Could IBM’s off-stage integrator role earn them more revenue in cloud?


On the shelf between the geeky Google Cloud and blockbuster Amazon Web Services is IBM, with a service integration offering that may look comparatively lackluster to businesses shopping for a cloud provider. But Mohammad Farooq (pictured), general manager of brokerage services at IBM Corp., said that in this hyper-fragmented information technology world, enterprises need nothing so much as a single point of contact.

“It’s a complete rethink of how IT operates,” he said of IBM’s cloud service brokering platform.

Farooq spoke to Dave Vellante (@dvellante), co-host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during IBM InterConnect 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (*Disclosure below)

He said that IBM’s cloud service takes the on-demand IT model modern customers want and scales it out through partnering and shrinks it down through one point of contact.

“We are the single point of consumption and delivery and governance for service integration and service delivery,” he said.

Other providers cannot offer this same integration from consumption through delivery, according to Farooq. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and SoftLayer all give access to IT services on demand, “but can you aggregate that and provide a standard consumption operating model for the enterprise? That is the new broker role. And the broker’s platform from IBM basically enables that role for the enterprise,” he said.

IBM has reason to think the good money is on this strategy of integration.

The more IT changes …

Rewind to the 1990s when IT systems were spooling out in multiple directions. Then CEO Luis Gerstner insisted on maintaining integration and a single point of contact for customers, and this made them a mega success in the systems era.

“That’s how IBM is defining its role again in the services era from a systems era,” Farooq said.

He added that “the supply chain now is a hundred times more fragmented than it was before,” spawning very lucrative opportunities for IBM’s integration and brokerage services.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM InterConnect 2017(*Disclosure: SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE is a media partner at InterConnect. Neither IBM nor other conference sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE