IBM: Solving the Cloud + Analytics Equation

’s push into services was sparked by its acquisition of SoftLayer in early 2013, a privately-held and web SP whose 21,000+ corporate clients included a large majority of global S&P 500 companies. Combining its own data centers with SoftLayer’s gave IBM over two dozen hosting facilities worldwide, a number it has steadily grown since then (there are over 40 as of this writing, with more planned for specific overseas markets). The company uses those data centers to deliver numerous public, private and hybrid solutions, including infrastructure-, platform- and software-as a service (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS).

Not surprisingly, last year IBM was ranked #1 in IDC’s first market research study of enterprise cloud vendors. The survey asked representatives from more than 400 companies with 1000+ employees to rank Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud vendors according to their quality of service/availability, speed of provisioning, simplicity and overall costs. IBM garnered 35% of first place votes, placing it well ahead of competitors, including Amazon, Cisco and Google.

How about ? Over the past decade, IBM has invested over $25 billion in and big data via acquisitions of key companies, like Cognos, SPSS, Coremetrics, Netezza, StoredIQ and Cloudant. Plus, the company has developed notable related projects, including its Watson systems and BlueMix development platform, and made continuing investments in -related open source efforts, like Hadoop and Apache Spark.

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NOTE: This column was originally published in the .

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