NRB, the number 3 ICT-service provider in Belgium, signs a major agreement with IBM, to offer its customers IBM’s most advanced technologies for highly automated and intelligent hybrid cloud services.
According to Forbes*, “the balance of power in the Cloud Wars is shifting towards those tech providers that can move business customers past the infrastructure phase and into the high-value realm of AI-driven competitive advantage.”
“This is exactly what we are doing”, states Pascal Laffineur, CEO of The NRB Group. “Thanks to IBM’s pairing of cloud and cognitive technologies we will be able to offer our customers a platform that will not only guide them towards the best possible cloud solution but also help them fully capitalise on their data. NRB’s intelligent self-service platform will act as an interactive cloud broker advising the customer on the best approach for managing and processing their data - whether on premise solutions, NRB’s private cloud, public clouds or a combination of approaches. The setting up, monitoring and overall management of this complex environment will be largely software driven and highly automated. The platform will connect to the public IBM Cloud and to the other global Top 3 cloud providers. Our strategy is to be amongst Belgium’s leading managed hybrid cloud providers by offering our customers the best in class ‘provider-agnostic’ hybrid cloud platform.”
“IBM’s sweet spot is indeed helping businesses connect to the public cloud while maintaining and integrating traditional and private cloud systems for more complex workloads and sensitive data”, remarks Jacques Platieau, CEO of IBM Belgium. “We give businesses the flexibility they want along with the enterprise-grade capabilities they need to build a business in this new multi-cloud world.”
According to Pascal Laffineur the partnership with IBM will drastically accelerate the realisation of NRB’s Industrial Plan 2022. NRB will have access to the newest and most innovative technologies in the market, thanks to the scale and enterprise expertise of a global partner such as IBM. It will help NRB and its customers, to shorten their time to market. It will further optimise the speed and quality of NRB’s infrastructure services, thanks to dynamic automation and IBM’s cognitive services.
In addition, IBM will provide a major part of NRB’s infrastructure, OS, database and middleware software as a Service, topped by the IBM Cloud brokerage service for cloud ready and cloud native workloads.
The agreement will not have any direct impact on internal staff of NRB, nor on the existing systems in the datacentre infrastructure of NRB which will be expanded with new cloud capabilities. NRB will keep full control of all services with regards to the architecture, integration and all customer related or commercial services. “Today we agreed on the major outlines of the partnership. NRB’s clients will be engaged in the weeks to come, to discuss how they can maximize the value from this strategic partnership. Our partnership with IBM is a solid and major strategic step forward. I am sure it will position us in the coming years where we want to be, i.e. at the top of ICT-service providers in Belgium and beyond”, concludes Pascal Laffineur.
* The Top 5 Cloud-Computing Vendors, by Bob Evans
About the NRB Group
With a consolidated turnover of € 317 million and over 2,000 employees, the NRB Group ranks in the top three of the Belgian ICT industry.
NRB helps its customers to fully benefit from ICT assets in order to optimise and accelerate their processes, innovate and allow their business to grow and evolve with a view to keeping up with the new digital reality.
Within this context, NRB provides a complete range of ICT services based on four key areas: consultancy, software, infrastructure & cloud services, and managed staffing.
The consultancy services include the work performed by ICT and business consultants who assist clients in their (digital) transformation. In addition, a team of ICT and cybersecurity specialists helps them develop and implement the appropriate policies (for GDPR, security and other standards) as well as ICT solutions aimed at ensuring the integrity of their organisation, systems and data.
The software services include the development of customised solutions by teams in Belgium and at a nearshore centre in Athens. The development teams have mastered a wide range of technologies for the creation of mobile and web applications as well as customised solutions for distributed or mainframe environments. In addition to customised services, NRB also provides packages (ERP, BI, SCADA…) from major software companies (SAP, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Software AG…) tailored to the specific needs of clients and their projects. Moreover, specialists ensure the implementation, integration and maintenance of the software solutions supplied.
NRB’s infrastructure and managed operations services encompass housing and hosting of mainframe, AS400 and distributed systems. To provide these services, NRB makes use of its own data centres located on two geo-resilient sites in Belgium; this infrastructure is compatible with the Uptime Institute’s Tier 3+ requirements.
It enables NRB to deliver integrated hybrid cloud services tailored to its customers’ needs. To fulfil these needs, NRB can make optimum use of three ICT environments: the customer’s on-premise infrastructure, the NRB private cloud and the public cloud, which NRB can connect, integrate and manage as required.
Finally, NRB provides managed staffing services aimed at offering the best profiles at the best possible price taking into account the customer’s requirements.
NRB focuses on Belgium’s largest sectors: the public and social sector, the energy and utility industry, the financial services sector and the industrial sector, while Trasys International, which is also part of the NRB Group, is aimed at European and international public and corporate organisations.
The NRB Group’s other subsidiaries offer specialised sector-specific solutions supported by the Group’s scale, ICT infrastructure and other assets. Xperthis provides specialised ICT solutions for the health care sector. Cevi and Logins in Flanders and Civadis in Brussels and Wallonia are specialised in ICT products and services for local authorities.
Daniel Eycken, director marketing & innovation
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