IBM leverages SoftLayer acquisition in cloud portfolio expansion

Marc Dietz, IBM Director, SmartCloud Solutions

IBM has announced new offerings in its cloud portfolio, which include new social business and mobile offerings for its software-as-a-service solution portfolio, new expert integrated systems for hybrid cloud computing environments, and integrated cloud capabilities with assets from its recent $2 billion acquisition of SoftLayer.

“We have been steadily and aggressively expanding our cloud portfolio,” said Marc Dietz, IBM Director, SmartCloud Solutions.

SoftLayer is playing a critical role in IBM’s strategy since its acquisition.  SoftLayer has already added 1,600 new clients to its existing roster of 21,000 clients in 140 countries. And SoftLayer has become the foundation of IBM’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings, and eventually, will become the foundation of IBM’s cloud portfolio.

“The SoftLayer technology adds to our IaaS as we amass a public cloud capacity, and increase opportunities to provide hybrid cloud capabilities,” Dietz said. “We are integrating it and adding it to our capabilities and will be shifting more capabilities to it over time.”

IBM also said its recent acquisition of Xtify, which makes cloud-based mobile messaging tools that help organizations improve mobile sales, drive in-store traffic and engage customers with personalized offers, will also run on SoftLayer technology in the future.

One of the first elements of IBM’s cloud portfolio to be integrated into the SoftLayer infrastructure is the  IBM Social Learning platform, a 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.  It lets doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital share training videos with clinicians halfway across the globe to demonstrate the latest life-saving techniques in child care. Planned to be available in December 2013, this new platform will be delivered as a service to clients.

IBM is now announcing that is it commercializing the IBM Social Learning platform on SoftLayer technology to apply it across a variety of industries, such as retail, energy and utilities, government, healthcare and automotive. Like OpenPediatrics, it will offer organizations the ability to share knowledge and expertise through real-time videos via a hybrid cloud computing environment.

IBM also announced several new SaaS offerings, customized 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.

“Our ability to cover the whole of the C suites here is unique,” Dietz said.

The new offerings include 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 to generate feedback through quick short surveys.

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. This new flexibility enables merchandisers to easily and rapidly respond to competitive price changes, providing both a better customer experience and improved control over pricing strategies.

“As we continue to invest in our cloud portfolio, we will also continue to invest in cloud programs to support it,” Dietz added.

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