Partnerships make the clouds go round

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Partnerships clouds go roundThe phrase “it takes a village” is rarely more true than in the technology industry. Time and again, when a company chooses not to collaborate with other industry leaders, it is almost certain to fail. Instead, real innovation and business value in emerging and maturing markets comes when companies work together to deliver value to the market.

Take, for instance, IBM. After more than 100 years of leading an industry, we know better than most that the success of our company and clients often hinges on creating strong partnerships with other leaders in their respective spaces.

Here are just a few recent examples that have already garnered meaningful results:

  • Apple to bring together the power of IBM cognitive and cloud with Apple’s design thinking and iOS platform
  • VMware to rapidly move enterprise workloads to the cloud, Cisco for social collaboration
  • AT&T for Internet of Things (IoT) and providing our clients networking options

Recently, IBM and SAP announced an expansion of their longstanding relationship to co-innovate solutions that increase client value with cognitive, enhance experiences and deliver industry-rich functionality, on premises and in the cloud.

This has led to the two companies driving clients’ digital transformation. In fact, it’s fair to say that the IBM-SAP Digital Transformation Partnership is our most significant partnership announcement in our 45 years of working together.  By combining the best of IBM solutions, such as IBM Cloud and cognitive, with the best of SAP solutions, we help clients modernize their core systems and digitally transform their businesses. The response from our customers has been tremendous.

Dallas-based Celanese Corp. is the latest example of how our clients are reaping the rewards of the IBM-SAP partnership. Celanese develops an extensive list of specialty materials used in household and industrial products.

The company’s Materials Solutions division and Acetyl Chain division share an IT infrastructure running a single instance of SAP to support various business-critical functions such as finance, human resources and manufacturing and applications including business intelligence, advanced planning, risk and compliance.

To keep everything running smoothly, Celanese maintained its servers in a third-party data center. As the infrastructure expanded to match the company’s growth, so did its costs. Upgrades meant that Celanese had to outsource for specific SAP skill sets, driving costs even higher.

In short, Celanese’s business growth was costing it IT dollars. The company needed an infrastructure that helped reduce costs with a more flexible delivery model for its SAP platforms and operations.

Understanding that SAP had partnered with IBM to deliver its application on the IBM Cloud, Celanese moved about 40 SAP systems, 213 interfaces and 30 terabytes of data to a private hosted cloud from IBM. This provides Celanese with a security-rich, cost-effective and scalable cloud environment with nearly all operating system and system management licenses and services consolidated into a single, monthly charge.

Now, Celanese can more easily bring new businesses online and see the immediate impact on the company’s operating budget while avoiding typical expenses that was once considered the price of doing business.

As I said, Celanese is just one of the latest examples of how our partnerships with companies are delivering meaningful results to our clients. After all, this industry is built on the premise that we need to make it easier and faster for companies to go to market and reduce costs without sacrificing what their businesses are built on.

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