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IBM SMARTCLOUD BANKS ON PARTNERS
Like HP, IBM also is drawing on a deep portfolio of products and services for its cloud offering and seeks to draw a huge stable of partners and customers into its cloud service.
IBM's SmartCloud offers IaaS, Paas and SaaS as well IBM products and services under three areas: SmartCloud Foundation, SmartCloud Services and SmartCloud Solutions.
SmartCloud is in the middle of the pack in pricing. For a medium-size server workload for one year, SmartCloud would cost $3,768, above the average of $3,656, according to the CRN/Cloud Spectator study.
For monthly usage, SmartCloud would cost $314, below the average price of $329, and for hourly use, SmartCloud would cost 43 cents, below the average of 45 cents.
The Armonk, N.Y., company said it is actively recruiting partners to extend the reach of its cloud services.
Ed Bottini, head of IBM's SmartCloud Ecosystem, said solution provider margins for working with SmartCloud are at 20 percent to 40 percent compound growth.
Partners can specialize as application providers, cloud builders, infrastructure providers, service solution providers and technology partners. "We are looking for partners that will add value on top of our platform," he said. "Customers tell us we need to work with third parties to deliver value.
"What you're seeing is a change in what customers are asking us to deliver so I think there will probably be a weeding out [of solution providers]," Bottini added.
One IBM SmartCloud partner, Vision Solutions, Irvine, Calif., is leveraging SmartCloud's broad portfolio to offer multiple services to clients. Visions Solutions offers high availability, replication, disaster recovery and data sharing.
"SmartCloud is a very intuitive and easy-to-use platform," said Karthik Balachandran, senior strategist at Vision Solutions. "You can move almost your entire IT department to the cloud.
"IBM also offers Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service applications for MSPs to access, so they can have one throat to choke," Balachandran added.