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IBM Enterprise Cloud Marketplace Launches

Big Blue is buying into this cloud thing in a big way, having invested $7 billion in 17 cloud-related acquisitions since 2010, leading up to this week's announcement of the IBM Cloud marketplace, which is chock-full of services from the company, its partners and others.

Chasing a $250 billion cloud market opportunity, IBM debuted the new one-stop shopping destination targeting enterprise developers, IT managers and business leaders. It features all kinds of "x-as-a-service" offerings, including the traditional Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) -- and some new ones such as Capabilities as a Service and even IBM as a Service. The marketplace will serve as a place where members of the targeted groups can learn, try software out before purchasing and buy services from the company and its global partner ecosystem.

The marketplace includes more than 100 SaaS applications alone, IBM said, along with PaaS offerings such as the company's BlueMix and its composable services and the SoftLayer IaaS product.

"Increasingly cloud users from business, IT and development across the enterprise are looking for easy access to a wide range of services to address new business models and shifting market conditions," said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Software & Cloud Solutions. "IBM Cloud marketplace puts Big Data and analytics, mobile, social, commerce, integration -- the full power of IBM as a Service and our ecosystem -- at our clients' fingertips to help them quickly deliver innovative services to their constituents."

Besides the company's own products, partners with a presence in the marketplace include SendGrid, Zend, Redis Labs, Sonian, Flow Search, Deep DB, M2Mi and Ustream.

"Most cloud marketplaces are tied to one specific product offering," said Jim Franklin, CEO of SendGrid. "If you don't use the particular service for which the marketplace was built -- even if you're a customer of other products by the same company, that marketplace is irrelevant for you. But the IBM Cloud marketplace will be available to all IBM and non-IBM customers. Whether you're using BlueMix or SoftLayer or another IBM product, the IBM marketplace will be there to serve you. As a vendor, being able to reach all IBM customers from one place is very exciting."

The marketplace serves up content depending on job roles, with service pages designed to intuitively guide customers to areas of their interest, such as start-ups, mobile, gaming and so on. For example, line-of-business IT professionals -- one of the three targeted groups -- might be interested in the myriad SaaS applications in categories such as Marketing, Procurement, Sales & Commerce, Supply Chain, Customer Service, Finance, Legal and City Managers.

Developers can immediately take advantage of an integrated, open, cloud-based dev environment where they can create enterprise apps by exploring and choosing open source or third-party tools and integrating them as needed.

"IBM has brought together a full suite of enterprise-class cloud services and software and made these solutions simple to consume and integrate, whether you are an enterprise developer or forward looking business exec," said Andi Gutmans, Zend CEO and co-founder. "We will support the rapid delivery of our applications through the IBM Cloud marketplace, enabling millions of Web and mobile developers, and many popular PHP applications to be consumed with enterprise services and service levels on the IBM Cloud."

IT managers -- the third targeted group -- can peruse the Ops category for secure cloud services built with SoftLayer. Services include Big Data, Disaster Recovery, Hybrid Environments, Managed Security Services, Cloud Environments for Small and Medium Business, and more. The Big Data and Analytics portfolio, Watson Foundation, includes more than 15 solutions, including two new offerings called InfoSphere Streams and InfoSphere BigInsights. The former helps enterprises analyze and share data on the fly to aid real-time decision-making. The latter is designed to help developers build secure big data apps with Hadoop.

"The launch of IBM Cloud marketplace represents the next major step in IBM's cloud leadership," IBM said in a statement. "This single online destination will serve as the digital front door to cloud innovation bringing together IBM's Capabilities-as-a-Service and those of partners and third-party vendors with the security and resiliency enterprises expect."

Posted by David Ramel on 05/01/2014 at 11:21 AM


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