IBM Bolsters SoftLayer Ecosystem, Adds Disaster Recovery, Security

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Print this article Print

IBM continues to build up its SoftLayer cloud, helping channel partners improve margins and adding security and disaster recovery to the platform.

IBM launched a series of new initiatives to bolster its SoftLayer cloud computing effort, including providing new resources to support SoftLayer ecosystem members as well as adding new disaster recovery and security services to the SoftLayer cloud platform.

With an eye on beefing up its channel for cloud computing services, among the moves IBM announced are improved margin opportunities with richer earned-volume discounts for SoftLayer business partners without requiring a prior commitment.

IBM also said it is creating a new SoftLayer Services & Solution Provider program, which streamlines the SoftLayer hosting reseller and strategic partners program to improve clarity of eligibility requirement and benefits of the program.

“Cloud computing is transforming the relationship between business partners and their clients, creating unprecedented opportunities to enter new markets and sell new services,” said Tom Blair, senior vice president of global sales for SoftLayer, in a statement. “SoftLayer recognizes that our business partners are evolving to meet the needs of their customers and we are committed to building a world-class support program for them to tap into as they transition to this new era of computing.”

IBM also announced it is launching a co-marketing initiative as part of IBM PartnerWorld to help SoftLayer business partners that join the program build their brands, generate demand for their services and grow their marketing skills. Partners who join PartnerWorld and existing IBM business partners who join the SoftLayer partner program will have access to campaign design and creation tools as well as customizable campaign templates to minimize upfront work and deliver consistent messaging.

In addition, IBM is expanding the technical training courses for both SoftLayer and IBM business partners to build skills that meet clients’ plans to use outside resources for delivering cloud solutions.

Cloud computing is transforming the way that IT services are consumed and delivered and will account for the bulk of new IT spending by 2016, IBM officials said. For business partners who specialize in streamlining integration and delivering value-added solutions, cloud presents a major opportunity to capture new revenue and enter new markets. In fact, business partners who have transitioned to cloud computing are experiencing more than twice as much revenue growth as business partners who have not, IBM said.

With the new sales incentives, marketing programs and training courses it is announcing today, IBM is building on its support for SoftLayer and IBM Business Partners to help them capture the growing cloud market opportunity. It is also combining best practices from the SoftLayer partner program and IBM PartnerWorld to enable business partners to improve margins, build skills and drive demand.

"Supporting our partners as they transition from selling traditional on-premise cloud solutions to hybrid and off-premise cloud solutions is a priority for Avnet Technology Solutions," said Fred Cuen, senior vice president and general manager of the IBM Solutions Group at Avnet Technology Solutions for the Americas, in a statement. "With these new enhancements, and with IBM's plans to expand its global cloud footprint globally, SoftLayer has assembled the right components for a winning partner program and we're looking forward to leveraging it to grow cloud market share for Avnet and our partner base."

SoftLayer provides a high performance, enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure that can expand to accommodate large workloads and offers a network architecture that optimizes global performance using a high-speed private network. Offering services on SoftLayer’s cloud enables business partners to leverage IBM’s investments in building out its cloud portfolio, including a recent $1.2 billion investment to expand its global cloud footprint and its $1 billion investment to develop a Platform-as-a-Service offering, codenamed BlueMix.

ClipCard is a SoftLayer partner that provides a big data discovery platform built on SoftLayer’s cloud infrastructure. ClipCard renders big data discoverable for end users by driving new insights and context to support business decisions.

“As a lean company selling to large enterprise customers, we really appreciate what SoftLayer has to offer,” said Ryan Cunningham, product vice president at ClipCard, in a statement. “Our customers like the security, reliability, and control that comes from a cloud provider who really ‘gets’ enterprise. We love that we have a real partner in the SoftLayer team, not just a Website to go to when we need a hand.”