Hootsuite moves App Directory to SoftLayer as IBM partnership tightens

The partnership between Hootsuite and IBM is tightening as the social monitoring company moves its App Directory to SoftLayer.

Hootsuite said it will move its App Directory, a marketplace of social applications, to IBM's SoftLayer cloud infrastructure as the two companies bolster their existing partnership.

The social enterprise software company plans to move to IBM's infrastructure as a service in the fourth quarter. Currently, Hootsuite's App Directory and business runs on Amazon Web Services.

Kevin Zellmer, vice president of corporate and business development at Hootsuite, said moving some of its infrastructure to SoftLayer gives the company a broader global footprint and data centers in multiple locations.

In addition, Hootsuite and IBM said they will integrate their higher education outreach programs. IBM's Academic Initiative, which is a program that gives academics 12 months access to Bluemix for research, will combine with Hootsuite's Higher Education Program, which aims to provide social media skills.

The goal for both Hootsuite and IBM is to provide faculty and students market-ready skills.

Hootsuite and IBM have been collaborating. For instance, Hootsuite integrated IBM's Silverpop software into its App Directory. Meanwhile, IBM has been using Hootsuite to promote its series of hackathons.

"We're looking at a more integrated partnership," said Zellmer.

Sandy Carter, general manager for IBM's ecosystems and social evangelism, said the two companies have joint customers, but the partnership is really aimed as cross-pollinating.

For instance, Hootsuite caters to smaller and mid-sized companies. IBM has larger enterprise customers.