IBM teams with Colt to launch new U.K. edge cloud lab

A collaborative partnership between Colt Technology Services and IBM took a new turn, as the pair teamed up to launch a new Industry 4.0 lab in the U.K. where companies can trial edge cloud services.

Colt will provide its cloud SD-WAN technology and Colt Edge computing platform while IBM will contribute its Cloud Satellite hybrid cloud and Maximo Application Suite. The pair are initially targeting the manufacturing sector with three core edge use cases, including visual inspection-based inferencing, supply chain telemetry and threat monitoring and data protection.

“We’re bringing together the best of connectivity, edge and smart manufacturing solutions,” Colt VP of Innovation Mirko Voltolini said in a statement. “Industry 4.0 has huge potential for the manufacturing sector, and the lab is an exciting next step for Colt and IBM as we support enterprises to improve the visibility, analysis, performance and maintenance of their industrial systems and operations.”

The launch of the lab builds on longstanding collaboration efforts between Colt and IBM. The pair have been working together since at least 2015, when Colt announced it would support IBM’s Direct Link service for enterprises. In 2018, Colt added support for IBM’s Cloud Direct Link service and last year the companies said they would work together to drive adoption of edge computing with IBM Cloud Satellite and Colt’s edge platform.

Colt’s ongoing efforts to work with the likes of IBM are part of a three-year plan implemented by CEO Keri Gilder when she took over in 2020. Among other things, her strategy includes a focus on co-developing solutions with cloud providers.

But Colt is also looking to beef up its network capabilities. In 2021, it announced plans to deploy Cisco’s Silicon One switches and 400G Open ZR+ pluggable optical technology. And earlier this month, the company struck a $1.8 billion deal to acquire Lumen’s networks and data centers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.