IBM and VMware Partner to Accelerate Client Innovation with Secure, Multi-cloud Solutions

IBM is an iconic American technology brand. Since the earliest days of the computer industry—from the development of mainframes through the advent of disk drives—into the 21st century and the emergence of the metaverse, IBM has been at the forefront of innovation.

Today, IBM is a global leader in hybrid cloud and AI, drawing from its vast technical resources and collaborative spirit to help organizations around the world accelerate their digital transformations and solve their most pressing business challenges. Central to IBM’s business model is leveraging ecosystem partnerships, such as the one between IBM and VMware.

Brendan Kinkade, vice president of technology and hybrid cloud partnerships for IBM, says, “IBM and VMware have been partners for several decades, and we have a shared vision of what it takes to address our clients’ needs. We've been able to jointly develop new, innovative solutions that help clients accelerate their own innovation and deliver better solutions to their customers.”

Kinkade observes that organizations are being driven toward digital transformation faster than ever before. In many cases this means adopting a hybrid, multi-cloud environment on which to run their businesses with greater efficiency, agility, and resilience. These organizations turn to IBM and VMware to help them make the best cloud-smart decisions along their journey that will deliver optimal results and keep their business assets secure.

“We know hybrid environments are here to stay,” Kinkade acknowledges. “Together, IBM and VMware have come up with some unique solutions that allow customers to take advantage of the opportunities a hybrid world has to offer.”

Delivering a Cloud Experience with on-premises-like Control

The ability to manage operations across multiple clouds is essential for many global organizations. Through the VMware cloud-smart ecosystem, IBM can multiply its capabilities to ensure each client workload lands on the right cloud for its respective business case. At the same time, every decision must be made with security in mind.

Kinkade notes, “Security is paramount in the mind of any client as they're going through their transformation journey and adopting multiple clouds. We need to make sure their data is secure, but also that they have observability across their environment, and the ability to apply new tools like artificial intelligence that can extract value from data to drive growth for the business.”

This need is especially critical in regulated industries, such as financial services, healthcare, and the public sector. In response, IBM and VMware have expanded their relationship, with IBM Consulting now a VMware Global System Integrator (GSI), enabling the two companies to deliver new jointly developed solutions that help clients in regulated industries achieve their multi-cloud goals while reducing complexity and risk. A prime result of this collaboration is IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions.

“Through deep engineering collaboration, IBM and VMware are bringing out new solutions focused on regulated industries,” Kinkade says. “These clients need data protection; they need continuity between their on-premises environment and the cloud. With IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions, their data is encrypted with the same level of security and compliance as they would have on-premises but with a public-cloud-like experience. Together, IBM and VMware are able to help our clients in regulated industries modernize their environments much more rapidly.”

In one case, the two companies collaborated to help a major financial services institution completely transform its business. The company is now moving its financial services workloads to the IBM Cloud and using VMware solutions to improve business efficiencies and better serve its customers. Kinkade points out, “The solution includes an ecosystem of ISVs who run in the IBM Cloud, the foundation of which is VMware infrastructure. We’re helping the bank reduce third- and fourth-party risk and opening the door to future innovation that accelerates time-to-market of new solutions in this highly competitive space.”

Ongoing Investment in Collaborative Innovation

Understanding that clients require different cloud solutions to meet the full scope of their diverse business needs, IBM has also partnered with VMware to securely bring the public cloud experience on premises with IBM Cloud Satellite for VMware. This innovative solution enables clients to run VMware workloads anywhere with consistency and assured security.

“With IBM Cloud Satellite for VMware, we can now deploy a secure, open, innovative cloud platform in the client's data center,” Kinkade explains. “One of our key differentiators is we can deliver the solution as-a-service, managed by IBM, or provide the tools for the client to manage the environment with their own resources. We give them the flexibility to do either or both through IBM Cloud Satellite for VMware.”

In partnership, IBM and VMware are continually expanding their joint innovation capabilities, most recently with a new agreement to expand the VMware and IBM Joint Innovation Fund. This agreement fuels a co-development engine for bringing new solutions to market. In addition to supporting joint engineering resources, the fund also brings together sales, marketing, and enablement capabilities from both companies to solve the ever-evolving needs of our joint customers around the world.

Kinkade points out that the new VMware Partner Connect program offers additional value to the relationship. “The go-to-market resources available through VMware Partner Connect are very valuable to IBM. The program helps fund some of our marketing activities and provides the technical assistance we need in our center of excellence to support our VMware workloads.”

In fact, IBM is one of the largest operators of VMware workloads in the world, and thousands of organizations have benefited from this experience. “We have deep expertise around migrating, modernizing, and managing applications that we can provide clients to fill their gaps in skills and resources,” Kinkade says. “Whether it's VMware Tanzu in the IBM Cloud or Red Hat OpenShift running on vSphere, IBM and VMware bring together our complementary technologies to deliver the value our clients are looking for.”

Kinkade concludes, “As a partner I'm excited about VMware's multi-cloud roadmap because it gives clients the options they will need. We live in a multi-cloud world, and the partnership between IBM and VMware will enable our joint clients to achieve their digital transformation goals across the clouds that make the most sense for their business—rapidly and securely.”

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