November 30, 2020 By Pearl Chen 3 min read

As technology develops at a whirlwind pace, how can businesses innovate with the latest data and AI solutions while keeping costs down during a pandemic and recession?

One strategy is to tap into a hybrid cloud ecosystem. Customers can access powerful solutions through value-added distributors (VADs) and other business partners such as system integrators and resellers. VADs provide expertise and support to help customers and business partners not only deploy large-scale solutions from technology providers but customize them to specific priorities. Beyond packaging, storing and shipping products from manufacturers, VADs add differentiating services — such as training and specialized maintenance — that can create an exceptional customer experience.

To help clients innovate, IBM is excited to partner with Tech Data, one of the world’s leading VADs and end-to-end technology distributors, and Microsoft Azure. This partnership will allow clients to more quickly develop a robust information architecture by enabling faster and easier access to IBM Cloud Pak® for Data, a unified data and AI platform that provides cost-efficient and containerized services for accelerating the journey to AI.

Why does a hybrid cloud ecosystem matter?

A hybrid cloud ecosystem supports infrastructural neutrality. Your data might need to stay on premises, integrate with legacy systems, cross international borders, operate in a public cloud or deploy in various other ways. When software providers, cloud vendors, VADs, and other partners come together in a hybrid cloud ecosystem, customers gain the flexibility to choose exactly what capabilities they need and how they should be deployed. Companies can future-proof AI investments by bringing mission-critical software into new environments as business needs change.

Customization is one key benefit of a hybrid cloud ecosystem. VADs like Tech Data meet customers where they are with solutions that are more innovative yet less costly, offering comprehensive services that can foster wider adoption. If an AI tech provider is the auto manufacturer, a VAD is like the garage that helps drivers outfit their car with specialized features. In short, a hybrid cloud ecosystem is a win-win for all.

Customizing your data and AI with IBM, Tech Data and Microsoft Azure

The joint ecosystem supported by IBM, Tech Data and Azure will help more partners make their clients’ data ready for AI through a modern, containerized information architecture. As a VAD, Tech Data makes it faster and easier than ever to set up a proof of concept. Its Click-to-Run capability can help partners independently set up customized IBM Cloud Pak for Data solutions to match unique customer needs for a try-and-buy experience.

Whether the desired outcome is to remove data silos, address data quality, or generate faster insights with AI-infused dashboards and visualizations, Click-to-Run makes implementing IBM Cloud Pak for Data on the cloud simple and cost-efficient. Should customers need assistance, Tech Data engineers are available to knock down any barriers.

Mark Martin, VP, Global Vendor Management at Tech Data, said, “This Click-to-Run solution serves the direct need from IBM and our joint ecosystem to improve the operations and efficiency of delivering IBM Cloud Pak for Data — as well as increase overall adoption of IBM Cloud Pak Platforms.”

In addition, Tech Data leverages its StreamOne online marketplace to make IBM Cloud Pak for Data available on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Platform in under four hours, with plans to expand to more clouds in the future. On Azure, data scientists using IBM Cloud Pak for Data can deploy open, scalable solutions in the cloud and across 54 global regions — more than any other provider — while reducing costs and maintaining regulatory compliance. IBM Cloud Pak for Data works seamlessly with Azure to bring IBM’s suite of solutions, including Watson capabilities, to Azure customers without migrating data or compromising security.

Next Steps

To learn more about how IBM Cloud Pak for Data supports a hybrid cloud ecosystem, visit our tech partner page.

To see how the platform can unify cost-efficient data and AI services, read this blog on IBM Cloud Pak for Data v3.5 enhancements or our newsletter featuring complimentary Gartner Research.


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