IBM Partner Ecosystem in North America VP Dorothy Copeland said that IBM had got its mojo back after bringing in the new cunning plan two years ago.
IBM’s ecosystem strategy focuses on business model variety. The idea was to simplify the programme, making it easier for IBM partners to embed new technology into their business while welcoming new cutting-edge partners into the programme.
IBM announced a raft of new storage incentives in April last year, which enabled partner sellers and systems engineers to earn up to $100,000 in stackable rebates. The incentives covered all-flash arrays, Spectrum software and IBM systems deals.
Number crunchers from public sector consultant Tussell said that the software reseller won £328 million worth of government contracts making it the largest IT-dedicated supplier to the government last year.
Biggish Blue has deepened its relationship with WanDisco with the pair saying that they will work closely together in the coming months to introduce new solutions, including greater integration with IBM BigSQL and other products.
WanDisco said it would see an increase its OEM royalty of 50 percent, in addition to introducing a guaranteed annual minimum royalty commitment as part of the move.
David Richards, chief executive officer and interim chairman of WanDisco said: “In the first half we began the transition toward predictable, annual recurring cloud revenue and away from large and difficult to forecast on-premise transactions. This is an expected and extremely positive evolution for our business. It opens up a significantly larger addressable market in the cloud and will enable us to generate a more predictable recurring revenue base.
“Unlike on-premise deals, these cloud deals are initially smaller in revenue terms but are expected to scale materially over time as is common with cloud deployments.”
The three year deal will see IBM provide monitoring, detection and response services to the NHS.
Dan Taylor, security director at NHS Digital, said: “This partnership will enhance our existing cybersecurity operations centre which is delivered from NHS Digital’s Data Security Centre.
“It will give us, during times of increased need, the ability to draw on a pool of dedicated professionals from IBM.
“It will build on our existing ability to proactively monitor for security threats, risks, and emerging vulnerabilities while supporting the development of new services for the future and enabling us to better support the existing needs of local organisations. This will ensure that we can evolve our security capability in line with the evolving cyber-threat landscape.”
The contract notice, originally published last November, said that NHS Digital was looking for five or six potential suppliers to bid for the contract, with one supplier chosen outright.
Rob Sedman, director of security at IBM UK, said: “IBM is excited to partner with NHS Digital and brings enhanced detection and incident response coordination capabilities to its Data Security Centre.”
Channel services outfit, Agilitas has signed a multi-year agreement with Biggish Blue to provide reseller, MSP and systems integrator customers with access to global multi-vendor channel services, helping to improve operational efficiencies across its customers’ IT infrastructure.
The deal will see Agilitas use IBM technology support services and global engineering teams to provide the on-site maintenance that forms part of Agilitas’ InventoryAssure+ service.
Together, Agilitas and IBM will deliver a “formidable” global channel services proposition to the market, providing services on behalf of its channel partners to a broad spectrum of industries including financial services, retail, manufacturing and the public sector, it’s claimed.
This is the first such relationship in the IT channel for Agilitas, which will be equipped with a larger platform to help deliver its growth plans and support the needs of its expanding customer base, it’s claimed.
“We have formed a very strong, trusted relationship with IBM over the years and understand each other’s businesses inside-out,” said Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas. “It is this understanding that has enabled us to craft such an innovative and unique channel services deal that will benefit our channel partners for years to come.”
With a trading footprint in over 80 countries worldwide, developed through a collaborative partner delivery model, the collaboration with IBM enables Agilitas to provide their channel partners with technology solutions that help make businesses more efficient and accelerate digital innovation and transformation, it’s claimed.
“Having a delivery partner of IBM’s calibre ensures that our channel partners continue to be provided with first-class global channel services, not only across our Inventory-as-a-Service solution, but engineering services too”, added Lynn.
“In today’s ever changing business environment, enterprises need consistent and reliable support to run their IT systems across a supply chain of services from multiple vendors”, said Andy Roberts, Director of Technology Support Services, IBM UK and Ireland. “This is a great opportunity for both organisations to change the channel marketplace.”
Commvault has signed a new deal with IBM to provide its its Business Resiliency Services with a managed service based on the Commvault software portfolio of data management and protection software, including the Commvault Data Platform.
The deal will give IBM Business Resiliency Services a single powerful platform for managing, backing up, recovering, migrating and indexing of all their data, whether it is located on-premises or in the cloud.
IBM Business Resiliency Services can deploy Commvault software on-premises, on infrastructure managed in IBM data centers and in IBM Cloud environments. IBM Business Resiliency Services will offer the software both as a solution or as a managed service. The Commvault software offerings will also enable IBM healthcare customers to manage critical MEDITECH, Epic and other EHR data, as well as medical images, across their healthcare enterprise.
Daniel Witteveen, Vice President, Global Portfolio, IBM Business Resiliency Services said: “The enterprise finds itself in an era where clients are seeking more simplicity and agility in their data backup and recovery solutions to help enable their digital transformation. Seamless integration of IBM and Commvault solutions for on-site or off-site data backup will help deliver a more simplified business continuity model and help reduce operational risks and costs for customers.”
Virtustream, CenturyLink, Joyent, Rackspace, Interoute, Fujitsu, Skytap and NTT were all vanished from the analyst firm’s Magic Quadrant, leaving only the six largest companies.
The number cruncher’s reasons for this sudden purge was that it wanted to create a more “stringent inclusion criteria” this year, which effectively excludes all but global vendors who currently have IaaS and platform as a service (PaaS) offerings.
This means Google, AWS and Microsoft Azure in the leaders’ box, with Alibaba, Oracle and IBM a long way behind.
“These changes reflect Gartner’s belief that customer evaluations are currently primarily focused on vendors for strategic adoption across a broad range of use cases. While customers still search for more focused, scenario-specific providers, these providers should be evaluated in the context of that specific workload, rather than compared in a broader market context”, according to the analyst firm.
She claimed AI will provide the world with a third moment of “exponential impact” to rival Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law. She claimed the data and AI “revolution” currently afoot represents a moment that occurs only once every 25 years.
“If you think back in history over the last 60 years, there have only been two times when technology has allowed businesses to improve on an exponential curve, instead of just linear”, Rometty said.
“It was once something called Moore’s Law – that chips and processing would double every 18 months. That led to the automation of everything as we know it.
“Then there was something called Metcalfe’s law. Technically, it says the value of a network is equal to the square of the nodes on the network. That is what gave rise to the platform companies, be it Facebook or Google.
“I think everyone would say those two moments in time have profoundly changed life as we know it. But I would tell you that we stand one more time at another exponential moment. Here’s the formula: think of all the data in the world, add tools like AI, and what companies and people will be able to do is have exponential learning, and if you have exponential learning it is the ultimate competitive advantage: you will outlearn other people.”
Rometty said that this new ‘law’ might one day be referred to as ‘Watson’s Law’ as she gave some examples of how IBM’s AI was being used to help companies and society “outlearn”.
Writing in his bog Philip Buckellew, general manager of Cloud Object Storage at IBM, said that the new service would speed data transfer and gain ‘instant insights’ from that data.
Through a partnership with Aspera, IBM is previewing the new high-speed data transfer option; it claims that transfer rates are as much as five hundred times faster than standard HTTP/FTP.
“Businesses have moved 100TB of data in 24 hours over a 10Gbps network”, Buckellew wrote in his blog.
Aspera’s direct-to-cloud technology, which protects data in transit, is built into IBM’s Cloud Object Storage.
Zoom has worked with IBM to develop the ability for any Workspace Plus user to escalate their chats to Zoom video meetings with a single click to the Workspace interface. IBM will embed and sell Zoom’s video communications service as the video component of Watson Workspace.
The first collaboration solution of its kind built with Artificial Intelligence at its core, Watson Workspace Plus is designed to reduce the noise around communication through natural language processing and machine learning.
This collaboration platform is enhanced by Zoom’s video meetings. By using Zoom with IBM Watson Workspace Plus, enterprise knowledge workers gain:
- HD video conferencing and screen sharing with integrated audio1:
- 1 to up to 200 video participants (several meeting capacity options available)
- Cross-platform collaboration across mobile, desktop, and conference room devices via Zoom
- Collaboration features such as co-annotation, whiteboarding, and remote control
- Watson Workspace Plus, featuring the Zoom SDK integration, will soon be available to IBM customers.
Zoom product manager head Oded Gal said that Zoom is focused on creating smarter, frictionless meetings for its customers.
“We’ve found a kindred spirit in IBM, with their focus on intelligent collaboration. The combination of our two services allows users to chat, meet, and collaborate with their teams faster and more effectively than ever before.”
IBM Collaboration Solutions general manager Bob Schultz said that to create a full digital workplace for users: “IBM and Zoom are joining efforts to simplify collaboration around the world. From having a quick text chat to engaging in a video conversation, Watson Workspace Plus capabilities allow everyday tasks to be consolidated into one platform so employees can focus on business priorities.”
According to Computing which has been following the train wreck the deal has already cost the scalp of CIO Tom Peck but has resulted in a service which was much worse than when Aecom did the computing internally.
Its deep throats claim: “Lots of people have complained about the service they’re getting from IT. It now takes weeks to clear new accounts. It’s just not working, and it’s gone so badly that some departments are asking to charge IT for their employees’ time because people are sitting there not being able to work.”
Peck opposed the outsourcing plan, and now it is starting to look like he was right. A source close to the deal claims that the Aecom board are beginning to realise the deal was a mistake, and that employees are being treated “like crap”.
Since January, rumours have been that IBM was going to be axed within a few years and the senior level at Aecom which cheered the outsourcing deal has changed its mind.
Nothing official though.
In their accounts, Meridian IT and Tectrade referenced initiatives to diversify their vendor portfolios during the year.
Meridian said has been working “almost exclusively” as an IBM Business Partner “has decided that putting ‘all our eggs in one basket’ could end up with the company’s bottom line scrambled.
In its directors’ report for its year ending 31 March 2017, which it filed on Companies House in mid-November the company said: “we have diversified the business significantly into other IT vendors where we are developing strong reseller partner relationships, and a significant business pipeline.”
Meridian saw revenue rise four per cent during the year to £17.5 million, although operating profits fell to £889,000.
Data infrastructure specialist Tectrade’s saw a 30 per cent annual sales leap and said that was because it broke its IBM addition and diversified its vendor roster.
While IBM remains a “core partner”, the addition of Dell EMC to its portfolio helped propel revenues from £12.4m to £16.1 million. Operating profits virtually halved to £1.3 million.
“Vendor diversification will continue in 2017/18, offering existing and new customers a wider range of product and services options,” Tectrade’s directors’ report added.