IBM on Wednesday put its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) strategy into motion with the launch of a series of SmartCloud software and services designed to court enterprise customers.
Big Blue said it has ported SAP, enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications and all databases to its platform, a private cloud offering. In addition, IBM's enterprise cloud effort is open to software vendors, resellers and other partners. Early customers for IBM's cloud platform are Kaiser, ING, Citi and Lockheed Martin.
Enterprise vendors such as IBM, HP and Oracle are looking to expand their cloud footprint. Oracle outlined its cloud strategy last week and HP is expected to build on its plan outlined earlier this year. Overall, enterprise vendors are looking to position their cloud efforts as more secure and manageable than emerging players such as Amazon Web Services. The efforts from large enterprise players vary from relatively mature at IBM to private betas at HP to just announced at Oracle. Dell has also built out its software-as-a-service portfolio via acquisition and plans to offer cloud services.
For IBM's part, the company said it plans to support about 200 million users by the end of 2012. The company over the last three years has been putting cloud building blocks in place. IBM expanded its cloud portfolio in April and has continued to tweak.