IBM Offers New Services, Learning, Tools for Cloud Channel Partners

Offerings aimed at helping channel partners to create new applications and build cloud computing skills.

IBM Corp. this week offered channel partners a trio of new cloud services and tools along with an entry-level reference configuration of its SmartCloud platform, which officials said will help with adoption of cloud business models and generate new sources of revenue.

Some 1,000 channel partners currently are working with the vendor on cloud computing projects, officials said.

Included among the new cloud services and resources is Ready for IBM SmartCloud, an online directory to help customers find technologies from channel partners certified for SmartCloud; Tech Talk for Cloud Computing, a virtual learning series; Social Business Tool Kit to integrate custom applications that interface with SmartCloud for social media services; and, SmartCloud Entry, a lower cost, private cloud offering for System x.

"As greater adoption of cloud by the channel continues to build in 2012, there will be a number of things for Business Partners to consider, from choosing cloud services to offer as well as decisions around branding, training, and customer pricing models,” said Mark Hennessy, IBM general manager, global business partners.

“IBM provides a simplified approach to help Business Partners make these decisions, and in turn, provide the solid foundation to adopt innovative cloud business models and generate new revenue streams," he said.

The Ready for IBM SmartCloud Services, aimed at helping channel partners ramp up to the cloud, segments technologies by categories such as business applications, collaboration, development and test tools, infrastructure services, and security and monitoring.

Tech Talk for Cloud Computing is a monthly, educational series by IBM developerWorks and run by IBM and industry experts. With the Social Business Tool Kit, developers can use OpenSocial APIs to get access to SmartCloud for Social Business profiles, contacts, meeting, files and communities data.

The SmartCloud Entry for System x reference configuration costs about $60,000 and offers a self-service portal for workload provisioning, virtualized image management and monitoring along with a template for channel partners to help customers deploy a private cloud quicker and more cost effectively.

The vendor, pointing to Forrester Research Inc.’s figures that forecast the cloud market to reach some $214 billion by 2020, said that the new services and resources will help channel partners deploy cloud technology, in turn, fostering innovation, stronger client relationships, faster time to market, and lower costs.

“Cloud computing is changing the very fabric of the enterprise,” Hennessy said. “The cost effectiveness, security and simplicity it can bring to clients will make it easy for organizations to try new things and identify new growth opportunities,” he said.

TAGS: Cloud,IBM,channel partners,social business,SmartCloud

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