Earlier this week I spoke with Erich Clementi, General Manager, Enterprise Initiatives (otherwise known as the head of IBM’s cloud computing efforts) about Big Blue’s cloud strategy. After we raked the computer and service provider over the coals earlier this year for talking about the cloud without offering substance, in June IBM finally unveiled part of its cloud plans. They revolve around providing workload-specific services via an IBM cloud, as a hosted cloud, or inside a company’s own data center. It kicked off its cloud rollout with a test and development service, and last month it announced an analytics offering. Clementi revealed that IBM won’t stop at workload-specific services, and will build a WebSphere platform-as-a-service offering for clients.
It would go up against other general purpose platforms-as-a-service offerings like Microsoft’s Azure platform, Rackspace’s Mosso effort and to a lesser extent, platforms like Google’s App Engine and Salesforce.com’s Force.com. And earlier this week, VMware purchased SpringSource and said it would build a platform as well. Clementi was cagey about plans to provide an infrastructure-as-a-service offering, however, despite rumors I’ve heard about IBM’s interest in providing compute cycles. Below is an edited version of our conversation:
GigaOM: What Does IBM mean when it talks about cloud computing?
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