IBM commits another $1.2 B to cloud computing


Michael Rhodin, the new head of IBM Watson Group, speaks during an IBM Watson event in lower Manhattan, New York January 9, 2014. IBM said it will invest more than $1 billion to establish a new business unit for Watson, as the tech giant hopes to get more revenue from the supercomputer system that beat humans on the television quiz show "Jeopardy". The world's largest technology service provider said the IBM Watson Group will be headed by Michael Rhodin, who was previously senior vice president of IBM's software solutions group. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS) (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

IBM has announced plans to commit $1.2 billion to expanding its global Internet cloud computing business — some of this will go toward opening cloud centers in various cities.

The Armonk, Ny.-based company plans to launch several new cloud data centers in 13 countries — physical locations from which IBM employees can demonstrate and set up cloud offerings. This year IBM plans to open 15 new centers in Washington, Hong Kong, London, Toronto, Dallas, and a few cities in Japan, India, China and Mexico, among others.

Since 2007, IBM has invested more than $7.5 billion in 15 cloud-related acquisitions, including SoftLayer, a Dallas-based cloud computing infrastructure company IBM acquired for $2 billion in July. The newest commitment is designed to help the company reach its goal of $7 billion in annual cloud revenue by 2015.

IBM has been ramping up its federal cloud services — its data center in Washington will serve as a hub for federal cloud customers, according to the company. The company expects the center to be operational in the second quarter of 2014.

In the fall, the Department of the Interior selected IBM as one of 10 cloud companies to compete for $1 billion in cloud contracts with the agency over the next 10 years.

Mohana Ravindranath covers IT and small business for the Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication.
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