IBM has quadrupled the number of cloud data facilities it offers
around the world to 49 in the past 18 months, responding in part to
laws requiring the local retention of data following revelations
over U.S. government Web surveillance as well as increased corporate
The company said on Wednesday it has now struck a partnership with
data center provider Equinix Inc for nine more cloud centers in
Australia, France, Japan, Singapore, The Netherlands and the United
In addition the company is opening up three new cloud computer
facilities of its own in Germany, Mexico and Japan.
The information technology giant, which is contending with a change
in its classic business mix of software and outsourcing services as
corporate clients focus on reaching their customers via the Internet
and mobile phones, said its own cloud business is having a banner
"We have had a really good year. We would call it a breakthrough
year in cloud," Angel Luiz Diaz, vice president in charge of IBM's
cloud computing business, told Reuters.
IBM's cloud revenue amounted to $4.4 billion in 2013 and was up by
50 percent in the first nine months of this year, it reported in
October, making it one of IBM's fastest-growing businesses, although
it still accounts for only a fraction of the $94 billion in total
revenues which IBM is expected by analysts to generate this year.
Diaz declined to comment on the company's performance during the
fourth quarter but IBM has announced multi-year deals in recent
weeks worth a total of more than $4 billion that are fuelling the
company's expansion in data centers.
The company's cloud computing services let companies mix classic
computing jobs with new ways of working, a twist on the largely
consumer-facing cloud services made popular by Amazon's Web
Services, Google and Microsoft.
IBM, along with rivals Hewlett-Packard and EMC's VMware, offer
“hybrid cloud” services that let customers run key business data on
private, internal networks along with consumer-facing public cloud
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Such hybrids provide companies with certain speed, security and
regulatory advantages but at similar costs as public clouds, said
industry analyst Charles King of the firm Pund-IT. Mixed systems
also let customers move their existing business software to the
Internet over several years rather than in one big leap.
So far this quarter IBM has set major deals with airline Lufthansa,
Dutch bank ABN AMRO, advertising giant WPP, audio electronics maker
Woox Innovations in Hong Kong and the Dow Water arm of Dow Chemical.
IBM has also put in place a variety of technology partnership deals
with SAP, Microsoft, Tencent, AT&T and Intel to give its customers
more flexibility in running other major business systems on IBM
IBM also said on Wednesday it had reached a cloud services deal with
National Express Group Plc to enable the UK-based bus and trains
operator to offer commuters up-to-the-minute train schedules and
what it said would be Britain's first postcode-to-postcode journey
(This story has been refiled to correct the capitalization of
(Editing by Greg Mahlich)
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