IBM targets telcos with cloud service platform

IBM has announced the IBM Cloud Service Provider Platform, a hardware and software package aimed at companies that wish to provide cloud services
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

IBM has announced an integrated product for telecommunications companies keen to enter the cloud-provider market.

The IBM Cloud Service Provider Platform bundles IBM hardware, software and services to allow telecommunications firms to use their networks to deliver cloud-based services, the company said on Thursday. A core piece of software in the package is IBM's Service Delivery Manager platform, which automates the deployment, monitoring and management of cloud IT resources, according to IBM.

"[Companies] can use [IBM Cloud Service Provider Platform] to deliver 'as-a-service' — offerings such as collaboration applications, customer relationship management services, data storage, backup and recovery, and industry-specific applications," IBM said in a statement.

IBM partners that support the platform include Juniper Networks, Broadsoft, NetApp, RightScale, Wavemaker, Corent Technology, deCarta, Jamcracker and Opennet. A number of telcos are in the process of running pilots using the platform, IBM said, such as Orange Business Services (OBS), Shanghai Telecom and SK Telecom.

OBS told ZDNet UK on Friday that IBM services play a role in part of its infrastructure-as-a-service and software-as-a-service offerings.

The marketplace that IBM is entering with this announcement — that of telco-specific integrated cloud packages — is already crowded. HP has had a foothold in the field since mid-2009 with a variety of services, such as software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service. Verizon Business cloud services use HP hardware for both servers and storage. OBS, Cisco, EMC and VMware recently announced a partnership for cloud-services provision.

Companies see telecommunications infrastructure as being ripe for cloud services. In 2009 HP predicted that within 12 to 18 months most European telecos would become cloud providers, and IBM stated in its release that the market for public cloud services will be worth $89bn (£55.5bn) by 2015.

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