February 22, 2016 / 4:12 PM / 2 years ago

IBM inks deal with VMWare, tries to bolster cloud credentials

A worker is pictured behind a logo at the IBM stand on the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover February 26, 2011. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Computing giant IBM (IBM.N) has expanded its partnership with VMWare (VMW.N), one of several initiatives it plans to announce Monday as it works to carve out a bigger role in the fast-growing field of cloud computing.

The VMWare agreement will make it easier and faster for companies using VMWare’s virtualization products to deploy and run them on IBM’s cloud data centers, so those companies can easily connect their own data centers to the cloud. The idea is to make IBM’s services more attractive to VMWare’s customers.

Virtualization allows one server to run many operating systems. It sits at the heart of cloud technology, by which businesses run key computing processes remotely and deliver them over the internet, which is more efficient and often cheaper than on-premises computing.

“If you don’t embrace these new technologies, you won’t continue to survive,” said Jim Comfort, IBM’s chief technology officer for cloud, talking about IBM’s customers and cloud-based technologies. “It is transforming all industries.”

IBM also plans to make it easy for developers using its tools to create applications in Swift, the programming language developed by Apple Inc (AAPL.O). That will smooth the way for old-school enterprises, which don’t traditionally work with Swift, to create apps for the iPhone and other widely used Apple devices.

To make it simpler for developers to build cloud-based apps, IBM is upgrading or creating other developer-oriented products.

WebSphere, its widely used software that helps developers link apps to the internet, will work more easily in cloud-oriented settings. IBM’s Bluemix software-development product will work smoothly with GitHub, a service that allows intensive collaboration on software writing.

Last week, Bluemix competitor Pivotal Cloud Foundry announced it would team up with Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) to jointly sell products.

As revenue declines overall at IBM, in part due to customers turning to cheaper technology such as cloud-based services, it has looked for business in new areas, including trying to harness the cloud for its own growth.

Acquisitions make up a large part of the strategy. Last week, IBM announced it was buying medical-data company Truven Health for $2.6 billion.

It is unclear if IBM will be able to expand its newer cloud-based and analytics offerings at a strong enough pace to make up for weaknesses in its traditional businesses.

For 2015, revenue from its cloud offerings totaled $10.2 billion, out of total overall revenue of $81.74 billion.

Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Leslie Adler

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