IBM Continues to Focus on Cloud, Unveiling Additional Cloud Centers Around the World

NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– As IBM (IBM) continues to focus on generating more revenue from its cloud operations, the company continues to expand its network around the world, having announced 40 additional cloud centers around the world dedicated for hybrid cloud computing.

In a strategic partnership with data center owner Equinix (EQIX) , IBM is bringing data centers in Australia, France, Japan, Singapore, The Netherlands and the US. The company is also unveiling 12 new locations in Frankfurt, Germany, Mexico City and Tokyo.

The deal with Equinix will provide access to SoftLayer cloud services using the Equinix Cloud Exchange, allowing work to move in and out of cloud, thus emphasizing what a hybrid cloud (public and private storage of data) really means.

"IBM recognizes that businesses and governments need the cloud to help them innovate, grow and operate more efficiently in concert with their existing IT investments," said Robert LeBlanc, Senior Vice President, Software & Cloud Solutions in a press release. "Everything IBM does is designed to help companies transition to the cloud in a responsible way at a pace that best fits their business model and industry. Just as we helped major organizations transform in each preceding era of IT, IBM now serves as the cloud platform for the enterprise." 

IBM has made huge strides in 2014 to increase its competitiveness with other major cloud players like Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOGL) , having grown cloud revenue 50% through the third quarter of this year, led by a $3.1 billion run rate in as-a-service revenue. Total cloud revenue in 2013 was $4.4 billion, up 69% over 2012 figures.

Despite the strides its made the past couple of years, IBM has had a rough go of it in the cloud, having fallen behind Amazon and Google, having lost key strategic contracts such as one with the Central Intelligence Agency.

By 2017, research firm Gartner expects that nearly half of all businesses will have a hybrid cloud, led by the need from both business and governments around the world to store certain data locally to comply with regulations, as well as the need for businesses to continue to expand around the world.

The announcement comes on back of several investments IBM has made in its cloud business this year. Earlier this year, SAP (SAP) and IBM teamed up to run SAP applications through IBM's cloud. The company has also partnered with the likes of Microsoft (MSFT) , China's Tencent (TCEHY) , AT&T (T) and Intel (INTC) .

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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