In the war for customers, cloud providers have to come up with new opportunities to capture attention
For example, IBM Corp.’s early move what a collection of offerings called SmartCloud Enterprise, which it says is similar to Amazon’s EC2 infrastructure as a service (IaaS) products.
IBM’s latest move is the creation of what it calls SmartCloud Enterprise +, an enterprise-class, fully managed shared cloud service for running the most important business applications in production.
“This is the next step beyond public cloud,” says Aldo Gallone, IBM Canada’s director of cloud computing.
SC+ is available through IBM data centres on five continents, including Canada.
For organizations that have used IaaS for developing applications or running non-critical apps in production, Gallone said the service offers all the security and reliability features an in-house enterprise cloud would want, but in a multi-tenant environment.
IBM is responsible for managing the operating system including updates, identity management, service level agreements and security.
To show how rugged it is, IBM is also offering tailored service for managing customers’ SAP apps.
Called SmartCloud for SAP Applications, it is available for both running SAP Business Suite and BusinessObjects. IBM says it automates and standardizes provisioning of these apps and can accelerate their delivery.
The arrangement with SAP, a close IBM partner, is not exclusive for cloud service, Gallone said, so other providers may offer something similar. But, he added, “we’re out the door first.”
Other ERP applications will soon follow, Gallone said, starting with suites from Oracle.
However, the service won’t be cheap. IBM wouldn’t give pricing details, but said SCE+ services will start at $10,000 a month for development environments, and more for production.