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IBM and Microsoft Announce Cloud Partnership

Yesterday, IBM and Microsoft announced a cloud partnership that will bolster both company’s cloud offerings. We have a larger write up on the details and my initial take on it over in the Portal and Social Blog. From what we can tell, both IBM and Microsoft are excited about the opportunity. While many view them as competitors, in reality, the overlap wasn’t as large as other companies. The ability to share capabilities where there are gaps and the ability to fill holes in each others cloud offering makes sense. Here’s an overview:

  • Microsoft Azure will be able to host
    • WebSphere Middleware like MQ and WebSphere Liberty (lightweight and mobile friendly java app server)
    • DB2
    • Everything will be certified and supported by IBM. This includes support for images within Hyper-V
  • IBM will be able to host
    • Windows Server
    • SQL Server

Here’s a bit on my take as well:

While the IBM and Microsoft news is new, the partnership approach among legacy software vendors is not new. (See Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft news)  The article correctly states the pressure being put upon both Microsoft and IBM by the likes of Amazon and Google. Yes, Microsoft has poured billions into a strong Office 365 SaaS offering and in Azure. Yes, Azure is worth more than a billion dollars to Microsoft right now. IBM bought Softlayer which is known for being an easy to use and manage IaaS / PaaS play. IBM is also in the process of putting every piece of software they own on Softlayer.  If there’s a cloud play  at IBM, it’s going on Softlayer.

However, both Microsoft and IBM have a problem. What do you do when a client says they have Java apps on Linux or some .net apps on C#? What do you do when SQL Server or DB2 is involved? Well, you could order up another cloud service that supports either of those options or you partner with your sometimes nemesis to put together a more comprehensive offering. Obviously, Microsoft and IBM have chosen the latter.

Head on over to the post for a little more detail.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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