IBM's cloud platform has scored a success with two partnerships that will see VMware host its Horizon Air virtual desktop service on the IBM Cloud, while SugarCRM is packaging its customer relationship management (CRM) software for customer deployment on the IBM Cloud.
The industry giant has spent the past few years ramping up its cloud infrastructure, notably through the acquisition of hosting firm SoftLayer in 2013, and its cloud presence now extends to a network of 46 data centres worldwide, a factor the firm partly credits for its new partnerships.
The move reinforces IBM Cloud as a strategic cloud partner for VMware, the firm said, building on an agreement between the two announced earlier this year. Hosting Horizon Air cloud services on IBM Cloud provides customers with a secure and scalable platform from which to deliver critical apps and data to users on any device, anywhere, at any time.
Horizon Air is essentially a platform for delivering virtual desktops and published applications to endpoint devices. It can be deployed on-premise, but using IBM's cloud eliminates the need for customers to procure and manage the infrastructure to support it.
"Customers are asking for choice and innovation, while protecting existing IT investments. Offering VMware Horizon Air on the IBM Cloud addresses customer demands with an enterprise-grade cloud and services from two proven and trusted companies," said Sanjay Poonen, VMware's executive vice president for end-user computing.
VMware Horizon Air on IBM Cloud is expected to be available from the third quarter of 2016, while the two firms will jointly market the Horizon Air portfolio globally.
SugarCRM is likewise making its CRM platform available for deployment on the IBM Cloud, providing customers with the option to host it themselves on-premise or to offload it to a cloud provider with a global presence.
The move is of special significance for firms in regulated industries, such as banking, healthcare and financial services, that have to follow strict policies for security and compliance when handling sensitive customer data, according to IBM and SugarCRM.
This is because organisations that deploy SugarCRM on IBM Cloud bare metal servers can choose the data centre location down to the exact country and city, and even identify the serial number on their server, giving them granular control over their cloud deployments and data location.
"SugarCRM customers looking for greater control over their data, more deployment options and a reliable infrastructure should consider IBM Cloud as their platform of choice," said SugarCRM co-founder and chief technology officer Clint Oram.
IBM explained that this announcement builds on IBM and SugarCRM's long-standing, strategic relationship. The two companies announced the IBM Marketing Cloud for SugarCRM last year, which integrates the former's marketing automation capabilities with the latter's CRM features.
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