This direct connectivity is designed to deliver “greater flexibility so customers can innovate more effectively” by establishing low-latency connections on a global basis across a private network to the IBM Cloud through IBM Cloud Direct Link, according to CenturyLink.
Chris McReynolds, CenturyLink’s vice president of core network services, tells Channel Partners that Cloud Connect gives partners the ability to give their customers private connections to IBM Cloud for “improved security, predictable performance and high-bandwidth that is ideal for hybrid cloud use cases, versus typical internet connectivity.”
The extended collaboration between CenturyLink and IBM builds on CenturyLink’s existing support for IBM Business Resiliency Services and IBM Cloud Managed Services. The IBM Cloud Direct Link platform can allow companies to drive enhanced network performance when connecting to the IBM Cloud via leading service providers, including CenturyLink’s expansive global network.
With Cloud Connect, support for IBM Cloud Direct Link now is available in several key locations across North America, Europe and Latin America.
“IBM supports hybrid VMWare deployments on-prem to IBM Cloud very well and Watson is a compelling artificial intelligence (AI) offer that many enterprises desire,” McReynolds said. “Those use cases require secure, private and low-latency connections into their cloud environments. Some industries most likely to benefit from IBM Cloud Direct Link would be banking and securities, broadcasting and cable, energy, government, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing and retail. Customers in LatAm can now also benefit from IBM Cloud Direct Link. ”
Cloud Connect offerings link organizations’ cloud environments to data-center and global cloud providers over private and secure networks.
“Enterprises are rapidly building innovative solutions on the cloud that leverage artificial intelligence (AI), IoT, machine learning and more,” said Kit Linton, IBM Cloud’s vice president of network. “With a breadth of connection options provided by CenturyLink Cloud Connect, customers have greater choice and flexibility to create resilient connections to the IBM Cloud so they can unlock new value from their data using a hybrid strategy.”
CenturyLink also has joined the IBM Cloud Direct Link Service Provider Program, which provides enterprises with connectivity around the globe.
“Customers and partners in several geographies including North America, LatAm and Europe benefit from the expanded collaboration of two global, industry-leading providers with deep customer bases,” McReynolds said. “CenturyLink Cloud Connect now gives partners the ability to provide their customers with a much broader selection of locations, bandwidth speeds, and deployment models to support their IBM Cloud workloads. Partners benefit from the technical enablement and training needed to provide their customers with faster provisioning cycles and streamlined customer experience. CenturyLink was one of IBM Cloud’s first Direct Link Connect providers in the Direct Link Service Provider Program.”
Also this week, CenturyLink decided not to hire a new channel chief to replace John DeLozier, but instead promoted vice president of indirect sales Garrett Gee to lead the company’s channel partner program. Read our exclusive Q&A.