Kyndryl Advances Microsoft Azure Managed Services, Adds Alliance Partners

Kyndryl is going deeper with Microsoft, while adding Oracle and Veritas as its newest alliance partners.

Jeffrey Schwartz

June 28, 2022

5 Min Read
managed services

Microsoft is Kyndryl’s first alliance partner, and now the two companies are advancing their collaboration with Azure Managed Services. Seven months after IBM spun off Kyndryl, the new managed services giant and Microsoft have co-developed what they are calling “Mission-Critical Infrastructure Modernization.”

The new offering consists of consulting and implementation services designed for migration of on-premises, business-critical applications to Microsoft’s Azure cloud. A collective team of senior Microsoft Azure engineers and solution builders, and practitioners from both companies, are creating the service. Harish Grama, Kyndryl’s global practice leader, revealed the Azure Managed Services during a briefing with Channel Futures.


Kyndryl’s Harish Grama

“We’re co-creating offerings for the managed services market and the cloud migration and modernization market,” Grama said. “It’s an end-to-end offering that includes the customer, Microsoft personnel, Kyndryl personnel, along with processes and IP assets – obviously cloud being one of them – but also all the automation tools that we have.”

Grama said Kyndryl is working with several customers on the new offering, though he doesn’t have permission to identify them. The Kyndryl-Microsoft Mission Critical Infrastructure Modernization engagements start with advisory sessions, where consultants evaluate a customer’s application environment.

“There will be an advice component where we’ll start working with people, looking at their application estates, and then re-platform, rewrite, re-host, rearchitect, etc.,” he said. “At the same time, we’ll also leverage our strengths in the infrastructure business, automate the creation of landing zones using Azure infrastructure, automate the deployment of these applications, the security, the network, the monitoring, the patching, and then the optimizing.”

The goal is to create a factory motion, where performing five or six migrations, it will have patterns that Kyndryl can then tweak for specific customer requirements, according to Grama.

First and Only Premium Partner

Kyndryl announced Microsoft as its first technology alliance in November after IBM spun off the business. The move freed Kyndryl from acting in IBM’s interests, while letting Big Blue partner with the expanding MSP community.

“They were the first mega partner we signed; they continue to be our only premium partner,” Grama said of Microsoft. “We’ve stepped set up our center of competency. It is a mix of IP assets, people and dollars — the cloud, including the IP assets …  that we’ve put together. And we’re doing this co-creation with our customers and with Microsoft to showcase some of the capabilities and the value that we can jointly bring.”

Grama added that Microsoft is making a significant investment in the partnership.

“They’re putting in a lot of people,” he said. “They’re putting in a lot of dollars, and they’re obviously giving us their cloud, in that context. So we can start to really build up this movement with all these large companies that want to move to Azure.”

Expanding Mission Critical Infrastructure Modernization

While Kyndryl is launching Mission Critical Infrastructure Modernization via Azure managed services, Microsoft won’t be the only partner offering it.

“We want to follow it on with GCP [Google Cloud] and AWS in particular is because the pipeline is so strong and so healthy,” Grama said. “One of the reasons that we were so excited to be Kyndryl is we have this freedom to work with all these other technologies and not just IBM technologies.”

Grama said that with IBM’s 3% cloud market share, it was limited in the opportunities to offer …

… cloud migration services.

“Even if you discount all the other niche providers between these three, it’s another 80-plus percent of the market. So, we go from 3% of the market to close to 90% of the market,” he said.

Oracle Becomes Kyndryl Alliance Partner

Kyndryl last week added Oracle to its list of major cloud partners. The partnership covers the entire Oracle portfolio but also includes Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). The installed base of Oracle’s public cloud is significantly smaller than AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. But OCI this month showed signs of hope, posting greater than anticipated growth during its most recent quarter.

Total cloud revenues during Oracle’s recently reported fiscal fourth quarter ending May 31 grew 22% year-over-year, with its IaaS offering posting a 39% increase.

“OCI is very strong,” Grama said. “There is a lot of a lot of opportunity that we see in our army of practitioners. You generally go to the hyperscalers for most things but, when it comes around to running large Oracle databases or packaged apps, etc., in a sense [OCI] is a very logical place.”

Kyndryl Taps Veritas for Data Protection

Two days before announcing its Oracle alliance last week, Kyndryl said it has partnered with data protection provider Veritas. Grama said while he’s not closely involved with that partnership, it will augment Kyndryl’s cloud service offerings.

“The biggest issue is around data, privacy, data sovereignty, etc. And Veritas has a bunch of solutions that addresses those extremely nicely,” Grama said.

Veritas previously had an alliance with IBM Global Services before it spun out as Kyndryl. However, that partnership was just focused on Veritas NetBackup, says Dennis Deane, the company’s head of strategic alliances. The new partnership offers the entire Veritas portfolio, Deane explained.

“The Kyndryl services layer, specifically coming out of the security and resiliency practice, is underpinned by Veritas’ entire portfolio,” Deane said. “And it’s the suite of software from NetBackup 10, NetBackup IT Analytics, but it also even goes out into our appliances, which of course, are very important for our on-prem customers. The objective is they deliver the opex-based services as a managed service, and it leverages the best of our technology has to offer.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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