February 04, 2013, 7:38 AM — In what appears to be a swipe at market leader Amazon Web Services, IBM announced a new version of its public cloud computing offering that provides customers additional support and services to manage enterprise applications in its cloud, such as those from SAP.
[GRAPHIC: Who's making money in the cloud?
CLOUD WARS HEAT UP: Up-and-comers pushing cloud stalwarts to diversify]
IBM says a major hesitation by large enterprises to use public cloud computing resources has been the self-service model by various vendors. IBM is aiming to differentiate itself by adding a new offering, named Smart Cloud Enterprise+, which includes software life-cycle support, a new platform as a service (PaaS) offering and support for updating patches and identity management.
"Many organizations eager for the economic advantages of cloud computing hesitate to run critical applications on the cloud. Their 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," a press release form the company read.
IBM's announcement of SCE+ is a service to compliment the Smart Cloud Enterprise that comes with higher availability guarantees - up to 99.7% for SAP apps running in SCE+ - as well as additional management tools. IBM says its SCE+ includes LifeCycle as a Service, a service in which IBM support staff will help manage apps "from sandbox to production," including for SAP operating systems, databases and middleware.
[MORE IBM CLOUD: IBM looks to build out its cloud through partners
MORE AMAZON CLOUD: What's Amazon's enterprise cloud play?]