IBM and Red Hat – Building trust with broader choice

Our average customer is a large — often multinational — industrial enterprise. There are a lot of those here in Bilbao, Spain, where we’re located. We only see the sun in July and August, so we focus most of our attention on our customers rather than going to the beach.

And when working with those large companies — any company really — trust is everything. Our business, S&M Cloud, sells with trust. If our customers are going to choose us, if they are going to work with us, they have to trust that we are giving them the best services that we can.

That’s why we’ve partnered with both IBM and Red Hat. They’re both trusted names. They both offer our customers more choice on how to create the best solution to meet their needs. And with the recent IBM acquisition of Red Hat, we will be able to better meet those expectations of trust and choice for our customers.

A history of cooperation

S&M Cloud was founded in 2013. And back then, the cloud market wasn’t very mature in Spain. Every customer I talked to had all sorts of questions. “Where is the data?” “Who can access my info?” “Can anyone break in?” There was a lot of uncertainty.

But shortly after we started, we became an IBM Business Partner, and these conversations changed drastically. IBM has a name. IBM has a brand that people trust. We have a saying here in Spain, “No one has fired an IT director for choosing IBM.”

So after we became partners with IBM, the first questions we started hearing were instead more like, “How much is this going to cost?”

They weren’t worried about security anymore.

After the IBM name started opening doors for us, we started hearing another name frequently mentioned by our customers — Red Hat. Many of these businesses were running Linux or were using other Red Hat products, like the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. So it was only a matter of time before we became a Red Hat partner as well.

And with these two partners working more closely together after the recent acquisition, we all benefit. Let me explain.

Free to choose

A few years ago, another cloud provider was doing an aggressive launch for its service. It was giving away free cloud accounts to its big customers. But after these businesses had deployed all of their services in that cloud, they were now stuck. To migrate to a different cloud or to bring their own services back on premises required a complicated migration project.

That doesn’t make sense to me.

S&M Cloud is a born-in-the-cloud company. Cloud means freedom. Cloud means flexibility. Cloud means pay as you go. Cloud means service. We don’t build out multi-year contracts that hold customers captive. If we don’t deliver, if we don’t give our customers what they want, they’re free to go.

So far, that has never happened. We haven’t lost a customer yet.

But that freedom is critical. It’s the heart of what makes cloud such an amazing technology. And with the recent acquisition, IBM and Red Hat have given us more freedom and flexibility in what we can do with their technologies.

With Red Hat OpenShift, we have one of the best service catalogs on the market. And now that we can access all of these IBM products in a cloud-native form, we can more easily deploy or create new microservices to help our big customers transform and modernize their monolithic business applications.

And better yet, we’re not cloud captive. We can ask our customers, “Do you want to deploy in the IBM Cloud? In Amazon? In your own private cloud? You choose.” Some of our customers don’t 100 percent trust the cloud. And with the new IBM Cloud Paks, they can still use the cloud while keeping some of their core applications and infrastructure in house.

No other platform gives you that much freedom.

With IBM and Red Hat working so closely together, we also will continue to have much easier conversations about security. The policies in OpenShift are designed to be secure by default. And the platform is a lot more user-friendly than the usual Kubernetes system.

Altogether, this acquisition is a big improvement — for Red Hat, for IBM and for us Business Partners. We have all of the services, databases and tools that we need readily at hand. All united. All user-friendly. All with security-enhanced platforms that our customers can trust. What more could we ask for?

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