IBM and Vodafone Business have announced that they are creating a new venture designed to help companies deliver 5G innovation faster and succeed in a digital world.
Building on more than two decades of collaboration between the two companies, IBM and Vodafone have entered into a new strategic commercial agreement.
The new initiative is slated to provide clients with the open, flexible technologies they need to integrate multiple clouds and prepare for the next wave of digital transformation enabled by AI, 5G, edge and Software Defined Networking (SDN).
With more than 70% of organisations today using up to 15 cloud environments as they strive to access powerful new digital solutions and services, the interconnectivity of clouds and the vulnerability of data have become global issues.
Together, IBM and Vodafone Business will help companies remove the complexity and barriers from their technology choices and ensure that data and applications flow freely and securely across their organizations.
Under the new venture, Vodafone Business customers will immediately have access to the full portfolio of IBM's cloud offerings, underpinned by IBM's deep industry expertise and open technologies.
As part of the agreement, IBM will provide managed services to Vodafone Business' cloud and hosting unit, in an eight-year engagement valued at approximately $550 million.
Customers will benefit from IBM's optimisation, automation and cognitive capabilities which help them to run their business effectively in a cloud environment.
The new venture will co-develop new digital solutions, combining the strengths of Vodafone's leadership in IoT, 5G and edge computing with IBM's multicloud, industry expertise and professional services capabilities.
IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty, said: "IBM has built industry-leading hybrid cloud, AI and security capabilities underpinned by deep industry expertise.
"Together, IBM and Vodafone will use the power of the hybrid cloud to securely integrate critical business applications, driving business innovation – from agriculture to next-generation retail."
The new venture is said to be operational in the first half of 2019.
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