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Kyndryl CEO Martin Schroeter: We Are Exiting The Influence Of IBM

Joseph F. Kovar

‘This is not a business that IBM really invested in. It chose not to. So we now have an opportunity to not only move into the ecosystem that matters, but also to invest in the business and create the kinds of offerings that our customers will invest in, but just as important, how they think about us,’ says Kyndryl CEO Martin Schroeter.

Tell us about Kyndryl today.

I love talking about Kyndryl. I guess I still am employee number one. You know, I came back from retirement to take on the spin-out on January 15 of last year. We had worked on this spin out from IBM for about 10 months, and then we spun out in the beginning of November. … We have a ton of work underway even after this spin in order to be truly independent, as you would expect. Like all spins, we were born with the systems that used to help run the business. So we have a whole series of transition service agreements, TSAs, between IBM and Kyndryl. We rely on them for our financial systems, our procurement systems, our payroll, HR, and so on. So all of that still is in the process of coming out of IBM. We have two years from the spin date. So we’ve got about 15 months left. If you asked our CIO, he would tell you the number of hours we have left, because he’s really focused on getting us off their systems.

We’re independent. We’ve got a lot of work to do to be truly independent in terms of our systems. We were very quick to take advantage of our freedom of action by signing really important relationships and partnerships with the ecosystem that matters to our customers: Microsoft, Google, AWS, SAP, VMware, Oracle, Lenovo, there’s a bunch. So we were very quick to take advantage of our freedom of action. And we’ll turn those relationships into really sizable, important businesses for us. And in fact, I would say that our pathway to get back to growth will be fueled by us taking advantage of that freedom of action, along with us investing in our own business. This is not a business that IBM really invested in. It chose not to. So we now have an opportunity to not only move into the ecosystem that matters, but also to invest in the business and create the kinds of offerings that our customers will invest in, but just as important, how they think about us.

 
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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