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IBM Services Jumps on UC-in-the-Cloud Bandwagon
By Charlene O'Hanlon
September 23, 2010 - News
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IBM Global Technology Services has expanded its consultancy offerings for customers interested in making the move to the cloud.

The services arm of IBM has introduced a new strategy and assessment service for cloud-based unified communications to help customers understand and/or pave their pay into the cloud, said Jeri Korkki, global services category leader for IBM Integrated Communications Service Cloud Services.

“Until now we have offered consultancy services for premise-based, non-cloud unified communications, but now we are seeing customers asking us, 'What can we do in the cloud? Can we take the benefits of virtualization and use that technology with unified communications?'" he said.

The new service, Korkki said, will educate customers on the different types of cloud offerings – public, private and hybrid – and help them decide whether they should use a cloud-based infrastructure over an on-premises solution. “We look at everything from what it takes to go into the cloud to what are the ramifications," he said. “Business requirements, functionality requirements, performance, security, resiliency, management requirements – we look at it all."

If the customer decides to move into the cloud for its UC services, IGTS will help them find the proper solution using a vendor-agnostic approach, Korkki said.

“What we do today is help customers build a long-term strategy and help them understand what the differences are in an on-premises private cloud vs. the public cloud," he said. “We’re not pushing one technology over another. We start from the customers’ point of view and look at their needs, and then determine what the solutions are. Then we help them understand best deployment option."

Korkki said the new consultancy arose from customers’ desire to move more applications into the cloud, as well as a need to reduce overall expenses. IGS helps them determine whether moving UC into the cloud is a sound strategy, and what solutions are available.

“In some cases, moving into the cloud is not an option due to regulatory compliance issues or security issues," he said. “That’s what we help them determine."

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