This I have wanted to share for a while… In the beginning of June I had the privilege of being a guest at the IBM Academy of Technology leadership team meeting in Armonk, NY.

One of the speakers was Lance Crosby, founder and now IBM General Manager of SoftLayer. When you hear this guy speak then you instantly understand why IBM wanted to acquire his company. Not only do we now have state of the art cloud capability but in addition his mindset is changing the whole of our company. Lance thinks about disruption all the time, just like silicon valley investors do. He sees potential in startups that even the startups don’t see themselves. Think big, then think even bigger. IBM is in the middle of one of the biggest changes in its history. This is not going to be easy but with guys like Lance rocking the boat I am very optimistic and ready to rock as well 🙂

Lance also gave examples of how startups, by using the flexibility and scalability of SoftLayer, are disrupting whole industries. Take for example WhatsApp, a company ‘born on the web’, more specifically born on SoftLayer. Whatsapp has revolutionized instant messaging and has badly shaken the excessive profit machine that text messaging/SMS was for telecom companies. Companies like WhatsApp can start small and grow steadily with unlimited scalability as they become more popular. They do not have to charge their customers since their model is fundamentally different, the client gets the service for “free” in exchange for their privacy data which is happily sold to advertisers. How can traditional companies cope with this? They don’t know what has hit them and more importantly, they don’t know how to respond (if you have the answer please let me know).

On the techie side one of the unique points of SL is the availability of bare metal servers that can be provisioned with the same flexibility as virtual servers. Raw bare metal power is required for high performance applications like game servers (130 million gamers) and the above mentioned real-time chat service. Another point is the high speed interconnect between the data centers so that replication for availability is a breeze…

If I sound a bit enthusiastic about SL then that is because I am 🙂