IBM Enters the App Store Space with IBM Cloud Marketplace


IBM Enters the App Store Space with IBM Cloud Marketplace

By Laura Stotler

IBM has taken the next step to becoming a cloud and IaaS force with the launch of a new cloud application marketplace. Big Blue is in good company there, joining competitors AWS, Google, Microsoft, which have all launched or improved their cloud app marketplaces within the past, couple of years.

The IBM Cloud Marketplace, which was officially announced at the company’s Impact Conference in Las Vegas, will provide a central location for customers to purchase IBM cloud services or those from third-party partners that run on the company’s SoftLayer infrastructure platform.

The SoftLayer component is a curious part of the new offering, and according to Forbes magazine, IBM will only accept apps from vendors whose products can run on SoftLayer. This excludes a variety of SaaS offerings that are built to run on AWS and other infrastructure platforms and raises questions about whether developers will make an effort to support SoftLayer to gain IBM customers.

From IBM’s perspective, the company wants to better service individual users as well as non-IT business departments shopping for services. The company already has a strong portfolio of infrastructure services for SoftLayer as well as offerings based on its BlueMix development platform. IBM’s recent acquisitions of Silverpop and Cloudant have also added more than 100 additional cloud-based services.

According to Steve Robinson, GM of platform services for IBM, the Cloud Marketplace attempts to unite these various components. He likens the new offering to’s App Exchange as well as consumer-oriented solutions like the Apple App Store and Google Play.

“Traditionally we have focused on IT and we are moving to other roles,” said Robinson. “This style of consumption [is making] technology a driving factor in every line of business and we need to make it accessible to those folks.”

As far as third-party apps go, companies that have used BlueMix to build their apps as well as SoftLayer-compatible apps are being invited to join the marketplace. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

MSPToday Contributing Editor

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