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IBM Extends Its Global Cloud Footprint and Customer Roster

It's been a tough few months for IBM. The company has seen its shares tumble in 2014 amid weak earnings. But looking to show it may be down but not out, Big Blue said it has picked up the pace to build out its cloud footprint after getting to a slow start several years ago.

To close the year, the company yesterday said the IBM Cloud now has 12 new datacenters around the world including in Frankfurt, Mexico City, Tokyo and nine other locations through colocation provider Equinix in Australia, France, Japan, Singapore, the Netherlands and the United States.

The IBM Cloud now has datacenters in 48 locations around the world. That's double the number it had last year thanks to its promise to invest $1.2 billion to expand its cloud network, which kicked into high gear with last year's acquisition of SoftLayer. On top of that, IBM invested $1 billion to build its BlueMix platform-as-a-service technology, designed for Web developers to build hybrid cloud applications.

Enabling that expansion, IBM made aggressive moves including its deal with Equinix to connect to its datacenters using the large colocation provider's Cloud Exchange network infrastructure. IBM also inked partnerships with AT&T, SAP and Microsoft. With its recently announced Microsoft partnership, applications designed for Azure will work on the IBM Cloud (and vice versa). As IBM and Microsoft compete with each other, Amazon and numerous other players, the partnership with Microsoft promises to benefit both companies and their customers.

As a result of its aggressive expansion this year, IBM says it, Microsoft and Amazon have the largest enterprise cloud infrastructure and platform offerings. Nevertheless, few would dispute Amazon remains the largest cloud provider.

In its announcement yesterday, IBM also said it recently inked more than $4 billion in long-term enterprise cloud deals with Lufthansa, WPP, Thomson Reuters and ABN Amro, and that its customer base has doubled in the past year to more than 20,000. While many are traditional Big Blue shops, IBM says thousands are new companies, including startups. IBM said its cloud revenues are growing at a 50 percent rate and on pace for $7 billion in 2015.

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 12/18/2014 at 10:53 AM


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