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How Leading Companies are Advancing their Business with Cloud Computing

More companies use the cloud for mission-critical applications and higher-value services like AI
Martin Jetter, Senior Vice President of IBM Global Technology Services

Cloud computing provides businesses with a path for transformation, moving IT from a tactical function to a valuable strategic asset. Yet most companies are still very early into their journey migrating systems and data to the cloud. On average, companies have moved less than 20% of their applications to public or private cloud clouds, according to Ovum.

But some forward-thinking companies are more aggressively adopting cloud technology to advance their business. Three new IBM Cloud customers offer some insights into how the next 80 percent of cloud migration is likely to play out, as companies increasingly leverage cloud services to securely deliver mission-critical business workloads and access new, higher-value services such as AI.

Whirlpool Corporation, Kyocera Document Solutions America and Bausch + Lomb recently signed on to IBM Cloud services. In this, they join the world’s 10 largest banks, nine of the top 10 retailers, and eight of the top 10 airlines that have chosen IBM for its ability to advise, migrate, build, manage, and optimize their cloud infrastructures. Although the three new customers are at different phases of cloud adoption, they all share the need for a secure environment for highly sensitive workloads and data.

Whirlpool Makes the Cloud Mission Critical

The world's leading major home appliance company has been the most aggressive in cloud migration. Roughly 70% of Whirlpool’s systems are now in the cloud. The goal is to top 90% by the end of 2019. To achieve this, Whirlpool will entrust the operation and management of business-critical SAP Business Warehouse, ECC, CRM and other enterprise applications to the IBM Cloud. Beyond freeing up tech resources that would have gone to managing its SAP HANA database services, the arrangement provides the company with continual insights into its more than 70 manufacturing and technology research centers, its distribution and call centers, and other systems worldwide.

In providing a trusted cloud-based solution for Whirlpool, IBM is the first to offer cloud support for massive workloads, reaching up to 24 terabytes, in integrated management of hardware, software and services. Whirlpool says it will judge the its success not only on IBM’s ability to deliver operational stability, but also on the cloud provider’s fast responses to meet Whirlpool’s ever-evolving business challenges.

Kyocera Goes Mission Critical

IBM’s strategic five-year agreement with Kyocera will deliver services via the IBM Cloud to manage the electronics manufacturer’s database software and other mission-critical applications. As part of the agreement, IBM Services will provide technical support, through the cloud, to automate and enhance the manufacturer’s business operations.

Kyocera chose IBM because of its proven track record delivering a secure and open cloud. As with Whirlpool, IBM’s goal is to free up Kyocera staff managing its infrastructure so they can focus on more valuable efforts around application modernization and innovation.

Cloud Comes into Focus for Bausch + Lomb

Bausch + Lomb turned to the IBM Cloud for help optimizing the eye health company’s Internet-connected surgery tool, Stellaris Elite systems. The challenge for surgeons, as they move from one operating facility to another, is to make sure each system in different places has the physician’s preferred settings for retina and cataract surgery. Bausch + Lomb and IBM have now created cloud-based applications to deliver expedited technical support, and also to synchronize precise surgical settings across multiple Stellaris Elite systems, regardless of where they are located.

Bausch + Lomb will also use Watson Internet of Things (IoT) services on the IBM Cloud to comb through operational and performance data from its Stellaris Elite systems across the U.S. This will allow Bausch + Lomb not only to pinpoint and respond to technical and service requests made by surgeons and staff, but also to optimize the systems and minimize downtime.