IBM secures $325 million deal to help Juniper Networks develop cloud-native landscape

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IBM has gotten Juniper Networks on board in a $325 million (£252m) deal which will see the former assist the latter in enhancing their cloud journey.

The seven-year agreement – which has overtones of Microsoft’s recent deal inked with Walgreens in terms of price and length – will see IBM use its autonomously managing IT platform IBM Services Platform with Watson to help manage Juniper’s infrastructure, from help desks and support systems to data centres.

By utilising IBM Services, Juniper will also aim to create an agile IT environment. Again with automation – IBM describes its Services Platform with Watson as a product which ‘partners humans with cognitive technology’ – the goal is for efficiency, cost saving and helping Juniper create a cloud-native landscape. IBM calls this the ‘factory development’ concept.

The move can be seen as yet another step of a major enterprise – Juniper ranks just outside the Fortune 500 – heading towards a multi-cloud strategy. “Our work with thousands of enterprises globally has led us to the firm belief that a ‘one-cloud-fits-all’ approach doesn’t work and companies are choosing multiple cloud environments to best meet their needs,” said Martin Jetter, SVP of IBM global technology in a statement.

“Working with Juniper, we are integrating cloud solutions with their existing IT investments via the IBM Service Platform with Watson,” Jetter added. “This gives them the opportunity to generate more value from existing infrastructure, along with helping them manage strategic services that are critical to their business.”

It has been a busy start to their year for IBM on the alliance front. Last week the company announced a strategic commercial agreement with operator Vodafone. The venture focused broadly on digital transformation initiatives and the next wave of cloud services in the shape of artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, edge computing and software defined networking (SDN). On a more practical level, it would ensure Vodafone Business customers would have immediate access to IBM’s entire cloud portfolio.

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