The decision of the IBM separating its managed infrastructure services business into a new company will be an important step for the technology giant to expand into the hybrid cloud computing, a market in strong growth in the world and which became even more relevant after the pandemic of the new coronavirus. This is the Brazilian vision Ana Paula Assis, executive charged with leading the transition of IBM customers globally to the new company.
In an exclusive interview with EXAME, Ana Paula Assis says that separation of the infrastructure services business unit in a new company will make it possible to bring more value to customers and shareholders once it is completed by the end of 2021.
The new company, which has been provisionally called NewCo, will already be born as a technology giant: will have an annual turnover of 19 billion dollars (approximately 96 billion reais), about 90,000 employees, 4,600 customers and presence in 11 countries, according to the company’s estimate. “As an independent company, NewCo will have the advantage of being scalable, from the first day, benefiting customers immediately”, says Ana Paula Assis.
The executive, who was president of IBM for Latin America, took over as global customer transition manager at the new company shortly after the announcement. She has also served as vice president of IBM in China at the company’s software unit. “This is a very exciting time in my career. I have the opportunity to work with customers around the world, listen to them, help them and ensure that their needs are met, that we have a smooth transition, while supporting them in their digital reinvention, ”she says. Read below the main parts of the interview.
How has the transition work been since the announcement of the creation of the new company focused on IT infrastructure in October?
As we announced, we expect the spin off of our Managed Infrastructure Services business to be completed by the end of 2021. For now, everything continues as usual. Once we make the transition, however, IBM and NewCo – as the new company is called for now – will continue to be partners. NewCo will be able to partner with other cloud providers and, at the same time, maintain a strong strategic partnership with IBM to continue serving current and new customers. In addition, NewCo will be IBM’s preferred partner for managed infrastructure services, enabling continuous operations between the two companies for customers.
What exactly changes for IBM and customers?
During the transition and once the spin off completed, customers’ main points of contact will remain essentially the same, and the quality of services and delivery they receive will remain unchanged. In fact, we are committed to redoubling our efforts in customer responsiveness and attention and we hope that these changes will be carried out by both companies.
Why did IBM make the decision to make this separation?
We believe that there is greater value for our customers and shareholders in separating the managed infrastructure services unit into an independent and autonomous business, with greater focus and agility to meet the needs of our infrastructure services customers and create the future of infrastructure services. technology. This will put IBM and NewCo on a clear growth path, bringing value and accelerated growth to customers and shareholders of both companies.
How long has this change been in preparation?
IBM’s focus on hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) intensified when we acquired Red Hat last year for $ 34 billion. Since then, IBM has prioritized growth and focused on helping customers migrate to AI and cloud for some time. The October announcement positions IBM to meet these priorities by creating two market-leading companies. NewCo, as an independent company, will have greater agility to meet the needs of our customers and drive innovation in managed infrastructure services.
What is the advantage of having a separate company?
The new company will focus on the execution and modernization of managed infrastructure services from the most important organizations in the world. As an independent company, NewCo will have the advantage of being scalable from day one, benefiting customers immediately. NewCo will have revenue of $ 19 billion, more than 90,000 employees and more than 4,600 customers in 115 countries. NewCo will help its customers to modernize their infrastructure and accelerate digitization and will have the ability to invest in technology and skills to drive digital transformation.
How did you face the challenge of leading the new transition area for global customers?
I faced it as a challenge, but also as an opportunity to be part of one of the most important moments of the company in its history. I have lived and worked in different markets, different countries and also different IBM segments (software, services, etc.). This is a very exciting time in my career. I have the opportunity to work with customers around the world, listen to them, help them and ensure that their needs are met, that we have a smooth transition, while supporting them in their digital reinvention.
The change that IBM is making aims to consolidate the company as a relevant player in the hybrid cloud computing market. We estimate that this model offers 2.5 times more value to companies than a single public cloud model for increasing developer productivity, having a variety of strategic options, having infrastructure cost efficiency, compliance and security. Our ultimate goal is to help our customers modernize their existing application environments so that they can capture that value, expand their business and remain relevant to their markets.
What is the importance of the Brazilian and Latin American market for the new company?
Latin America and Brazil are very important markets, not only for NewCo, but also for IBM. We have 15 delivery centers located in important countries like Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico, two service management centers in multicloud – one in Argentina and one in Peru – as well as 12 centers for business continuity and resilience, and we expect NewCo to be a very attractive employer in the region to support the countries’ growing technology operations.
During the pandemic, there was a strong growth in demand for cloud-based services worldwide. Is this related to the creation of the new company?
For some time now, there has been a growing global demand for cloud-based services. This demand increased by the pandemic, which accelerated the journey of digital transformation for companies of all sizes and sectors from a period of 5 or 6 years to 12 to 18 months. However, digitization was already impacting business models and the consumer experience, and we wanted to capitalize on this trend.
With the arrival of vaccines, will the momentum for digitalization continue? Because?
It is important to note that companies started their digital transformations well before the pandemic, but they accelerated their digital transformation journey due to covid-19. A study by the IBM Institute for Business Value found that more than one in five respondents prefers to work remotely in the future, even after employers return to normal business operations. In addition, many would also like to have remote options, at least occasionally. And the same study shows that consumers intend to continue using online shopping tools after the pandemic. Companies have realized that technology has become an essential component for their business resilience.