IBM has set up a cloud-computing facility in the UK to help its business partners worldwide to develop, test and ultimately sell cloud-based services.
The Cloud Computing Lab at Hursley IBM Innovation Centre provides access to the technologies needed for enterprises to add the cloud to their portfolio. The lab, the first of its kind for IBM, will allow them to test-drive a variety of cloud-computing models before settling on one, the company said in its announcement on Tuesday.
Hursley will house advisors from IBM's Cast Iron team to instruct partners that want to build services for financial, utilities, telecoms and similar large customers. Cast Iron, which IBM bought in May, specialises in SaaS and cloud integration.
To round out the process, IBM is promising to help its partners come up with a business plan for selling the cloud-based services they develop, by providing sales and marketing support.
While the facility is in the UK, partners around the world will be able to use any of IBM's 38 Innovation Centers to "work virtually" with the lab, according to the company.
"Our business partners are ready to cash-in on cloud computing, and they are looking to IBM for hands-on assistance to drive new business opportunities," Jim Corgel, general manager for ISV and developer relations at IBM, said in the company's statement.
HP and other companies have launched services to help enterprises adjust their business to the cloud, though these often focus on providing the infrastructure, platform and software to get going.
The Hursley initiative follows close on the introduction earlier in October of the IBM Cloud Service Provider Platform. The set of hardware, software and services is meant to help communications service providers take advantage of their networks to deliver services in the cloud.