Atos, EMC and VMware enter cloud joint venture

French IT services giant Atos has announced plans for a new, cloud-focused joint venture with information management vendor EMC and virtualisation pioneer VMware.

The three companies have pledged "tens of millions of euros" in the new company, Canopy, Atos CEO Theiry Breton explained on a conference call this afternoon. The reason for setting up a joint venture rather than simply partnering is that parties are more interested success when they have a shareholding, he said.

Canopy will be focused solely on cloud computing. Breton said that customers have been requesting a ‘one-stop-shop’ for cloud computing beyond the consulting and migration services that Atos currently offers.

The Europe-based company will offer consultancy on building private clouds, a Java-based platform as a service and various software-as-a-service applications hosted in an ‘enterprise app store’, including ERP, CRM, email and analytics, for the healthcare and public sector markets.

Canopy’s consulting business will open with 100 Atos consultants and strategists some time in the first half of 2012. "We have committed to immediately train 1,000 developers on VMware software to help our customers to migrate applications to SaaS," Breton said.

EMC CEO Joe Tucci explained that EMCs European partnership with Atos would not be exclusive, but that the storage company’s other partners would be "few and deep".

"This market is going to measure north of $100 billion," he said. "There is going to be more than one player and more than one winner. There’s room for different players focused around expertise in verticals, geographies, and different scales of service," Tucci said.

Back in 2010, EMC and VMware created a joint venture with Cisco, named VCE. The company was set up to sell and service the V-Block infrastructure, a virtual computing architecture made up of the three companies’ products.

In an SEC filing from EMC last month, the company revealed that by September 2011 it had accumulated net losses of $185 million from VCE since its inception. In October 2011, EMC invested an additional $95 million in the joint venture, on top the £250 million in funding it had invested so far.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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