IBM, Indosat Ooredoo to bolster telco cloud

Robert Powell/Telecom Ramblings

IBM today revealed a significant cloud services deal in the APAC region that could be a sign of things to come. The Indonesian telecommunications provider Indosat Ooredoo and its subsidiary Lintasarta have signed a five year partnership deal to develop and deliver solutions via the IBM cloud to its customer base.

The two companies are building an integrated command center to serve their combined client base, while IBM will be helping Indosat Ooredoo rework its approach to IT operations. The deal is apparently valued at some $200 million, so we aren't talking about trials and testbeds here.

In a somewhat similar vein earlier this week, the lumbering tech giant announced plans to open a new cloud data center in Johannesburg, South Africa. There they are working with Vodacom and Gijima to bring cloud-based SAP services to enterprises in southern Africa.

With some large global telecommunications providers apparently souring on the idea of owning their own cloud infrastructure from the bottom up, it seems IBM is sensing an opportunity. After purchasing Softlayer a couple years ago, they have been quietly stalking the market, looking for a weak spot. Rather than take on the likes of Amazon directly, they are looking to provide the cloud infrastructure DNA that telcos may not have and thus need to outsource.

So far their efforts have born fruit in faraway locations, but perhaps it won't be long before we see them strike a deal with the likes of Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink. Each of those has been linked to talk of divesting their data centers and/or cloud in the past year in some form, but each also has an enterprise customer base it would like to keep that might respond better to cloud services powered by IBM than themselves.

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