IBM has upped the stakes in the cloud space with its announcement of a new set of cloud packages that will put it ahead of more traditional cloud offerings from competitors like Amazon and Microsoft.
Under the umbrella title of IBM Global Business Services, IBM is offering organizations the possibility of mixing and matching a number of IBM technologies and services to meet the needs of the organization as they arise.
These new services will move it beyond the traditional Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) of its rivals. Perhaps more significantly, they will provide the technology as customized offerings rather than the single fit products that currently dominate the market.
In all, IBM will offer 20 new cloud based solutions which can be personalized to suit the specific needs of a given enterprise. Combined with IBM's other services, this means that it will be able to provide technology and services for specific verticals as well as IT needs like mobile, asset management and analytics. .
To be sure, many of the capabilities of these new services are available in other parts of IBM's business. These include pre built assists from IBM Research and advanced analytics, cloud infrastructure and support through SoftLayer, all with pricing on a subscription model.
Cloud Business Solutions
This means that clients pay a fee upfront and then ongoing subscription or usage based fees. Kelly Chambliss, chief technology officer, IBM Global Business Services, had this to say:
Our clients view cloud as the catalyst for entirely new business models, not just technology innovation. The decision to use cloud to support business priorities is being strongly influenced -- if not entirely determined -- by leaders across the C-Suite."
The initial launch will cover 12 different solutions, with the full 20 to be available by the end of the year. All of them will have industry specific versions which can be adopted according to individual needs. The first cloud businesses solutions will include:
- Care Coordination: This is specifically for the healthcare industry and aims to slash costs and create a more efficient healthcare ecosystem.
- Customer Data: This can be used just about anywhere and offers users insights into customer behaviors that can be then feed into business processes.
- Mobile: While this is for everyone, IBM says this suite would be best suited for industries like banking, retail, healthcare and insurance, among others. It includes mobile accelerators, mobile designs and development models that support an agile, iterative development process.
- Predictive Maintenance: This enables a proactive analysis process using equipment and application data to plan, monitor, manage and mitigate equipment failures.
The new products are already available on the IBM Cloud Marketplace. New and existing customers will also have the option to use previously purchased software or to transition the solution to an on premises deployment in the future, IBM said.