It seems as if every year IBM Connect always throws in some interesting items — and this year is no different. In what almost appears to be a timed response to Oracle’s outline of its cloud strategy, IBM has given its SmartCloud a lot of attention, including a great big dollop of SAP love.
The love, this time around, comes in the shape of the launch of SmartCloud Enterprise IaaS cloud (SCE+), followed by the announcement that it will be offering an SAP-based service unique to IBM, for automating IT environments.
The result is that IBM's cloud offering just became even tastier, as users will now be able to test SAP applications on the IBM SCE+, which was also unveiled to the public today.
The thinking behind SCE+ is that the expertise and economics of running critical applications in the cloud is now beyond the abilities of many enterprises to do themselves, so IBM has taken on the responsibility and has offered a way around it.
The kind of applications that Big Blue has in mind here are the ones that require around-the-clock customer service, tip-top security and ongoing maintenance.
IBM world-wide cloud centers
SCE+ is the answer to all this. According to IBM, it combines the best of sourcing — high service level agreements, security and reliability — with the best features of cloud — elasticity and subscription-based pricing.
It also offers the same level of uptime assurance that is normally associated with private hosted environments, to ensure that all the major enterprise applications for ERP, CRM, analytics, social business or mobile computing, are always available.
IBM also helps manage patch updates and identity management to improve security which is often cited as an inhibitor to cloud adoption.
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,” Jim Comfort, general manager of IBM SmartCloud Services.
The SCE+ environment offers service level agreements that guarantee availability for each single OS-instance from 98.5 percent up to 99.9 percent.
But let’s take a look at what IBM has just announced for SAP. The thinking behind this is that as more enterprises take on more SAP applications for business processes — like marketing campaigns based on big data — better management of SAP applications is required. And IBM SmartCloud for SAP Applications is the answer to this. The new service automates and standardizes provisioning of IT environments that are cared for by specialized SAP staff that ensure 99.7% availability based on a global delivery model.
It is available with SAP Business Suite software and the SAP Business Objects as an enterprise-class, fully managed PaaS offering. With it, Big Blue takes responsibility and control of SAP applications, as well as all the other equipment required to manage such a platform — like operating systems, database and middleware.
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. The center in Spain will open in mid-2013.