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IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Build Team Helps Partners ‘Like Never Before’

Big Blue is betting big on hybrid cloud. Now it’s helping the channel bring those environments to life, fast.

Kelly Teal

February 4, 2021

3 Min Read
Build a Cloud
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IBM continues to count on hybrid cloud as the path to better financial results and long-term viability. As part of that multipronged strategy, Big Blue on Thursday unveiled its Hybrid Cloud Build Team, available to channel partners for free.

The initiative features more than 100 cloud architects, data scientists, cloud developers, security specialists and developer advocates who create platforms for partners and their clients. But the Hybrid Cloud Build Team doesn’t stop at development. It also advises partners on speeding up the move to open hybrid cloud environments. That’s even in industries such as finance and telecommunications where change is hard to enact because of regulations.

Members of the Hybrid Cloud Build Team hold expertise in Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Amazon Web Services and other brands. That means they can help channel partners revamp workloads across a range of cloud platforms and providers. This is all while adding new technologies — think artificial intelligence, 5G, Kubernetes, blockchain and the edge. The idea is to optimize both business operations and client outcomes, IBM said.

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IBM’s Willie Tejada

“IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Build Team demonstrates a commitment to and investment in our ecosystem partners like never before,” said Willie Tejada, IBM’s chief developer advocate and general manager of ISV/Build Ecosystem. “This elite group of hybrid cloud specialists helps partners overcome obstacles to modernize and migrate client cloud workloads while infusing AI across platforms and providers. Numerous partners have told us that the team’s work has proven advantageous to their clients and has been a catalyst in expanding IBM’s hybrid cloud ecosystem.”

Off and Running

IBM just publicly debuted the Hybrid Cloud Build Team on Thursday. But its members already have completed more than 75 engagements, the company said. IBM further intends to beef up the team to more than 200 employees throughout 2021, giving partners more resources. IBM says a typical Hybrid Cloud Build Team engagement lasts between five and 20 weeks. That’s the time needed to create a prototype and work on go-to-market opportunities for partners.

The Hybrid Cloud Build Team came about as part of IBM’s $1 billion investment to fuel its hybrid cloud push (that’s the split CEO Arvind Krishna announced last year). IBM sees hybrid cloud as the future of the industry. Its own Institute for Business Value recently published a report that projects hybrid cloud adoption to grow by 47% over the next three years. On average, one organization will use six hybrid clouds, according to the study. Those findings mesh with others conducted by independent analyst firms. For example, McKinsey & Company predicts hybrid cloud poses a $1.2 trillion opportunity by 2022.

While the exact numbers may vary, the takeaway remains that hybrid cloud seems to best serve most enterprises, small and medium businesses, and other cloud consumers. Hybrid cloud lets users opt for public cloud where appropriate, and private or on-premises where needed, too. The combination works across environments and platforms, so users can take advantage of both proprietary and common capabilities. This is where IBM sees its future, away from legacy hardware and appliances and into recurring revenue and cross-platform technology. (This is, additionally, why Big Blue just bought Taos, a hybrid cloud managed service provider.)

A Good Investment

Cameron Clayton is general manager of IBM’s hybrid cloud ecosystem and weather. He told Channel Futures in October that partners will prove indispensable to the success of Big Blue’s new efforts; hence, the huge chunk of money.

“We’re really trying to help them with enablement, migrations, technical resources and skills, architectural reviews, running pilots, investing in helping them understand the security dimensions, regulatory — and we will listen and learn,” Clayton said. “We’re huge believers in enabling and training our partners and making sure they have all the resources they need.”

The Hybrid Cloud Build Team isn’t the only such team IBM has put together. Big Blue also has the AI Elite Team and the IBM AIOps Elite Team. Both focus on artificial intelligence.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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