The IBM spin-off was born almost a month ago but already has several agreements with Microsoft, SAP and VMware. It just finished one in the cloud with Google, but not yet on AWS.
Kyndryl, the IT services company founded by IBM in early November, has formed a global strategic partnership with Google to support their joint cloud customers. The deal comes a month after it made a similar deal with Microsoft, which covers Azure cloud hosting and support for products like Office365 and Teams. And there’s also an alliance – even more restricted – with VMware, as well as a certification agreement with SAP. Kyndryl is a young company but has a long history as a formerly managed IBM infrastructure services company. It has thus inherited more than 4,000 customers worldwide and aims to increase its share of the cost of managing the infrastructure of these customers in a way not possible under IBM. “We can’t do that at IBM because we’re focused on IBM’s cloud and just focused on it,” said Stephen Leonard, Kyndryl’s global head of alliances and partnerships.
Under IBM, cloud migration and management capabilities have been adapted to the big blue cloud. Now, Stephen Leonard said, “we’ll take the management capabilities and make them available to customers who run workloads in Google Cloud, or want to migrate workloads to Google Cloud.” This offer applies to any type of workload, Leonard says, not just to IBM Power Systems servers accessed through the Google Cloud Platform where businesses can run AS/400 applications. Key components of the Google agreement focus include helping customers integrate cloud-based AI and analytics into their digital innovations and moving their SAP workloads to the cloud.
Training for the benefit of customers
Charles King, president and chief analyst of Pund-IT, considers this partnership important for Kyndryl and Google. “It expands Kyndryl’s capabilities to meet customers’ hybrid cloud needs and should deliver significant benefit from Google’s innovative work on advanced analytics and AI. The relationship should also help Google focus more on developing and delivering cloud-class enterprise services and solutions. Support plans for SAP in Google Cloud, enterprise edge solutions and industry solutions for financial services are all areas where the Mountain View company wants to strengthen its positions. Kyndryl plans to have 5,000 of its 80,000 technicians certified on the Google Cloud Platform and will have about 1,000 certified by the end of 2021. This process began in September, before the partnership was formed, Stephen said. Leonard.
This is a similar process to what the company does at its internal Kyndryl University for the Microsoft training program, although more people are likely to become Microsoft certified because this program also covers products such as Dynamics and Office365, not just the Azure cloud platform. Developing those skills in different clouds is key for the new company, Charles King said. “Kyndryl’s focus and capabilities in the hybrid cloud are part of IBM’s legacy DNA. Being a world-class player in this space is not about partnering with specific service providers but about helping customers meet their hybrid cloud needs, regardless of the cloud platforms they use, “he said.” Microsoft and Google are both seen as important building blocks in this strategy. »
AWS on the line of sight?
The fact remains that at the concert of this agreement, Kyndryl has not yet concluded an alliance with giant Amazon Web Services, which controlled 32% of the market for cloud infrastructure services in the third quarter, ahead of Microsoft Azure (21 %) and Google Cloud Platform (8 %). The provider is listed on Kyndryl’s “alliances” webpage, but doesn’t weigh much in terms of billing. Stephen Leonard shed some light on this: “They all have the same but different requirements. Our intention is to achieve the highest level of certification in AWS,” he said, but “to him, none of us are at the highest level because we are still working on investments.and common domains.Achieving a strategic deal with AWS is important to Kyndryl, however, because “there is a very large number of joint customers, and they are in some of the areas where we are interested, VMware, mainframe modernization, and so on. “”.
Charles King considers for his part that this delay is nothing to worry about. “It takes time to work out details on deals like this, but I hope Kyndryl and AWS will find a way to work together as strategic allies.” IBM’s spin-off also recently entered into a partnership with VMware, itself a new autonomous company after its separation from Dell Technologies on Nov. 1, and earned certification from SAP for the global exploitation of SAP technologies, including HANA, S/4HANA, Business Suite and SuccessFactors. King sees the potential for further transactions: “Kyndryl provides services for Oracle databases and business applications, so there may be opportunities to deepen the collaboration between the two companies. Establishing strategic relationships with business -focused vendors like Salesforce and ServiceNow can also make sense, ”he said.