This is not the first time that IBM and Hootsuite have made joint announcements around product integration. Last year, Hootsuite announced that it was to build new applications on the IBM Connections platform. More recently Hootsuite integrated IBM Silverpop into its App Directory. Now the two companies are getting even closer together.
Hootsuite is to migrate its App Directory to IBM SoftLayer taking advantage of the bare metal Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). App Directory provides Hootsuite customers with access to a wide range of applications and extensions to its platform that they can use to visualise how their social media messaging is doing.
The press release highlights three main reasons for this move by Hootsuite:
- Access to a scalable cloud platform.
- Multiple global cloud data centres to enable customers to comply with data privacy, data localisation and data sovereignty.
- The ability to speed up the deployment of new features to customers.
Aaron Budge, vice president of operations and IT at Hootsuite said: “IBM Cloud offers high performance, granular control and flexibility. When you couple that with its globally integrated footprint, we will have the ability to move data between data centers efficiently which will provide resiliency, flexibility and control. We have had a great relationship with IBM for more than two years and are excited about expanding our relationship with new product integrations and the ability to leverage IBM technology.”
IBM and Hootsuite announce new university programme
Like many large IT vendors, IBM and Hootsuite have their own university programmes. As part of this announcement they are to create a new university level programme. It will bring together IBM’s Academic Initiative with Hootsuite’s Higher Education Programme. Educational institutes enrolled with IBM will also get free access to Hootsuite’s educational resources and courseware for a period of three months.
Under the IBM Academic Initiative, faculty members and students get 12 months and six months free access to IBM Bluemix. By bringing Hootsuite into this programme both companies will be hoping that this IBM will be hoping that this creates new applications around social media.
What is not clear is whether this will be reciprocated with institutions who are currently working with Hootsuite getting access to IBM’s Academic Initiative or whether this will lead to joint marketing between the two companies. Either way, it delivers more high quality tools to educational institutions.
Joint support for developers and Hackathons
The last part of this announcement sees IBM planning to exclusively use Hootsuite to promote its 2016 Hackathon series. IBM claims that more than 10,000 developers, designers and entrepreneurs will take part in a series of competitions to develop new applications.
The Hackathons were initially intended to provide IBM with a way to increase developer participation around its own technologies such as Bluemix and Watson. Now that they are bringing Hootsuite into the fold and providing an increased focus on social, it will be interesting to see how quickly we begin to see new applications and components appear.
According to Sandy Carter, general manager, Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, IBM: “IBM and Hootsuite continue to work together to drive the integration of social and cloud to empower clients with the ability to make data-driven decisions quickly and easily.”
This agreement seems to offer a good deal for both sides. Tighter integration of Hootsuite with IBM’s products helps IBM expand its social media play both in terms of its marketing cloud ambitions and with its enterprise customers. It has already signed deals with many of the other social media companies to gain access to their data streams and with Hootsuite as part of the mix customers will be able to deploy a complete social marketing platform.
Hootsuite also gains from this deal. It not only gets access to IBM SoftLayer for its underlying infrastructure but also gets to play on Bluemix. It will be interesting to see if Hootsuite or even IBM develops a range of components for Bluemix to provide a start point for developers to build new applications. The alternative would be to find a partner to do the work. Either way, this should deliver a much wider range of extensions, plug-ins and applications for Hootsuite.