IBM Among Cloud Top 500

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IBM Strengths, Domain Expertise, and Key Differentiators

IBM's research and development (R&D) operations differentiate the company from its competitors. IBM annually invests 7 to 8 percent of total revenue for R&D, focusing on high-growth, high-value opportunities. IBM Research works with clients and the company's business units through global labs on near-term and mid-term innovations. It delivers many new technologies to IBM's portfolio every year and helps clients address their most difficult challenges. IBM Research scientists are conducting pioneering work in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain, security, cloud, nanotechnology, silicon and post-silicon computing architectures and more—applying these technologies across industries including healthcare, IoT, education and financial services.

In 2017, for the 25th consecutive year, IBM was awarded more U.S. patents than any other company. IBM's 9,043 patents awarded in 2017 represent a diverse range of inventions in artificial intelligence, cloud, cybersecurity and other strategic growth areas for the company. The company continues to actively seek IP protection for its innovations while increasing emphasis on other initiatives designed to leverage its IP leadership.

Some of IBM's technological breakthroughs are used exclusively in IBM products, while others are licensed and may be used in IBM products and/or the products of the licensee. As part of its business model, the company licenses certain of its intellectual property, which is high-value technology, but may be in more mature markets. The licensee drives the future development of the IP and ultimately expand customer base. This would generate IP income for the company both upon licensing, and with any ongoing royalty arrangements between it and the licensee.

While the company's various proprietary IP rights are important to its success, IBM believes its business as a whole is not materially dependent on any particular patent or license, or any particular group of patents or licenses. IBM owns or is licensed under a number of patents, which vary in duration, relating to its products.

IBM Recent Developments

In May 2019, IBM introduced IBM Rapid Move for SAP S/4HANA, a new approach designed to provide a smarter and faster way to digital transformations. Businesses across industries can look to accelerate the process of migrating existing SAP systems to SAP S/4HANA, enabling them to speed up the reinvention of core business processes and integration of new technology.

IBM Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Activities

In 2019 IBM divested itself from a number of enterprise applications products including selling IBM Watson Marketing, now renamed Acoutstic, to private equity firm Centerbridge Partners. That was followed by its sale of IBM collaboration, commerce, digital experience, AppScan, & BigFix solutions to HCL, an India-based systems integrator that is bulking up its software assets.

In October 2018, IBM acquired software company Red Hat for $34 billion, including debt, as it seeks to diversify its technology hardware and consulting business into higher-margin products and services. The transaction is by far IBM’s biggest acquisition. It underscores IBM's desire to expand its subscription-based software offerings especially for security, as it faces stiffening competition in the professional services and BPO markets along with waning demand for mainframe servers due to Cloud migration.

IBM Customers in ARTW Customer Database

Leveraging a rigorous data-centric research methodology, APPS RUN THE WORLD asks the simple question: Who’s buying IBM applications and why? And we provide the answers – supported by decades of research – to our clients around the world. Our Customer database has over 100 data fields that detail company usage of IBM and other enterprise apps by function, customer size, industry, location, implementation status, partner involvement, Line of Business Key Stakeholders and IT decision makers contact details. List of Verified IBM SPSS, IBM Maximo Asset Performance Management, IBM Procurement, Kenexa, Cognos, IBM Watson, IBM Planning Analytics, IBM Clinical Development, IBM TRIRIGA Building Insights customers.

IBM Key Enterprise and Cloud Applications

IBM SPSS, IBM Maximo Asset Performance Management, IBM Procurement, Kenexa, Cognos, IBM Watson, IBM Planning Analytics, IBM Clinical Development, IBM TRIRIGA Building Insights

IBM Revenues, $M:

Type/Year20182019YoY Growth, %
Total Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
Enterprise Applications Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
Cloud Applications Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe

* Enterprise Applications Revenues = License + Support & Maintenance + SaaS
** All revenue figures are estimates based on public records, Cloud and Non-Cloud business models in Apps Run The World's vendor database, and annual survey results including vendor feedback.

IBM Revenue Breakdown By Type, $M:

TypeLicenseServicesHardwareSupport & MaintenanceSaaS
% of Total Revenues Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe

IBM Revenues By Region, $M

Region% of Total Revenues2019 Total Revenues, $M2019 Enterprise Applications Revenues, $M2019 Cloud Applications Revenues, $M
Americas Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
EMEA Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
APAC Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
Total Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe

IBM Direct vs Indirect sales

RegionDirect SalesIndirect SalesTotal
Type % Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe

IBM Customers - Breakdown by Geo, Size, Vertical and Product

List of Verified IBM Customers


No. of IBM Customers: 50000

No. of IBM Enterprise Applications Customers: 50000

No. of IBM Cloud Customers: 15000

No. of IBM Cloud Subscribers: x


IBM has more than 50000 customers around the world.

IBM Watson is helping produce better decision-making and business outcomes through more than 20,000 client engagements, across 20 industries to date.

IBM Blockchain now powers more than 500 client projects, with more than 85 active networks transforming supply chains, global shipping and cross-border finance.

IBM Security, the world’s largest cybersecurity enterprise, has 8,000 subject matter experts serving more than 17,000 clients in more than 130 countries.

Among IBM biggest customers are, Microsoft, HP, Cisco, Dell, Oracle, Intel, Google, VMWare, Toshiba and Nortel.

IBM Market Opportunities, M&A and Geo Expansions

In June 2019, IBM unveiled that more than 500 businesses around the world have chosen the IBM Garage to help them power their digital reinventions with hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI). Companies including ADP, Cemex, the Kraft Heinz Company and the Government of Nova Scotia are leveraging the IBM Garage to help create cultures of open collaboration and continuous learning and to drive lasting business outcomes.

Also In 2019, IBM and Vodafone Business unveiled that they are created a new venture designed to help companies across Europe and beyond deliver innovation faster and succeed in a digital world. Building on more than two decades of collaboration between the two companies, IBM and Vodafone have entered into a new strategic commercial agreement. It will provide clients with the open, flexible technologies they need to integrate multiple clouds and prepare for the next wave of digital transformation enabled by AI, 5G, edge, and Software Defined Networking (SDN).

In addition to building solutions based on IBM's experience, IBM is also creating a series of AI solutions—cognitive solutions—that embed artificial intelligence and data to change how work is done. Examples include Global Industry Platforms: provides cognitive, analytics, security and cloud technology in comprehensive industry-specific platforms to remove much of the cost and complexity of delivering core business functions.

For example: Banking, wealth management, and insurance are some of the areas poised for dramatic change by using cognitive and AI solutions from IBM Watson Financial Services. Watson Health provides technology and expertise to empower leaders, advocates and influencers in health to accelerate discovery, make essential connections and gain confidence on their path to solving the world's biggest health challenges.

Blockchain Solutions: IBM is working with clients and developers across multiple industries to use blockchain to transform how business is done in areas such as banking and financial services and supply chain. For example, blockchain technology can be used to digitize global trade, processes, providing a more efficient and secure method of moving goods across borders and trading zones; Watson IoT: includes both a cloud-based platform and industry solutions infused with AI, helping organizations mine intelligence from billions of connected devices.

IBM Risks and Challenges

IBM and HCL announced a definitive agreement under which HCL has acquired select IBM Appscan , BigFix , Unica (on-premise), Commerce (on-premise), Portal (on-premise), Notes & Domino , and Sametime & Connections solutions. IBM and HCL completed the transaction on June 30, 2019.

The downturn in Economic Environment and Client Spending Budgets could impact the Company's Business: If overall demand for IBM's products and solutions decreases, whether due to general economic conditions or a shift in client buying patterns, the company's revenue and profit could be impacted.

Additionally, what IBM has to be worry about is the ability of agile players quickly bundling and unbundling Cloud-based data, insight and services by carefully segmenting their customers.

The challenge for IBM is to keep up with the competition by meeting customer requirements at different price points, which could render its services organization with its high overhead less effective in delivering bare-bones or sometimes freemium solutions.

IBM Ecosystem, Partners, Resellers and SI

In June 2019, IBM and Cloudera partnered to develop joint go-to-market programs designed to bring advanced data and AI solutions to more organizations across the expansive Apache Hadoop ecosystem. The agreement builds on the long-standing relationship between IBM and Hortonworks, which merged with Cloudera in January 2019 and created integrated solutions for data science and data management. The new agreement builds on these integrated solutions and extends them to include the Cloudera platform. As part of the partnership, IBM will resell the Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub and Cloudera DataFlow. In addition, Cloudera will begin to resell IBM's Watson Studio and BigSQL.

Furthermore, in 2019, IBM and AT&T unveiled a multi-year strategic alliance. Under the agreement AT&T Communications will use IBM's expertise to modernize AT&T Business Solutions' internal software applications, enabling migrations to the IBM Cloud. In addition, IBM will provide infrastructure to support AT&T Business's applications. AT&T Business will utilize Red Hat's open-source platform to manage workloads and applications. The improvements will allow AT&T Business to better serve enterprise customers.

IBM has a global presence, operating in more than 175 countries with a broad-based geographic distribution of revenue. The company's Global Markets organization manages IBM's global footprint, working closely with dedicated country-based operating units to serve clients locally. These country teams have client relationship managers who lead integrated teams of consultants, solution specialists and delivery professionals to enable clients' growth and innovation.

In addition to its direct sales force responsible for major accounts in different industries, IBM has assembled tens of thousands business partners. The vendor continues to rely on its direct force to sell its Cloud applications following the practices of companies that have been acquired by IBM.

IBM is expected to expand its global SaaS business partner community now that it’s scaling out its data center operations through the recent acquisition of SoftLayer, which already serves 21,000 customers with an infrastructure made up of 100,000 servers that support 22 million domains.

IBM Cloud Infrastructure Insights

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  • IBM Public Cloud and Infrastructure (IaaS)
  • IBM Platform (PaaS)
  • IBM Application Delivery
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Research Methodology

Data used in research reports are derived from publicly available documents, continuous surveys of applications vendors, customers, resellers, Independent Software Vendors, systems integrators and other verifiable sources.


Vendor shares and market forecast results are based on a combination of existing databases as well as demand side and supply side research conducted throughout the year with validation from vendors, customers, channel partners and documentations such as earnings releases and 10Q and 10K filings, vertical industry studies, regional and country-level statistics from public and private institutions(i.e. colleges, universities, government agencies and trade associations).


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