IBM Promises Cloud Computing Advice At Upcoming Pulse Conference

Pulse is IBM's event for customers and channel partners for its Tivoli line of systems management software. More than 1,000 Tivoli solution providers are registered to attend, said Sandy Carter, business partners vice president in the IBM Software Group, in an interview.

The Pulse workshops, which IBM is calling "Cool Cloud Cash Camps," will show channel partners where the cloud computing opportunities are and how they can develop services and solutions to capture those business opportunities.

"There are a lot of opportunities for our partners to make money in cloud computing," Carter said. Solution providers can provide hosted architectures for private cloud environments, provide security for cloud systems and develop consulting services around cloud computing, she said, rattling off some possibilities. "The number-one opportunity we're seeing is cloud architecture services," she said.

"We see a lot of enthusiasm in the marketplace for cloud computing, but we also see a lot of question marks," said Olaf Friedrichs, founder and managing partner at Dutch Cloud, an IBM partner in the Netherlands that specializes in providing IT infrastructure-as-a-cloud services.

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Friedrichs will be looking for more ideas about cloud computing opportunities at Pulse and more efficient ways to deliver cloud services, he said in an interview. But he's also looking for more information from IBM about its own cloud computing plans, including its cloud technology development roadmap and how the company plans to work with its partners to deliver cloud services.

"We are also curious about IBM's vision toward financing of cloud structures," Friedrichs said. He also hopes to meet up with other IBM solution providers, including those that deliver cloud applications, which he could work with.

The agenda for the cloud camps on Sunday includes presentations by Carter and Judith Hurwitz, president of the Hurwitz and Associates analyst firm and author of "Cloud Computing for Dummies."

Carter said the camps are the first of a series of workshops and seminars IBM will be offering through the year for partners on making money from cloud computing, particularly in vertical industries such as health care, government, energy and utilities. Some of the workshops will be held at other IBM conferences including the IBM Impact 2010 and IBM Information On Demand EMEA 2010 conferences in May.

Carter also said that a number of Sun Microsystems channel partners will be attending Pulse. IBM has been hearing from Sun resellers who she said are "very worried about what's going to happen" now that Sun is owned by Oracle.

Last month Oracle executives, during a lengthy presentation about its plans for Sun's product lines, signaled their intention to sell directly to Sun's 4,000 largest accounts, reversing Sun's trend of selling more products through channel partners.