IBM has tossed out its longer, complex contracts for cloud services in favor of two-page agreements. The company is trying to streamline the process and said the new cloud contracts are shorter and less involved than competitors’.
Contracts are a boring but necessary evil, so shortening them as much as possible is a benefit for everybody involved. It means the sales cycle and negotiations are shorter, which in turn means getting revenue sooner for the provider and quicker service deployment for the customer.
The shorter cloud contracts are the result of two months of work by a small team at IBM. The contracts are now deployed globally for all of its offerings.
Cloud computing has greatly streamlined acquiring raw IT resources like compute and storage, making it possible to fire up a virtual machine instantly with a credit card. However, the same utility-style approach is complicated in an enterprise setting.
IBM is trying to simplify enterprise IT, which has been a common theme in the industry, championed by the likes of SAP in its cloud ambitions.
“It’s ironic that cloud computing represents a faster and more innovative approach to doing business, yet lengthy and complex cloud business contracts from most vendors remain an obstacle,” Neil Abrams, IBM vice president and assistant general counsel, said in a statement. “By dramatically simplifying and accelerating how clients contract for cloud services, IBM is making it easier and faster for companies to reap the benefits of cloud.”
Another aspect of acquiring cloud services that remains complex is cloud pricing. It is often difficult for users with complex cloud deployments to forecast how much they will end up paying over time.