IBM has given CRN an exclusive preview of how its latest cloud computing initiative will create new opportunities for the channel.
Speaking from IBM’s Innovation Centre in Dublin, Jagannathan Kandasami said IBM’s mission to help business partners means the company must help resellers to follow the money.
This means moving them to the next levels of service, which in theory means helping companies offer cloud computing, software as a service, second life and 3D visualisation. But, he admitted, IBM could still suffer from a perception problem.
“There was a danger that people have become desensitised to the concept of cloud computing, because there was so much talk about it,” he said.
But now IBM claims cloud computing will have an obvious appeal to companies that try to rationalise their datacentre costs. The provision of this technology will help some companies outsource their processing costs. And in some cases, buyers of IT capacity from a cloud supplier will be able to rent back their capacity in periods when their own business cycle is slow.
IBM cited Dutch partner iTricity as an example to the channel about how to make money from the cloud.
“We offer IT as a service to Big Blue chip clients,” explained iTricity chief executive Robert Rosier, “but quite often, there are times of the day, or year, when they are not using it. In which case, we can resell their capacity for them.”
As datacentres seek to rationalise costs, IBM is offering the channel new services to help them provide instant savings for clients. With the latest version of Active Energy Manager 4.1, which integrates with Tivoli, and allows datacentre managers to root out wasteful kit and slash their power bill in a fraction of the time, IBM offers cost-conscious IT bean counters an obvious return on investment, claimed Stephen Boden, datacentre consultant with IBM’s systems and technology group.
“We are talking about saving electricity, which has never been metered with so much granularity,” said Boden. “The beauty of that is, the end user can easily see the savings you are making for them.”
IBM is also beta testing an automated inventory management system, with an unnamed UK reseller partner, which it claims will give resellers another easy sale once released.
“You will be able to audit their entire inventory in a fraction of the time,” said Boden.
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