Advances in artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid cloud, and quantum computing at IBM along with a shift in the partner ecosystem is accelerating digital transformation, return to smartern working, and building strategic ecosystems that can drive better business outcomes, said the company at the IBM Think conference.
IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna said, “In the same way that we have electrified factories and machines in the past century, we will use hybrid cloud to infuse AI into software and systems in the 21st century. And one thing is certain: this is a future that must be built on a foundation of deep industry collaboration. No one understands this better than IBM, which is one of the reasons we are boosting investment in our partner ecosystem. Also at Think 2021, we are unveiling our latest hybrid cloud and AI innovations — the very technologies that serve as the building blocks of a new IT architecture for business.”
And in this push towards the adoption of AI, the one big focus will be partner eco-systems. IBM earlier this year has committed to invest $1 billion to help partners and their customers capture the estimated $1 trillion hybrid cloud market opportunity. IBM ecosystem partner Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is one partner which has already achieved competencies for building an industrial and manufacturing AI solution for data scientists and AI developers.
Jim Whitehurst, president IBM, while talking at IBM Think said that the roll of partners has changed as IBM now focuses on creating a platform approach towards cloud. “It’s not that IBM didn’t work with partners, the difference now is we are looking at creating a platform. And the role of partners is very valuable. Our relationship with partners is not just transactional anymore but more tactical,” he said while responding on how the investment of $1 billion in the partner ecosystem has impacted.
IBM has created a new competency framework to enable partners to demonstrate expertise, technical validation, and sales success in specialised areas such as hybrid cloud infrastructure, automation, and security.
To further its investment in ecosystem partners, IBM is also expanding availability of its Cloud Engagement Fund (CEF), to all partner types, whether they build on, service, or re/sell IBM technology. CEF provides investment through significant technical resources and cloud credits for partners to help migrate customer workloads to hybrid cloud environments. IBM’s collaboration with Siemens Digital Industries Software is just one example of how the CEF is helping its partners scale. Through this joint initiative, Siemens will apply IBM’s open hybrid cloud approach, built on Red Hat OpenShift, to extend the deployment flexibility of MindSphere, the industrial IoT as a service solution from Siemens.
A new IBM study on the adoption of AI for business shows the imperative to embed AI into business processes became more urgent during the pandemic. Of IT professionals surveyed, 43 per cent of said that their companies had accelerated their rollout of AI. And nearly half of global IT professionals surveyed said they evaluate AI providers in large part on their ability to automate processes.