Kyndryl has joined forces with Google Cloud in a relationship that further propels the IBM spinoff beyond Big Blue's orbit and underscores its multi-cloud aims.
The New York-based infrastructure services provider broke free from IBM in November 2021. Since then, the company has entered alliances with a handful of companies. A pact with Microsoft was Kyndryl's first partnering move. The company also inked a strategic association with VMware and maintains SAP certifications.
With the Google Cloud partnership in hand, Stephen Leonard, global alliances and partnerships leader at Kyndryl, cited "the ability for us to expand beyond the IBM universe into the broader industry universe and bring skills and capabilities to build across Google and Azure."
Kyndryl's website lists AWS as part of its partner ecosystem, but the services provider has yet to disclose a strategic partnership with AWS.
Certifications and cloud offerings on tap
Kyndryl cloud services personnel will receive training through a specialized Google-funded curriculum, which will, in short order, result in more than 5,000 Google Cloud certifications, Leonard said. He said the Google-certified practitioners will provide the "basic building block" for the relationship.
On that foundation, Kyndryl and Google Cloud plan to develop services in four areas: data, analytics and AI; SAP on Google Cloud; enterprise edge; and financial services. The latter offering aims to help financial services customers run workloads on Google Cloud and remain within industry regulations, Leonard said.
In addition, Kyndryl plans to expand training beyond the initial certification push. That round of training will enable the company's Google Cloud cadre to integrate a customer's application landscape at a deeper level, Leonard said. To that end, Kyndyrl will create services that tie together a client's on-premises, mission-critical and cloud workloads, while also providing security, business resilience and high availability, he said. Those pre-built integration services will free customers from assembling the technical infrastructure on which their applications will reside, he added.
Google's cloud partner base numbers in the thousands, but the Kyndryl relationship stands out for a couple of reasons. "The company was created from an organization that has an amazing bench strength of expertise and services," said Chris Webber, research director for IDC Strategic Alliances. "This provides customers with confidence and trust that their critical business and IT transformation efforts will be successful. That is a critical differentiator in the market."
Chris WebberResearch director, IDC Strategic Alliances
Kyndryl's best business practices and methodologies provide additional credibility, Webber noted. He also cited Kyndryl's track record of complex integrations and understanding and addressing business issues.
The Kyndryl-Google alliance will pursue business in a range of industries. Leonard said the focus will include regulated industries such as banking and sectors adopting 5G and edge computing such as manufacturing, retail and utilities. In October 2021, Google introduced a distributed cloud that extends its cloud to edge locations and customers' data centers.
IBM to expand MuleSoft services roster
IBM Consulting plans to expand its roster of MuleSoft-certified personnel.
The move is part of a global relationship between IBM and MuleSoft, a Salesforce company that provides an integration and API platform. The main thrust of the agreement calls for MuleSoft to extend its Anypoint Runtime Fabric to run on Red Hat OpenShift, an offering MuleSoft is scheduled to deliver in 2022. Also on tap are API management and governance tools to be released in the first quarter of 2022.
The expansion of IBM Consulting's MuleSoft skillset, meanwhile, will increase its ability to deliver services to joint customers, said Meir Amiel, MuleSoft's chief product officer.
The consulting arrangement doesn't change MuleSoft's overall partnering approach, however. "We will continue, in parallel, to work with other partners that deliver services, just as we have done in the past," Amiel said.
IBM Consulting, launched in Oct. 2021, is a rebranding of IBM's professional services division. The spinoff of IBM's managed infrastructure business as a separate organization sparked the decision to create a "sharper focus" for its services arm, according to IBM.
Digital leaders shift transformation gears to innovation
Businesses that have cleared their initial digital transformation hurdles have moved on to tackle more groundbreaking projects.
A report from Boston Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, said the initial wave of transformation focused on reengineering core business functions such as sales, marketing and supply chain management. Organizations that have expanded their first forays into cross-company initiatives are "clearly shifting from digital reengineering to innovation," the report noted. The innovation projects are surfacing in both core businesses and new ventures.
"Successful digital transformers are upping the ante, and as they leverage their digital skills to innovate faster and better, the gap will widen between winning digital transformers and their laggard competitors," according to BCG.
Other consulting firms have also noted the rise in innovation among digital leaders and an expanding digital gap between those companies and the laggards. Accenture research found, prior to the pandemic, organizations with the highest digital investment grew revenue twice as fast as businesses investing at lower levels. During the pandemic, however, digital leaders grew revenue at five times the pace of laggards.
- Open Systems, a cybersecurity services provider in Redwood City, Calif., appointed former Microsoft channel executive Gavriella Schuster to its board of directors. Schuster left Microsoft earlier this year, having been the company's corporate vice president for the One Commercial Partner organization.
- MajorKey Technologies, an MSP and technology strategy company in Chicago, has acquired Valance Group Inc., a digital transformation consultancy. Valance, based in Seattle, brings 90 consultants and engineers to MajorKey, which now employs more than 650 people. The deal, backed by investment firm The Acacia Group, also adds technical skills in such areas as AI, machine learning, data integration and user-centered design. MajorKey emerged earlier this year this when Gryphon Investors acquired the ServiceNow business unit of Highmetric and the remaining business was rebranded MajorKey.
- The Green Software Foundation, which consultancies Accenture and Thoughtworks co-founded earlier this year, has released the alpha version of the Software Carbon Intensity Specification. The specification is used to calculate a score based on a software system's rate of carbon emissions. Microsoft and GitHub are the foundation's other co-founders. Separately, Thoughtworks, with headquarters in Chicago, has built a Fractionalized Offset Management system for Tradewater, a firm that focuses on preventing greenhouse gas emissions. The system lets Tradewater offer web-based tools that its subscribers use to measure the carbon effects of daily tasks, travel or other activities. Sustainability consulting services have taken off in recent months as business seek help devising and measuring carbon reduction programs.
- D&H Distributing next month will launch a partner program, which aims to help partners build practices in areas including unified communications, security and professional audio-visual. The Harrisburg, Pa., distributor's PartnerFI Community will consist of two networks: one for K-12 partners and one for more traditional VAR and MSP partners. The program also features discounts on D&H services such as asset tagging, credit offerings and quarterly "solution trainings," the company said.
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