ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced global availability for its cloud service on five continents—plus a new center opening in Spain—based on its industry-leading sourcing business to host SAP® applications and other core operations. Now clients can turn to cloud computing for enterprise applications while reducing the overall cost of IT and at the same time, expanding online access and investing in innovative analytics, social business and mobile computing. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130129/NY49949-INFO)(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO) Many organizations are eager to leverage the economic advantages of cloud computing to run their critical applications on the cloud. These applications require deep technical expertise, around-the-clock customer service, tight security and ongoing maintenance – features typically found in IT sourcing arrangements but not in the "one-size-fits-all" model of self-service clouds. To address this, IBM developed an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud built on decades of hosting experience gained by being the world's largest provider of IT sourcing services with more than 1,000 clients. Called IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ (SCE+), the service combines the best features of sourcing – high service level agreements, security and reliability – with the best features of cloud – elasticity and subscription-based pricing. This service offers the same level of assurance normally associated with a hosted service to make sure clients can always access their core applications for ERP, CRM, analytics, social business and mobile computing from the cloud. The new service goes beyond the infrastructure offered as a service with typical public clouds. With this cloud service, IBM also helps manage patch updates and identity management, improving security, which analysts often cite as an inhibitor to cloud adoption. "This is a logical evolution of IBM's sourcing business that gives us an advantage both in our services relationships and the cloud market as we define a new enterprise-grade cloud today," said Jim Comfort, general manager of IBM SmartCloud Services. "Our clients want sophisticated, economical cloud-based services that provide the same quality and service level as a private, hosted IT environment. With that assurance, they can focus more on driving business value from their data and operations, and less on managing their IT." An Enterprise-Grade Cloud Service—SmartCloud for SAP Applications IBM is announcing today that IBM SmartCloud for SAP Applications, an enterprise service unique to IBM, is available globally. As customers expand their use of SAP applications to more business processes, such as marketing campaigns based on Big Data, they often will benefit from more systems and greater management. Operating and managing IT environments running SAP solutions requires an advanced infrastructure and strong SAP operational skills.