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IBM Security Expansion To Further ‘Channel-Enable’ Cloud And Hybrid Offerings

IBM announced updates including new advisory and managed security services for cloud-native security, cloud security posture management and container security.

IBM Security has expanded its advisory and managed services offerings for cloud, hybrid and container security, as the company continues to ramp up its hybrid cloud sales charge with the help of partners.

Executives from two solution provider partners of IBM said they expect the moves will enable them to seize new managed services opportunities.

[Related: Arvind Krishna: 6 Reasons IBM Is ‘Positioned To Lead’ Hybrid Cloud, AI]

Work-from-home policies and high-profile cybersecurity attacks have led to an increase in demand for IBM Security services like QRadar Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), said Mark Wyllie, CEO of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Flagship Solutions Group.

The updates should help Flagship — an IBM Gold Business Partner whose verticals include sports, entertainment and manufacturing — to offer IBM Security products as managed services with recurring revenue, important at a time when Wyllie expects to see double-digit growth in his IBM Security revenue year-over-year.

“These updates show more of a focus on being able to channel-enable IBM Security,” he told CRN.

The updates to IBM Security Services for Cloud announced Wednesday provide more visibility and help manage native security controls--across AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure--as well as helping with assessment of cloud security posture, IBM said in its announcement Wednesday.

The services use artificial intelligence and automation to identify and prioritize risks, respond to threats across cloud environments and connect that data with broader security operations and on-premises systems.

Also among the IBM Security updates are new advisory and managed security services for cloud-native security, cloud security posture management, container security and cloud security roadmap recommendations.

The growth of cloud and hybrid cloud require security experts to find new and better ways of securing environments, something the latest IBM Security updates should help with, Chandler Howell, director of engineering services at Chicago-based Nexum, told CRN.

“It‘s good [IBM is] offering integration into native services as well as security posture management,” since many customers are “at a loss” about those areas, Howell said. “Customers are looking for clear guidance and explanation for their security transformation.”

A growing number of customers of Nexum — a security-focused solution provider that is No. 187 on the 2020 CRN Solution Provider 500 — have been adopting cloud and hybrid environments as IBM has invested in its cloud consumption growth model, he noted.

The latest IBM moves in cloud and hybrid cloud security come as the tech giant seeks to lead in the hybrid cloud market--driven through a simplified sales structure that brings a renewed emphasis on partners, which launched earlier this year. In a recent interview with CRN, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said that the company’s bet on partners is “the biggest change we have made in our go-to-market [model] in my living memory.”

“If you think about how we pay our people and how we have got clarity on the partners, it is the single biggest change in 30 years on the go-to-market. It is massive,” Krishna said in the interview.

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