IBM today announced that Workday, the popular SaaS-based enterprise application company, will use the SoftLayer cloud as its primary development platform for new applications as part of a multi-year deal worth an undisclosed amount.
The move is significant because it comes on the heels of another major SaaS vendor – Salesforce.com – announcing it chose Amazon Web Services as its development partner earlier this year. SaaS vendors are buddying up with IaaS providers to help build out their future applications.
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Workday has a series of enterprise apps it delivers as a service, including financial management, human resource management and professional services.
The win is a notable one for IBM’s SoftLayer business, which is seen as a second-rate IaaS public cloud vendor according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, trailing market leaders AWS and Microsoft Azure. IBM officials argue that the cloud is a much bigger market than just public IaaS though and note the company’s broad portfolio of services ranging from public to private cloud, PaaS with Bluemix and a whole host of SaaS-based applications and cloud consulting services.