Hardware giant IBM has launched a tranche of services and products to help partners tap into the SMB and enterprise opportunities in cloud.
The rollout of these offerings form part of IBM's SmartCloud strategy, which has seen the firm debut a host of private and public cloud products today.
These include the unveiling of the company's new platform-as-a-service proposition, aimed at helping enterprise customers manage, deploy and develop public cloud applications.
Big Blue also announced the IBM SmartCloud Foundation, its new private cloud hardware and software portfolio, which will allow end users to deploy, provision and monitor clouds built within their own firewalls.
The vendor predicts that 200 million users will be running these products and services to take advantage of cloud by the end of 2012.
During a conference call with the press earlier today, Michael Heegaard, director of cloud computing for IBM's business development organisation in north east Europe, said the products are proof of its commitment to partners in the cloud.
"What we are doing, if you look at the IBM private and public cloud portfolio and what differentiates [the IBM approach], is that we have the contract with the partner and not their client," said Heegard. "We would not want to do it any other way or risk the integrity we have with our channel."
Today's announcements follow the rollout of IBM's Cloud Computing Specialty programme in February. This was set up to allow IBM to categorise partners into five groups, based on the type of cloud services they offer.
However, Heegaard was keen to stress that all partners, regardless of whether they have a Specialty or not, will have access to IBM's new cloud products and services.
"[Specialty partners] are provided with extra support and marketing strength to reflect their investment in IBM, but [the certification] is not an iron gate and the products are open to all," said Heegaard.
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