A new day in cloud

Today, the skies begin to clear for born-on-the-web companies, government and the Fortune 500 looking for a superior “on ramp” to cloud computing.

IBM’s acquisition of SoftLayer is now complete, and the closing represents an industry first: the marriage of security, control and reliability of private clouds with the  flexibility, economy  and speed of a public cloud. The breakthrough capability made possible by the acquisition means that organizations previously  reluctant to adopt cloud, can now embrace cloud without compromise.


For me personally, this means an exciting opportunity to lead IBM’s new cloud services division, and the important but formidable challenge of combining SoftLayer and IBM SmartCloud into a global platform. Through the integration, my goal is to provide the best and broadest array of cloud services to both IBM and SoftLayer clients, ISVs, channel and technology partners  with a simple and effective model.

I’ve been with the company for over 25 years and working on cloud for more than six years, and can tell you that today’s acquisition closing is one of several important milestones for us.

SoftLayer will join more than a dozen strategic cloud acquisitions IBM has made since 2007 designed to accelerate our cloud initiatives. Just a few weeks ago we announced that IBM has reached more than 100 SaaS solutions to help marketing, procurement, ecommerce, customer service, human resources, city management, and other professionals make better decisions and better serve their customers. And only this Spring IBM announced its broad and forward looking commitment to driving open cloud standards.

The completion of this deal and the formation of a new cloud division is certainly another important step for us,  helping IBM move quickly and decisively as cloud – still only a fraction of the overall IT market – continues to take off.

To complement today’s news, we’re also announcing that Flow Corporation will integrate its real-time stream processing capability with IBM SmartCloud based on SoftLayer’s technology platform.

Flow, based in New York City, transforms the way companies process, publish and consume real-time information. By delivering very specific streams of business information – both structured and unstructured – Flow makes sales leads, customer interactions, product training, marketing data and HR information more accessible and actionable.

Put simply, Flow allows employees, customers and partners to tune-in to the precise information they need when they need it.

By integrating with the IBM SmartCloud and SoftLayer, Flow will connect and route real-time data to and from any number of enterprise applications, analytics and mobile services. What this means is real-time information dashboards and mobile apps are deployed in minutes without any IT support.

Minutes seem to be the increment of time we’re using these days. In all my years in IT, through e-Business and even the Web itself, I’ve never seen anything move as quickly as cloud computing. With that speed comes the need for openness, agility and industry expertise – and best of all the rewarding opportunity to help clients navigate this profound and transformational cloud journey.

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Jim Comfort

About Jim Comfort

Jim is responsible for IBM SmartCloud Platform and Services Capability inclusive of offering management, architecture, development, deployment and delivery globally.
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