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“No matter how our partners are focused or how they‘re going to market, we want our IBM technology to be going to market with them,” IBM channel chief Kate Woolley said.
Opening to partners training and enablement resources usually reserved for IBM’s own employees is an example of how the company is investing in partners and becoming easier to work with, channel chief Kate Woolley told CRN in an interview.
And while the IBM Consulting division continues its own investments with its ongoing purchase of services businesses, those investments pose no conflict to partners, said Woolley, general manager of the IBM ecosystem.
“As we think about IBM with IBM Consulting and IBM technology, we want our partners – no matter how our partners are focused or how they‘re going to market, we want our IBM technology to be going to market with them,” Woolley said.
On Tuesday, the Armonk, N.Y.-based technology giant started giving registered members of its PartnerWorld program access to the training, badges and enablement IBM sales employees get, along with a new learning hub for accessing materials.
Partners now have access to sales and technical badges showing industry expertise, according to a blog post Tuesday. Badges are shareable on LinkedIn and other professional social platforms. IBM sales representatives and partners will receive new content at the same time as it is made available.
“This is the next step in that journey in terms of making sure that all of our registered partners have access to all of the same training, all of the same enablement materials as IBMers,” Woolley told CRN. “That’s the big message that we want people to hear. And then also in line with continuing to make it easier to do business with IBM, this has all been done through a much improved digital experience in terms of how our partners are able to access and consume.”
Although IBM spun off its managed infrastructure practice into a separate, publicly traded company called Kyndryl, the remaining IBM Consulting wing remains a big part of IBM’s business. IBM reported consulting revenue of $4.8 billion in its latest quarterly earnings, up from $4.4 billion from the same period a year prior.
“I don‘t see conflict versus IBM consulting,” Woolley said. “I honestly don’t see that conflict. I think we want to be going to market with all of our partners regardless of what motion they‘re taking it through.”
Here’s what else Woolley had to say.
Investors this year increasingly turned away from dividend stocks in favor of the rising yields being offered on bonds. Given that investors can now earn a 4.3% return on a 2-year Treasury note, many prefer that guaranteed return to the risks of putting money into the stock market.
International Business Machines (IBM 1.37%) offers a dividend yield that exceeds that bond return. But with a bear market in progress, are investors better served to take a chance on the cloud stock or to take the 4.3% return at virtually zero risk?
IBM didn't participate in the bull market of the 2010s. The stock dropped as its tech businesses suffered a considerable growth slowdown. In an effort to change that, IBM pivoted into the cloud computing sector aggressively, in part via its $34 billion purchase of Red Hat in 2019. Grand View Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 16% through 2030 for the cloud industry. Growth like that could certainly help both IBM and its stock.
Also, IBM spun off its managed infrastructure business into a new public company, Kyndryl. This business was less of a fit with the parent company amid its pivot to the cloud. Separating it off should make it easier for IBM to grow its revenue.
Time will tell if these moves can help the stock price recover. Nonetheless, IBM currently pays its shareholders $1.65 per share every quarter, or $6.60 per share annually. At the current stock price, that adds up to a yield of 5.6% per year. Moreover, depending on your financial situation, the IRS may tax your dividends at a lower capital gains rate, which can offer an added advantage.
Additionally, IBM hiked its payout annually for 27 consecutive years, making it a Dividend Aristocrat. That status carries some importance as many income investors will be more inclined to buy and hold IBM stock because of this status. Also, since abandoning Dividend Aristocrat status tends to hurt a stock, management will probably prioritize maintaining it by continuing to raise those payouts.
Investors also can also reinvest their dividend payments into more IBM stock. However, such newly purchased shares will pay you the dividend yield at that time. The return will rise if the stock falls since investors can buy the exact cash return at a lower price. Conversely, cash yields will drop if the stock rises, but those investors still benefit since the stock has increased in value.
U.S. Treasury notes offer more stability than stocks such as IBM. Investors who purchase the 2-year Treasury note receive semiannual interest payments. At the current interest rate of 4.3%, investors will receive a 2.15% cash return on their invested amount in each of the subsequent three six-month periods. In the fourth period, when the note matures, investors receive the final 2.15% payment along with the return of their principal.
Investors should also be aware that bond values can fluctuate. If interest rates drop, the value of the bond will fall; the opposite will happen if rates rise. This affects investors if they decide to sell the bond early. Upon maturity, the note will return to its par (or nominal) value.
Additionally, bond interest payments are subject to federal income tax but exempt from state and local taxes. In some cases, this is higher than taxes on dividends. Still, bond issuers are obligated to make such payments. In contrast, IBM faces no legal obligation to continue its dividend.
Also, like with a stock, investors can reinvest their interest payments into more notes or other forms of Treasury bonds. However, those purchases will be subject to the prevailing interest rates at that time.
Investors who lack much risk tolerance should choose the Treasury note. Given its guaranteed return, they will not have to worry about volatility.
Nonetheless, for investors comfortable with buying stocks, IBM is a surprisingly strong buy. The cloud industry is in growth mode, which should propel IBM stock to a long-awaited turnaround. Moreover, IBM has repeatedly shown it wants to hold on to its Dividend Aristocrat status. This should deliver its income investors returns that are not only larger than the bonds offer, but also likely to increase in size.
A four-year bachelor’s degree has long been the first rung to climbing America’s corporate ladder.
But the move to prioritize skills over a college education is sweeping through some of America’s largest companies, including Google, EY, Microsoft, and Apple. Strong proponents say the shift helps circumvent a needless barrier to workplace diversity.
“I really do believe an inclusive diverse workforce is better for your company, it’s good for the business,” Ginni Rometty, former IBM CEO, told Fortune Media CEO Alan Murray during a panel last month for Connect, Fortune’s executive education community. “That’s not just altruistic.”
Under Rometty’s leadership in 2016, tech giant IBM coined the term “new collar jobs” in reference to roles that require a specific set of skills rather than a four-year degree. It’s a personal commitment for Rometty, one that hits close to home for the 40-year IBM veteran.
When Rometty was 16, her father left the family, leaving her mother, who’d never worked outside the home, suddenly in the position to provide.
“She had four children and nothing past high school, and she had to get a job to…get us out of this downward spiral,” Rometty recalled to Murray. “What I saw in that was that my mother had aptitude; she wasn’t dumb, she just didn’t have access, and that forever stayed in my mind.”
When Rometty became CEO in 2012 following the Great Recession, the U.S. unemployment rate hovered around 8%. Despite the influx of applicants, she struggled to find employees who were trained in the particular cybersecurity area she was looking for.
“I realized I couldn’t hire them, so I had to start building them,” she said.
In 2011, IBM launched a corporate social responsibility effort called the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn. It’s since expanded to 11 states in the U.S. and 28 countries.
Through P-TECH, Rometty visited “a very poor high school in a bad neighborhood” that received the company’s support, as well as a community college where IBM was offering help with a technology-based curriculum and internships.
“Voilà! These kids could do the work. I didn’t have [applicants with] college degrees, so I learned that propensity to learn is way more important than just having a degree,” Rometty said.
Realizing the students were fully capable of the tasks that IBM needed moved Rometty to return to the drawing board when it came to IBM’s own application process and whom it was reaching. She said that at the time, 95% of job openings at IBM required a four-year degree. As of January 2021, less than half do, and the company is continuously reevaluating its roles.
For the jobs that now no longer require degrees and instead rely on skills and willingness to learn, IBM had always hired Ph.D. holders from the very best Ivy League schools, Rometty told Murray. But data shows that the degree-less hires for the same jobs performed just as well. “They were more loyal, higher retention, and many went on to get college degrees,” she said.
Rometty has since become cochair of OneTen, a civic organization committed to hiring, promoting, and advancing 1 million Black individuals without four-year degrees within the next 10 years.
If college degrees no longer become compulsory for white-collar jobs, many other qualifications—skills that couldn’t be easily taught in a boot camp, apprenticeship program, or in the first month on the job—could die off, too, University of Virginia Darden School of Business professor Sean Martin told Fortune last year.
“The companies themselves miss out on people that research suggests…might be less entitled, more culturally savvy, more desirous of being there,” Martin said. Rather than pedigree, he added, hiring managers should look for motivation.
That’s certainly the case at IBM. Once the company widened its scope, Rometty said, the propensity to learn quickly became more of an important hiring factor than just a degree.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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IBM, which three years ago acquired Red Hat, is now moving Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Red Hat Ceph, along with their development teams, into IBM Storage as part of a move to make a bigger play in the software-defined and open-source storage worlds.
IBM Tuesday said it has absorbed storage technology and teams from its Red Hat business to combine them with IBM’s own storage business unit as a way to help clients take advantage of the two without requiring extra integration or having to deal with multiple sales teams.
IBM is integrating Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation with its IBM Spectrum Fusion and will offer Red Hat Ceph-based storage technologies to its clients in a move to continue Big Blue’s software-defined storage leadership, said Brent Compton, senior director of Data Foundation for Red Hat’s hybrid cloud business.
For IBM, which in mid-2019 acquired Red Hat in a $34-billion deal, the move ensures maximum support for Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph, Compton told CRN.
[Related: 2022 Storage 100: Who’s Got Your Backup?]
“OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph will become a big part of IBM Storage,” he said. “IBM has been looking for a way to take advantage of Ceph and ODF, and now it can.”
Ceph is an open-source software-defined object storage technology with interfaces for object, block and file storage. Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation is a software-defined container-native storage that provides cluster data management capabilities as part of the OpenShift container platform.
Scott Baker, chief marketing officer and vice president of IBM hybrid cloud portfolio and product marketing, told CRN the move to combine Red Hat and IBM storage technologies sets the stage for growth in the combined software-defined storage portfolio.
“Customers not only get a choice of where storage runs—at the edge, in the cloud, or on-prem—but will find storage software releases will no longer be tied to the timing of storage hardware releases,” Baker said. “For instance, IBM normally enhances its Spectrum Virtualize or Spectrum Scale with new versions of the IBM FlashSystem. But with software-defined storage, we can drive changes quicker if they’re not tied to hardware releases.”
By bringing Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph into IBM, customers get the opportunity to access unified block, file, and object storage without regard to the genuine underlying hardware, Baker said.
“They can use Ceph to add the right type of storage depending on the protocol they need,” he said. “Ceph and ODF also simplifies how IBM provides data storage and protection. To do all that with IBM’s storage portfolio takes time. With CEF and ODF as part of IBM Storage, this can get done immediately.”
It really is the best of both worlds, as Red Hat customers will also see strong benefits from IBM Storage, Compton said.
“It’s important to note that IBM will continue to offer OpenShift Data Foundation inside the Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus hybrid cloud platform,” he said. “So if a customer gets pre-integrated OpenShift Data Foundation inside Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus, it accelerates their time to market. There’s no need to integrate the storage. This will not change.”
Also, Red Hat OpenShift customers have used Ceph to accelerate their time to scale for years, and Red Hat will continue to sell Ceph, Compton said.
“But by moving Ceph to IBM Storage, IBM will accelerate development of the storage-specific features,” he said. “Red Hat is not a storage company. So this will accelerate development of unified capabilities.”
IBM’s storage move makes good on the potential many saw with the company’s acquisition of Red Hat, said John Teltsch, chief revenue officer at Converge Technology Solutions, a Gatineau, Quebec-based solution provider and channel partner to both IBM and Red Hat that ranked No. 36 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500.
“This is something the channel has been waiting for ever since IBM acquired Red Hat,” Teltsch told CRN. “IBM has been doing a lot around software-defined storage. And when you add in Red Hat, it gives us an integrated solutions play. It lets us build an integrated sales team. We don’t have to first talk about IBM storage capabilities, and then bring in our Red Hat team to talk about Red Hat.”
Converge Technology Partners’ IBM and Red Hat sales teams are currently two separate teams, said Teltsch, who joined the company in March from IBM, where he held numerous sales leadership roles, including two years as Big Blue’s channel chief.
“Once IBM and Red Hat storage are together, it gets more simple to sell,” he said. “And it simplifies our training while IBM will have one integrated set of offerings for its clients. This lets us bring the best of Red Hat open-source capabilities with IBM storage. We’re living in a data-driven world. This move simplifies our go-to-market, as well as simplifies the client experience, client engagement, and client adoption.”
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – An undisclosed number of Red Hat employees will move to IBM as part of a consolidation move uniting the tech giant’s data storage offerings under one name. The move reflects the importance IBM places on cloud computing – and why it acquired Red Hat in the first place.
It’s also perhaps the first big sign of the “Borg” (IBM) assimilating the open-source flagship (Red Hat) Enterprise. Example: Cloud data news site Blocks and Files says the consolidation means IBM is “deepening its assimilation of Red Hat.”
“Red Hat storage product roadmaps and Red Hat associate teams” are moving to the IBM Storage business, the companies said.
The deal is an attempt to capitalize on what tech research firm Gartner says is a surging demand for so-called hybrid cloud services – a blend of private and public cloud offerings. IBM cited Garner research as forecasting that in three years 60% of what it calls “infrastructure and operations leaders” will embrace hybrid clouds, up from 20% today.
IBM bought Raleigh-based Red Hat for $34 billion in a deal that closed three years ago but in many ways the company have remained separate. At that time IBM justified Red Hat’s strength in cloud computing as the driving force in the deal, citing the cloud as a trillion-dollar business opportunity.
But the consolidation announced Tuesday means Big Blue will soon offer what it calls a “consistent application and data storage across on-premises infrastructure and cloud.”
The move comes two months after Red Hat named a new CEO.
Red Hat shuffles top management: CEO now chairman, is replaced by tech VP
The focus is on a technology known as Kubernetes which is “an open-source container orchestration system for automating software deployment, scaling, and management,” notes Wikipedia.
Originally developed by Google, Kubernetes is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, and IBM says the market is “burgeoning.”
“This combines IBM and Red Hat’s container storage technologies for data services and helps accelerate IBM’s capabilities in the burgeoning Kubernetes platform market,” IBM says.
IBM says it expects the moves to be completed by Jan. 1, 2023.
Hatters’ new CEO to employees: ‘We will have to fight for Red Hat to succeed—it won’t be given to us’
“Red Hat and IBM have been working closely for many years, and today’s announcement enhances our partnership and streamlines our portfolios,” said Denis Kennelly, general manager of IBM Storage, IBM Systems, in the announcement. “By bringing together the teams and integrating our products under one roof, we are accelerating the IBM’s hybrid cloud storage strategy while maintaining commitments to Red Hat customers and the open-source community.”
IBM says “clients will have access to a consistent set of storage services while preserving data resilience, security, and governance across bare metal, virtualized and containerized environments.”
Red Hat’s OpenShift Data Foundation tech will become the “foundation” for what IBM calls “Spectrum Fushion.”
“This combines IBM and Red Hat’s container storage technologies for data services and helps accelerate IBM’s capabilities in the burgeoning Kubernetes platform market,” IBM says.
IBM set to buy Dialexa, adding to list of more than 25 acquisitions since April 2020
The move also involves the open source community known as Ceph which Ceph has trademarked as “the future of storage.”
IBM says it “intends to offer new Ceph solutions delivering a unified and software defined storage platform that bridges the architectural divide between the data center and cloud provider.” Big Blue will replace Red Hat as the primary sponsor of the community.
“Red Hat and IBM have a shared belief in the mission of hybrid cloud-native storage and its potential to help customers transform their applications and data,” said Joe Fernandes, vice president of hybrid platforms at Red Hat. “With IBM Storage taking stewardship of Red Hat Ceph Storage and OpenShift Data Foundation, IBM will help accelerate open-source storage innovation and expand the market opportunity beyond what each of us could deliver on our own. We believe this is a clear win for customers who can gain a more comprehensive platform with new hybrid cloud-native storage capabilities.”
Read the full announcement online at this site.
Beam that data up: IBM, Red Hat taking cloud services into space
ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 5, 2022 — IBM has announced it will add Red Hat storage product roadmaps and Red Hat associate teams to the IBM Storage business unit, bringing consistent application and data storage across on-premises infrastructure and cloud.
With the move, IBM will integrate the storage technologies from Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation (ODF) as the foundation for IBM Spectrum Fusion. This combines IBM and Red Hat’s container storage technologies for data services and helps accelerate IBM’s capabilities in the burgeoning Kubernetes platform market.
In addition, IBM intends to offer new Ceph solutions delivering a unified and software defined storage platform that bridges the architectural divide between the data center and cloud providers. This further advances IBM’s leadership in the software defined storage and Kubernetes platform markets.
According to Gartner, by 2025, 60% of infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders will implement at least one of the hybrid cloud storage architectures, which is a significant increase from 20% in 2022.1 IBM’s software defined storage strategy is to take a “born in the cloud, for the cloud” approach—unlocking bi-directional application and data mobility based on a shared, secure, and cloud-scale software defined storage foundation.
“Red Hat and IBM have been working closely for many years, and today’s announcement enhances our partnership and streamlines our portfolios,” said Denis Kennelly, general manager of IBM Storage, IBM Systems. “By bringing together the teams and integrating our products under one roof, we are accelerating the IBM’s hybrid cloud storage strategy while maintaining commitments to Red Hat customers and the open-source community.”
“Red Hat and IBM have a shared belief in the mission of hybrid cloud-native storage and its potential to help customers transform their applications and data,” said Joe Fernandes, vice president of hybrid platforms, Red Hat. “With IBM Storage taking stewardship of Red Hat Ceph Storage and OpenShift Data Foundation, IBM will help accelerate open-source storage innovation and expand the market opportunity beyond what each of us could deliver on our own. We believe this is a clear win for customers who can gain a more comprehensive platform with new hybrid cloud-native storage capabilities.”
As customers formulate their hybrid cloud strategies, critical to success is the emphasis and importance of infrastructure consistency, application agility, IT management and flexible consumption consistency as deciding factors to bridge across on-premises and cloud deployments.
With these changes to the IBM portfolio, clients will have access to a consistent set of storage services while preserving data resilience, security, and governance across bare metal, virtualized and containerized environments. Some of the many benefits of the software defined portfolio available from IBM will include:
“IBM and Red Hat speaking with one voice on storage is delivering the synergies derived from IBM’s Red Hat acquisition,” said Ashish Nadkarni, group vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Systems at IDC. “The combining of the two storage teams is a win for IT organizations as it brings together the best that both offer: An industry-leading storage systems portfolio meets an industry-leading software-defined data services offering. This initiative enables IBM and Red Hat to streamline their family of offerings, passing the benefits to their customers. It also helps accelerate innovation in storage to solve the data challenges for hybrid cloud, all while maintaining their commitment to open source.”
Preserving Commitment to Red Hat Clients and the Community
Under the agreement between IBM and Red Hat, IBM will assume Premier Sponsorship of the Ceph Foundation, whose members collaborate to drive innovation, development, marketing, and community events for the Ceph open-source project. IBM Ceph and Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation will remain 100% open source and will continue to follow an upstream-first model, reinforcing IBM’s commitment to these vital communities. Participation by the Ceph leadership team and other aspects of the open-source project is a key IBM priority to maintain and nurture ongoing Red Hat innovation.
Red Hat and IBM intend to complete the transition by January 1, 2023, which will involve the transfer of storage roadmaps and Red Hat associates to the IBM Storage business unit. Following this date, Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus will continue to include OpenShift Data Foundation, sold by Red Hat and its partners. Additionally, Red Hat OpenStack customers will still be able to buy Red Hat Ceph Storage from Red Hat and its partners. Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack customers with existing subscriptions will be able to maintain and grow their storage footprints as needed, with no change in their Red Hat relationship.
Forthcoming IBM Ceph and IBM Spectrum Fusion storage solutions based on Ceph are expected to ship beginning in the first half of 2023.
Read more about today’s news in this blog from Denis Kennelly, general manager of IBM Storage, IBM Systems: “IBM + Red Hat: Doubling Down on Hybrid Cloud Storage“.
Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only. Red Hat, Ceph, Gluster and OpenShift are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries.
IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.