SmartCloud for SAP Applications, an enterprise service unique to IBM, is available globally.
As customers expand their use of SAP applications to more business processes, such as marketing campaigns based on Big Data, they often will benefit from more systems and greater management. Operating and managing IT environments running SAP solutions requires an advanced infrastructure and strong SAP operational skills.
IBM SmartCloud for SAP Applications automates and standardizes provisioning of IT environments, and can accelerate service delivery with expert certified staff. The SmartCloud services for SAP applications delivers 99.7 percent availability based on a global delivery model to support cloud-based systems around the clock. This service is available for SAP Business Suite software and the SAP BusinessObjects solution portfolio as an enterprise-class, fully managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering for running SAP solutions in a production environment.
"IBM's new cloud service for SAP applications exemplifies our two companies' work together in the last 40 years in delivering enterprise value to thousands of clients," said Dr. Vishal Sikka , member of the SAP Executive Board, Technology and Innovation. "Cloud computing is helping our clients transform their IT infrastructures and businesses. We are confident that our partnership with IBM – using their SmartCloud platform and our business applications – will help drive differentiated value to clients around the globe."
In addition, IBM is marrying its Global Business Services deep expertise, tools and processes with SmartCloud for SAP applications to deliver LifeCycle as a Service. This can transform implementations of SAP applications end to end – from sandbox to production. With this service, IBM takes responsibility and control of the SAP applications and provides management, including software patching of SAP solutions as well as support for the underlying operating system, database and middleware.
Clients may set up their SAP solutions development and test operations on IBM's public cloud service – SmartCloud Enterprise. Then those SAP applications can be transitioned to the SCE+ platform for production to further assure higher availability of the operations.
IBM has clients in finance, manufacturing, telecommunications, electronics, government and healthcare using SCE+. For example, IBM SCE+ is the cloud platform powering the Philips Smart TV platform for Internet services, which delivers greater interactive services to millions of TV viewers in more than 30 countries in Europe, as well as Brazil and Argentina.
"We needed a cloud computing environment resilient enough to support unexpected demands at any given time when millions of TV viewers access a variety of services on our network," said Albert Mombarg, head of Philips Smart TV at TP Vision, a joint venture between Philips and TV manufacturer TPV. "IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ provides an economic, flexible way to create new services for our viewers and we expect it to transform the way we deliver Philips Smart TV and drive ongoing business innovation."
Heathcare is also well suited for SCE+. Summit Health, a health care management company, is tapping IBM SCE+ to support the company's growth plans around health care management and proactive wellness programs. The Generalitat de Cataluna, a regional government in Spain, is planning on using SCE+ in a new IBM cloud datacenter in Spain to improve its healthcare system and share resources among its universities and town halls.
Details on SmartCloud Enterprise+
SCE+ is offered from IBM's cloud centers in Japan, Brazil, Canada, France, Australia, the U.S. and Germany, giving clients broad geographic choice of where their data resides. IBM announced today the opening of its first cloud center in Spain, located in Barcelona, to service clients worldwide, which will be operative by mid-2013.
The SCE+ environment can have service levels that guarantee availability for each single OS-instance from 98.5 percent up to 99.9 percent.
New also is IBM Migration Services for SmartCloud Enterprise+, which helps clients migrate to cloud more quickly and cost effectively by determining which workloads are best suited to the SmartCloud Enterprise+ environment. Standardized and automation-assisted, IBM Migration Services are economically priced, aiming to deliver ROI in six to 18 months.
About IBM Cloud Computing
IBM has helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud-based transactions every day. With cloud, IBM helps clients rethink their IT and reinvent their business. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services. IBM is unique in bringing together key cloud technologies, deep process knowledge, a broad portfolio of cloud solutions, and a network of global delivery centers.