IBM and Tencent partner target niche verticals with cloud services

Tencent Cloud and IBM sign a business cooperation memorandum to collaborate on providing public cloud with Software-as-a-Service solutions for industries and enterprises. Pictured L-R: Qiu Yuepeng, Corporate Vice President, Tencent, Taosang Tong, President of Social Network Group, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent Group, Nancy Thomas, Managing Partner, IBM GCG GBS and David Cheng, General Manager, IBM South China Region. (Image courtesy of Tencent)

Executives from Tencent and IBM sign an MoU in Hainan, China, to collaborate on cloud services

IBM and Chinese ISP Tencent have inked a deal that will see the two companies team up to jointly market cloud-based services for SMBs working in smart cities and healthcare among other verticals.

Tencent and IBM have agreed to jointly promote mobile, cloud services and big data applications to small and medium sized businesses. The agreement will see Tencent leverage its network and cloud platform in China and IBM offer up its software expertise and consulting service, and the two firms will initially target companies offering services in healthcare and smart cities.

“The industry dimension makes this especially appealing for businesses,” said Nancy Thomas, managing partner with IBM’s business consulting services division in China. “IBM and Tencent’s shared vision is not only to bring the scale and cost benefits of cloud computing to enterprises in China, but to add differentiating value by serving the particular needs of specific industries. That is the key to unlocking the transformative power of cloud computing.”

The firms said they expect a tenfold increase in the number of cloud apps over the next four years, with two thirds of those new applications having an industry-specific or role-specific focus. That said the deal may come as good news to CIOs, many of which still seem to feel ISVs catering to niche verticals are not moving quickly enough to develop cloud-based alternatives for their legacy apps.