SINGAPORE, Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on its $2 billion acquisition of SoftLayer, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a series of new offerings that fuse together high value cloud and analytics capabilities to further help clients drive business transformation and growth.
As part of this expansion, IBM is announcing new social business and mobile offerings for its 100+ software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution portfolio, integrated cloud capabilities with SoftLayer assets and new expert integrated systems for hybrid cloud computing environments.
With today's news, IBM is also announcing a series of global clients that are turning to IBM's cloud capabilities as a transformative growth engine in their industry. These include Surfline Communications, a telecommunications provider in Ghana; and TienPhong Commercial Joint Stock Bank, one of the leading financial institutions in Vietnam.
In the new era of computing, the opportunity for cloud is growing exponentially. In fact, 60 percent of all enterprises are predicted to adopt some form of cloud computing this year, according to Gartner Research. In addition, GigaOm Research forecast $158 billion in global cloud computing investment by 2014.
SoftLayer Infrastructure as the Foundation of IBM Cloud Portfolio
Since its recent acquisition, SoftLayer has already added 1,600 new clients to its existing roster of 21,000 clients in 140 countries. SoftLayer infrastructure will be the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio.
IBM is beginning to shift its cloud portfolio to SoftLayer infrastructure -- first among many of these shifts includes the IBM Social Learning platform, a first of its kind 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.
Today, IBM is 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. Now this unique combination of SoftLayer assets and IBM's cloud capabilities, built on open standards, is able to offer organizations the ability to share knowledge and expertise through real-time videos via a hybrid cloud computing environment. For example, doctors at Boston Children's Hospital can 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.
Additionally, IBM's recent acquisition of Xtify, a leading provider of 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.
"We believe cloud is going to be a transformational engine that is driving growth for our customers," said Dennis Quan, Vice President, IBM Cloud Infrastructure Services. IBM. "With today's latest offerings, IBM is continuing to move its cloud strategy forward by helping put the tools for business innovation directly in the hands of leaders tasked with reshaping their organization's vision."
SaaS Innovations for Social Engagement, Mobile Crowd-Sourcing and Retail Merchandising
Building on more than 100 SaaS applications delivered to clients today, IBM's new SaaS offerings being rolled out today are 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.
Adding to its Smarter Workforce portfolio, IBM today is also launching 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. Executives can use this feedback to make informed decisions on productivity, retention rates, and employee engagement.
Available now, a new IBM Survey Analytics application uses text and visual analytics to automatically extract and display over one million pieces of anonymous unstructured data derived from employee surveys, including more than 4.2 million employee comments collected annually through surveys conducted by Kenexa. It then provides findings via a sentiment "heat map" of trends broken down by employee segments, which allows executives to tap into the pulse of their organization to improve performance and morale.
In addition to the new software and services, IBM also recently announced the availability of IBM SmartCloud for Social Business on SoftLayer's industry leading infrastructure in a new Amsterdam data center. Today more than 9,000 cloud clients, including Sika AG and SafeGuard World International, and 75 percent of the Fortune 100 are transforming their business operations with IBM enterprise social software.
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.
With this release, IBM also expands its cloud capabilities for digital marketers and merchandisers with real time personalization to help organizations improve customer engagement and drive revenue. Analyzing multiple factors, such as the products digital consumers are browsing for and adding to their carts, the solution provides insights. to the marketer and delivers real-time, personalized cross-sell recommendations to the consumer. Innovations to IBM's cloud marketing suite also include the ability to deliver promotions to consumers when most effective such as live on the site or via email after they've left.
New IBM Systems and Solutions for Private and Hybrid Cloud Deployments
New systems and solutions being introduced today can also help clients and managed service providers (MSPs) build private and hybrid clouds to get the most out of social, mobile and Big Data workloads. These include new IBM PureFlex Systems and IBM Power Systems solutions that provide the flexibility clients need to quickly deploy clouds and cloud services. The PureFlex System - Express, available as a single chassis configuration only, offers an affordable entry price point suitable for small and midsize businesses. The PureFlex System - Enterprise, with selectable rack offerings, is designed for scalable cloud deployments with built-in redundancy for resilient operation. Both systems support all Power processor and x86-based compute nodes. The PureFlex Solution for SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure is optimized to deliver superior performance and flexibility to meet clients' unique desktop virtualization business needs. IBM also announced that its software patterns for PureApplication System, which are designed to radically streamline the set-up and management of hardware and software resources, can now be deployed on SoftLayer.
Additionally, new Power Systems solutions to further support hybrid cloud environments and simplify clients' ability to adapt to emerging business needs at a lower cost with greater flexibility compared to commodity servers based on decades old, PC era design. The new Power Systems Solution Edition for Service Providers enables fast go-to-market with a pre-built, pre-installed cloud solution based on OpenStack for SmartCloud Entry and PowerVC. IBM PowerVC offers leading virtualization to improve resource utilization and agility for OpenStack implementations. The new IBM PowerVP is a virtualization performance tool that helps clients respond to business needs faster by providing real-time insight into their virtualization performance through graphical display. For clients seeking open cloud environments, the new Power Integrated Facility for Linux enables clients to better exploit the reliability, scale and performance of enterprise class Power servers to improve quality of service and reduce the cost of managing their Linux ecosystem. In addition, IBM is also announcing support for OpenStack across all models of PureApplication System, including new models of PureApplication System on Power to enable lower entry points starting at 32-cores.
IBM Cloud Capabilities Helps Drive Client Transformation
TienPhong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TienPhong Bank), one of the leading banks in Vietnam, is using IBM cloud solutions to expand its business operations, drive growth and deliver a variety of new customer services. These capabilities are being applied to its core banking upgrade, mobile apps and e-banking services to target the individual consumer and bring better customer service. As a result, it has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of customers in less than one year.
Additionally, Ghanaian telecommunications provider Surfline Communications has selected IBM cloud solutions to help expand its mobile data services throughout the country. As a recent entrant into the competitive telecommunications landscape in Ghana, Surfline announced the first commercial deployment of a 4G LTE network in parts of Western and Central Africa earlier this year. Working with IBM's cloud capabilities, Surfline is able to provide excellent service deliver to customers, improve operational efficiency, and increase its return on investment.
About IBM Cloud Computing
IBM is the global leader in cloud with an unmatched portfolio of open cloud solutions that help clients build, rent or tap into cloud capabilities. No other company has the ability to bring together unique industry knowledge and unmatched cloud capabilities, that have already helped more than 20,000 clients around the world. Today, IBM has more than 100 cloud SaaS solutions, 37,000 experts with deep industry knowledge helping clients transform and a network of more than 25 global cloud delivery centers. Since 2007, IBM has invested more than $6 billion in acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives. Most recently IBM acquired SoftLayer with more than 21,000 clients in 140 countries to further build out its IaaS portfolio with an easy and secure on ramp to cloud integrating IBM SmartCloud.
For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/smartcloud. Follow us on Twitter at @IBMcloud and on our blog at http://www.thoughtsoncloud.com. Join the conversation #ibmcloud.