IBM has been talking a lot of cloud in all its incarnations for the past year — it has a hundred SaaS apps geared for any number of job rolls. It bought SoftLayer for $2 billion in June. And next week it hopes to bring a lot of that together in a new SoftLayer-based IBM Cloud Marketplace, said several sources who have been briefed on the company’s plans. Actually, an early version of the site is already up Thursday but things will probably change by next week.
The goal is to put all of IBM’s and related third-party cloud products in one place so customers and partners can find them, try them, and buy them — for a week, a month, whatever. It’s sort of IBM’s take on Salesforce.com’s AppExchange, although one source likened it more to Rackspace’s CloudTools marketplace.
IBM is managing a tricky transition from its older IBM code-based cloud portfolio to SoftLayer’s cloud — something that SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby will likely talk about at Structure in June.
The IBM Cloud Marketplace news is slated to come at the IBM Impact event in Las Vegas on Monday. IBM would not comment for this story.
The marketplace is part of IBM’s effort to build relevance for its brand in the new world of cloud computing where it faces off with traditional rivals like HP, Dell and others but, more importantly, with Amazon Web Services, which has a large lead in public cloud computing and is increasingly contending with IBM, the king of enterprise IT companies, in the enterprise.