FleetCor’s Move to IBM Cloud Signals New Era of Hybrid Leadership

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By: James O'Brien|

Corporate payment card giant FleetCor has inked a deal to move its data infrastructure to the IBM cloud. The data migration is expected to start within 18 months, according to Forbes, and it will involve moving approximately 25 percent of the company’s digital information to IBM cloud assets.

FleetCor supplies businesses with payment cards for fuel and lodging, and the company expects to reach $1.7 billion in sales in fiscal year 2016. Its data core includes 12 data centers worldwide, operating at a cost of about $100 million annually. The upcoming cloud migration could cut that expense by up to $40 million per year, FleetCor CIO John Reed told Forbes.

“IBM has significantly more scale than us, and we expect to see efficiencies when IBM is processing for us,” he said.

FleetCor is expected to move the remaining three-fourths of its selected data to IBM’s cloud across a three-year period following the initial 18-month migration.

IBM Takes Lead in Hybrid Cloud Deployments

On IBM’s side of the deal, the new commitment from FleetCor marks a victory over its cloud technology rivals, including Amazon, Google and Microsoft. IBM is working to establish itself as a leader in hybrid cloud deployments, a data infrastructure setup where clients keep certain critical information assets on-premises and move other data and apps into a cloud server environment.

“We are moving from a systems integrator to a services integrator to invest in helping companies to scale this,” Philip Guido, general manager of IBM global technology services for North America, told Forbes.

Regulatory Shifts Enable FleetCor’s Move

FleetCor’s ability to shift its financially sensitive information to a hybrid cloud model is driven by recent changes in the financial institution regulatory space.

According to Computer Business Review, financial services companies have historically been slow to turn to cloud opportunities, largely due to regulatory concerns. In 2015, however, the Financial Conduct Authority moved to implement guidelines under which financial institutions could implement cloud technology. The group also proposed stipulations about the safeguards that accompany such moves.

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About The Author

James O'Brien

Freelance Writer

As a journalist and writer in the branded content space, James O'Brien covers business, technology, social media, marketing, film, food, wine, writing and news. The Nieman Journalism Lab has called his work in the custom content space "sponsored content done right." He has written for major regional newspapers, and he has managed and edited established, startup and turnaround newsrooms in varied markets, from community papers to major-city dailies. He consults for firms and businesses — startups to seasoned — on the creation of effective content strategies and the establishment of practical editorial calendars for enacting them. O'Brien holds a Ph.D. in Editorial Studies from the Editorial Institute at Boston University, where he researched and edited Bob Dylan's other-than-song writings. He is engaged in a bibliography for Oxford University Press, covering writings about filmmaker John Cassavetes. He is the author of "The Indie Writer's Survival Guide." His short stories and poetry are published in numerous journals and magazines.

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