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IBM to Acquire SoftLayer to Accelerate Adoption of Cloud Computing

 IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire SoftLayer Technologies, Inc., the world’s largest privately held cloud computing infrastructure provider. The acquisition will strengthen IBM’s leadership position in cloud computing and will help speed business adoption of public and private cloud solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“As businesses add public cloud capabilities to their on-premise IT systems, they need enterprise-grade reliability, security and management. To address this opportunity, IBM has built a portfolio of high-value private, public and hybrid cloud offerings, as well as software-as-a-service business solutions,” said Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. “With SoftLayer, IBM will accelerate the build-out of our public cloud infrastructure to give clients the broadest choice of cloud offerings to drive business innovation.”

IBM is acquiring SoftLayer to make it easier and faster for clients around the world to incorporate cloud computing by marrying the speed and simplicity of SoftLayer’s public cloud services with the enterprise grade reliability, security and openness of the IBM SmartCloudportfolio.

SoftLayer accelerates IBM’s ability to integrate public and private clouds for its clients, with flexibility that provides deployment options that enable a faster, broader transformation for small, medium and large businesses with a range of performance and security models.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, SoftLayer serves approximately 21,000 customers with a global cloud infrastructure platform spanning 13 data centers in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Among its many innovative cloud infrastructure services, SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, offering clients a choice of where to deploy their applications. These clients will benefit greatly as new enterprise grade functionality from IBM emerges for SoftLayer customers, who will then have a unique opportunity to incorporate it as their business grows.

“SoftLayer has a strong track record with born-on-the-cloud companies, and our move today with IBM will rapidly expand that footprint globally as well as allow us to go deep into the large enterprise market,” said Lance Crosby, CEO of SoftLayer. “The compelling opportunity is connecting IBM’s geographic reach, industry expertise and IBM’s SmartCloud breadth with our innovative technology. Together SoftLayer and IBM expand their reach to new clients – both born-on-the-cloud and born-in-the-enterprise.”  

Already one of the world’s leading cloud providers, IBM expects to reach $7 billion annually in cloud revenue by the end of 2015. IBM offers more than 100 SaaS solutions to help marketing, procurement, ecommerce, customer service, human resources, city management, and other professionals make better decisions and better serve their customers. IBM also offers Watson solutions such as Client Engagement Advisor in the cloud, superior solutions such as IBM PureSystems and SmartCloud Enterprise+, as well as mission critical cloud services for SAP.

IBM is a leader with enterprise customers based on its vertical industry expertise delivered from 10 cloud computing centers on five continents. The acquisition of SoftLayer will complement IBM’s existing SmartCloud portfolio, providing enterprises with easy access to a broader range of choices that transform their workloads while continuing to innovate with SoftLayer to meet the needs of born-on-the-cloud firms.

New IBM Cloud Services Division 

Recognizing the importance of cloud to global clients, IBM today is announcing the formation of a new Cloud Services division. Following the close of the acquisition of SoftLayer, which is expected in 3Q 2013, this new division will combine SoftLayer with IBM SmartCloud into a global platform. The new division will provide a broad range of choices to both IBM and SoftLayer clients, ISVs, channel partners and technology partners. SoftLayer’s services will complement the existing portfolio with its focus, simplicity and speed. The division will report to Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services.

“Our clients are telling us they want to realize the transformative benefits of cloud today – not just for individual applications, but across their entire enterprise,” said Clementi. “SoftLayer is a perfect fit for IBM. It will help us smooth the transition of our global clients to the cloud faster, while enabling IBM to more efficiently offer them its broad portfolio of open IT infrastructure and software services.”

IBM intends to expand SoftLayer cloud offerings to include OpenStack capabilities, consistent with its entire SmartCloud portfolio and historic commitment to open standards such as Linux. Given that most companies will mix public and private cloud services, clouds need to interoperate. In that way, firms can better leverage cloud to run their socialmobile and Big Dataapplications.

IBM will also support and enrich the SoftLayer cloud-centric partners and ecosystem and its performance capabilities for Big Data and analytics. IBM will provide go-to-market and customizable resources for its expanding cloud ecosystem.

The Value of SoftLayer 

Among its many innovative cloud infrastructure services, SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, offering clients a choice of where to deploy their applications. By building out a cloud with IBM and SoftLayer, a client can choose the work that belongs on a dedicated or a shared computing resource – thereby tailoring the privacy, data security and overall computing performance to the client’s needs. Importantly, this level of reliability and scale is critical for cloud-centric companies.  

SoftLayer provides the infrastructure for cloud-centric, performance-intensive applications in the areas of mobilesocial media, gaming and analytics. The growing number of businesses incorporating mobile computing is helping drive SoftLayer growth.

·    In the last two quarters, more than 60 new gaming companies have moved to the SoftLayer global platform, frequently migrating from commodity cloud platforms because of problems with cost, latency, availability and raw performance.

·    SoftLayer’s architecture provides superior technical capabilities such as a software definable environment critical to a cloud infrastructure, programmable interfaces, and hundreds of hardware and network configurations.  This is designed to deliver a higher level of flexibility — mixing virtual and dedicated servers to fit a variety of workloads—automation of interfaces and hybrid deployment options.

·    SoftLayer’s automated networking infrastructure supports public, private and data center-to-data center architectures, and is designed to provide maximum flexibility and control for clients. The SoftLayer IT infrastructure connectivity enables connections with leading global network providers and Internet access networks.

•   IBM SaaS solutions for Smarter CitiesSmarter Commerce and other applications will be made available via SoftLayer over time, providing line-of-business clients improved time to value and new innovation across an increasingly integrated portfolio of solutions that accelerate business process innovation, provide analytics at the point of impact, and connect collaborative business networks within and across organizations.

The acquisition is expected to close following customary closing conditions including regulatory clearances.

About SoftLayer
SoftLayer, whose majority shareholder is GI Partners of Menlo Park, Calif., operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. Spanning 13 data centers in the United States, Asia and Europe and a global footprint of network points of presence, SoftLayer’s modular architecture provides unparalleled performance and control, with a full-featured API and sophisticated automation controlling a flexible unified platform that seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices, and a global network for secure, low-latency communications. With 100,000 devices under management, SoftLayer is the largest privately held Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider in the world with a portfolio of leading-edge customers from Web startups to global enterprises.

About IBM Cloud Computing

IBM has helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud- based transactions every day. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services. IBM is unique in bringing together key cloud technologies, deep process knowledge, a broad portfolio of cloud solutions and a network of global delivery centers. For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visithttp://www.ibm.com/smartcloud. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ibmcloud and on our blog at http://www.thoughtsoncloud.com.

Bob Newman Appointed as ViaWest COO

ViaWest, one of the largest privately held data center, cloud computing and managed service providers in North America, announces that Bob Newman has been appointed as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Newman will be responsible for ViaWest’s operations, including data center management, service delivery, service support, information technology, engineering, security, compliance and customer relations.

Bob Newman ViaWest“ViaWest’s commitment to technical and service excellence starts with its people and it’s an honor to lead our Service Management and Support department,” states Newman. “This group goes above and beyond for our customers on a day-to-day basis. 2012 was a standout year for the company, with growth across each of our regions and significant additions to our product portfolio. Building on ViaWest’s strong foundation, 2013 will be a year of continued momentum and growth.”

“We are excited to elevate Bob to Chief Operating Officer,” says Nancy Phillips, President and CEO of ViaWest. “His extensive experience and expertise will be critical as he spearheads ViaWest’s operations and its customer-centric focus on service excellence.”

Newman joined ViaWest in 2010 as Senior Vice President of Service Delivery. His previous information technology management experience includes leadership roles at the LDS Church in Salt Lake City and with Infocrossing, a selective IT outsourcing company, where he succeeded in earning positive customer satisfaction ratings while achieving revenue growth and margin improvement.

FTC Announces Robocall Summit to be Held October 18 in Washington, DC

Illegal pre-recorded “robocalls” are a growing annoyance for millions of American consumers and the target of an enforcement crackdown by the Federal Trade Commission. What should you do when you get one of these calls? Today, the FTC issued tips for consumers, as well as two new consumer education videos explaining robocalls and describing what consumers should do when they receive one. The agency also is hosting a robocall summit later this year to develop new strategies to stop illegal robocalls.

“The FTC hears from American consumers every day about illegal robocalls and how intrusive they are,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “We’re ratcheting up our efforts to stop this invasion of consumers’ privacy.” The agency’s two new consumer videos, “Robocalls Gone Wrong,” and “What To Do if You Get a Robocall,” are located on a new FTC robocalls web page, which has more information about robocalls and what the FTC is doing to protect consumers.

Nearly all telemarketing robocalls have been illegal since September 1, 2009. The only legal sales robocalls are ones that consumers have stated in writing that they want to receive. Certain other types of robocalls, such as political calls, survey calls, and charitable calls remain legal, and are not covered by the 2009 ban. To date, the FTC has brought 85 enforcement cases targeting illegal robocalls, and violators have paid $41 million in penalties. Indeed, since January 2010, the Federal Trade Commission has brought law enforcement actions, shutting down the companies responsible for more than 2.6 billion illegal telemarketing robocalls.

FTC’s Robocall Summit

The FTC also announced it will host a summit on October 18, 2012, in Washington, DC, to examine the issues surrounding the robocall problem. The summit will be open to the public, and will include members of law enforcement, the telemarketing and telecommunications industry, consumer groups, and other stakeholders. It will focus on exploring innovations that could potentially be used to trace robocalls, prevent wrongdoers from faking caller ID data, and stop illegal calls. More information about the summit and a draft agenda will be issued soon.

FTC’s Social Chat

FTC staff will answer questions from the public about robocalls on Twitter and Facebook July 17, 2012 at 1 pm ET. Follow the @FTC and/or tweet questions to #FTCrobo. For more information on FTC social chats, see Facebook Chats and Twitter Chats.

Appia Communications Completes Data Center Upgrades

Appia Communicationsannounced the completion of upgrades to its St. Louis data center. The company also released new and aggressive pricing.

“Our data center is open for business,” said Victor von Schlegell, president of Appia Communications. “It has dual generator back-up, security with badged access and 24×7 guards, carrier-neutral network access, and direct connections to our all of our managed services. And with our new pricing, it pays to move in.”

A single rack unit with power, Internet and space is $99 per month. Entire cabinets, including power, Internet access, and space can be purchased for $599 per month.

“If you are running out of space or power for critical servers and applications, we can help,” said Matt Siemens, vice president of marketing for Appia. “With our 24-hour hands-on support and available backup data center in Dallas, our data center services provide more security, scalability, and redundancy than most customers can build for themselves, at a fraction of the cost.”

In Memory of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs died at the age of 56. Here we see Steve Jobs delivering his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005. In it he talks about getting fired from Apple in 1985, life & death.

R.I.P. Steve..

 

 

Telarus Adds Fiber Ethernet Pricing to GeoQuote

Telecom master agent Telarus Inc.,added Ethernet (Fiber) to its patented real-time carrier pricing research tool GeoQuote.

The technology paves the way for independent agents partnered with Telarus to check for Ethernet broadband availability and pricing in seconds; a process that currently takes days and weeks.

 

Adam Edwards, President & Co-Founder of Telarus, Inc.

“We are very enthusiastic about our new-found ability to quote 10M to 1GB fiber opportunities in real-time,” said Adam Edwards, president of Telarus. “As we continue to partner with agents who focus on larger opportunities, Ethernet is becoming one of our core product sets. Agents are selling it in droves and, more often than not, the carrier with fiber in a customer’s building wins the deal. It only made sense to focus our R&D dollars to develop technology that could give agents access to this information in a quick and efficient way. With better access to pricing and carrier availability, agents feel like they get better service from Telarus and we cut down on the unqualified quote volume from our carrier partners. Everybody wins.”

 

Using “lit building” lists, or addresses of buildings that carriers have a physical fiber presence, in addition to above-ground and subterranean fiber maps, GeoQuote is able to determine the likelihood of a carrier being able to service a customer and at what price. The carriers who have volunteered their information to be a part of this quoting system include industry leaders such as: AboveNet, AboveNet, AT&T, ACC Business, Broadview Networks, Level 3, PAETEC, Qwest Business, and Time Warner Cable Business Class. Telarus expects to have more carriers quoting by the end of the year.

 

“The million dollar question agents are ask is ‘is it accurate?'” added Andrew Morgan, VP of Web Development for Telarus. “To that we give an enthusiastic ‘yes’! GeoQuote knows where all of the lit buildings are, it knows where fiber runs, and it knows the typical pricing carriers offer on 10M, 20M, 50M, 100M, 250M, 500M, and 1G circuits. The only unknown is the build-out fee, but that cuts down on 90 percent of a carrier’s workload while giving agents valuable information in seconds. The ability for agents to get pricing quickly for their clients is critical to their business.”

 

In addition to actual and budgetary pricing, GeoQuote also delivers a visual representation of the carrier fiber environment via Google maps. This technology allows for high-level research in the event the customer isn’t within the pre-subscribed distance (in feet) from any lit buildings.

“This new software is a real game-changer,” added Lance Akins, VP of Sales for Telarus, Inc. “Never before has it been so easy to sell high-end Ethernet broadband pipes than now, through Telarus. Since most of our carriers price the IP portion of the circuit based on simple rate sheets, we decided to speed things up a bit and give our enterprise agents a real leg up.”

Take geoquote for a spin at TelecomSupportDesk.com

Broadband Forum And IPv6 Forum Work Together To Accelerate Global Activation Of IPv6

The Broadband Forum and the IPv6 Forum announced their cooperative effort to empower the successful adoption of IPv6 in broadband deployments worldwide, creating the ecosystem that will ensure the continued success of the Internet as new applications and user expectations grow beyond the bounds of the IPv4 protocol. The two organizations are collaborating to incorporate Broadband Forum network and testing specifications into the IPv6 Forum

Master Agent Telarus Launces Geoscan 2.0 & Agent Rewards Program

Master agent Telarus today announced their agent rewards program as well as the release of GeoScan 2.0, what the company calls the industry’s first comprehensive carrier research tool.

GeoScan 2.0

Adam Edwards, President & Co-Founder of Telarus, Inc.

“GeoScan 2.0 is a must-have for any telecom agent who offers more than small handful of carriers to their clients,” said Adam Edwards, president of Telarus. “In just seconds, an agent can use GeoScan 2.0 to get a very high-level view of which carriers are in the picture and which carriers are not. Knowing right away which carriers not to contact is a huge time-saver for both the agent and the carrier.”

GeoScan 2.0 is comprised of a proprietary database of CLLI codes, zip codes and lata codes compiled by Telarus through eight years of research and development. Using this locally stored information, GeoScan 2.0 can return results in just seconds, without waiting for an API/XML connection to any carrier partner as is required for price quoting in GeoQuote.

“The beauty of GeoScan 2.0 is that it is very, very fast,” added Andrew Morgan, VP of Web Development of Telarus. “With an increase in speed comes a decrease in granularity. GeoScan 2.0 was developed to be a very high-level qualification tool; to know who is ‘in the ballgame’ before going too far down the road with a carrier who won’t be able to service the customer. Especially with larger deals, narrowing down the field early is important.”

“Ethernet is increasingly becoming one of the most popular products on the market,” said Rob Butler, VP of Sales