The merging of IBM’s cloud portfolio with Softlayer, one of their more recent purchases that formed the IBM Cloud Services Division, is officially underway. Earlier this year, IBM launched an employee educational program called Smarter Workforce in an effort to help apply social learning solutions within a corporation. This is one of IMB’s first programs to shift over to Softlayer.
IBM’s cloud infrastructure VP Dennis Quan said, “In a nutshell we’ve moved several of our SaaS capabilities onto the SoftLayer platform and new things like our new Social Learning application, which is being used at Boston Children’s Hospital, are powered by the underlying SoftLayer platform for real-time video.”
Under IBM’s Cloud Services Division, an application was created called ‘IBM SSPS Text Analytics for Surveys’ which enables executives to mine data from worker surveys by using natural language processing tools (artificial intelligence analytics). IBM also unveiled a new cloud mobile application whereby it allows various company administrators to observe the ideas of their workforce.
As it fights to gain market share from companies like Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft, IBM needed to repeat its commitment to Softlayer and justify the $2 billion acquisition. After all, it was Softlayer that was supposed to assist IBM in entering other innovative areas of the market other than larger enterprises.
Lydia Leong, VP of Gartner research, noted that IBM made a well calculated decision by purchasing Softlayer because it “offers dedicated hosting systems that IBM does not and is highly automated, highly agile, cost-conscious and fast. It takes credit cards and is SMB centric so there’s not a lot of product overlap with IBM.”
IMB is currently projecting roughly $7 billion in cloud revenue by 2015. There is a significant amount of room for growth with an estimated $130 billion in annual cloud market revenue. The Softlayer acquisition could put IBM in a strategic position to compete with Amazon Web Services and other major players.