Kyndryl Builds 6,000-Strong Google Cloud Army To Drive AI

The $16 billion IT services giant is betting heavily on Google Cloud, as Kyndryl has quickly built an army of nearly 6,000 Google Cloud professionals. Here’s why.

When Kyndryl spun out of IBM, many of its vendor shackles were broken—especially regarding cloud leaders like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google Cloud. Now these cloud partnerships are driving hundreds of millions of net-new revenue for the $16 billion IT services superstar.

Specifically for Google Cloud, Kyndryl has quickly built an army of nearly 6,000 Google Cloud-certified professionals.

“We have transitioned to just shy of 6,000 people to Google. So we have a large amount of certified technical practitioners dedicated to Google in a very short period of time,” Stephen Leonard, Kyndryl’s senior vice president of strategic global alliances, told CRN.

[Related: Kyndryl CEO: Customers Know ‘Their AI Is Only Going To Be As Good As Their Data’]

New York City-based Kyndryl is so bullish on Google that it plans to eventually have tens of thousands of certified Google Cloud professionals.

“Our ambition is to be in the tens of thousands [of Google Cloud practitioners]. Because we’re 80,000 people and we believe that as we evolve the work that we do for clients, it will free more people up,” said Leonard.

Kyndryl Bets Big On Google Cloud AI

Kyndryl expanded its partnership in 2024 with Google Cloud to accelerate generative AI adoption among customers and develop responsible GenAI solutions, such as the new Kyndryl Workflow Orchestration technology.

The plan is to couple Google Cloud’s in-house AI technologies with Kyndryl’s technical expertise and services to develop unique generative AI solutions for customers around AI and data foundation services; applying Google Cloud Cortex Framework to ERP; and making Kyndryl’s new large language model (LLM) Operations Framework available to Google Cloud customers.

Leonard said the AI market and generative AI solutions are enabled, and led, by the cloud platforms of AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

“Within and outside our client base, there is a set of services beyond what we do today that orientate around the technology and the opportunities that the hyperscalers deliver—GenAI and AI is a big area—that we couldn’t access before we were Kyndryl,” said Leonard.

Kyndryl’s AIOps Platform To Drive AI

Over the past 18 months, AWS, Microsoft and Google have each poured billions of dollars into building new AI and GenAI solutions, while also injecting AI innovation into their most popular products.

Kyndryl created a service delivery platform developed around AI for IT operations (AIOps), which Google Cloud and other partners can plug into.

“We take the 30 years of service delivery data that we have for resiliency, networking, cybersecurity and all the other things that we do around patching and application environments and data platforms—we take all that data and we use it to drive AI to do service delivery,” Leonard said.

“It allows us to deliver the service at scale. But it also allows us to free people up and move them into other spaces. So we have a really good model now for freeing people up and getting them certified, like our almost 6,000 certified Google practitioners,” he said. “They’re at various levels of the Google certification. But again, our ambition is to be tens of thousands.”

Google Cloud is helping boost Kyndryl’s AI and data skill set by increasing the training and boot camps available to Kyndryl employees via the Google Cloud Academy.

Yateendar Bollini, Google Cloud’s director of global consulting partnerships, said its expanded Kyndryl partnership will provide customers with generative AI solutions and services needed to “accelerate business transformation with Gemini on top of the security capabilities” and the Google Cloud infrastructure.

Kyndryl’s Independence Leads To Boom In Cloud Partnerships

Prior to Kyndryl becoming independent from IBM in late 2021, company policies said it was not allowed to do work with the three leading cloud computing companies: AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft.

“Before we became Kyndryl, there was a policy not to do work with the cloud hyperscalers. We were working with other aspects with them, like the Microsoft portfolio, but not Microsoft Cloud, AWS and Google,” said Kyndryl’s Leonard.

“When we became independent, we said, ‘Look, we can now work with these people.’ Our belief is that those three companies are a platform for innovation that are driving growth in the marketplace and helping clients move to new business models,” he said. “They allow clients to be more efficient, more effective, but also allow them to access markets and access opportunities within their existing client base or adjacent to them that they couldn’t access before.”

Kyndryl is now one of the world’s biggest IT infrastructure services providers that serves thousands of enterprise customers by operating in 60 countries with a vast portfolio around building, managing and modernizing customers’ critical needs—from cloud migration to enterprise data and AI services.

The company holds similar close partnerships with Microsoft and AWS.

“We see the positive trajectory going in the same way for all three of them [AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft],” Leonard said. “We are bullish about the future.”