IBM has announced a cloud computing solution that will allow companies to access IBM’s enterprise applications (ESP) and data without needing to buy the entire cloud infrastructure. The company has partnered with Microsoft to enable companies to run SAP and other Big Data applications in the cloud using their existing IT infrastructure. The new service, called IBM Cloud, will allow customers to manage their own cloud infrastructure and will give them access to “all the benefits of offshore IT at greatly reduced costs,” according to a blog post from IBM Business Solutions. “Microsoft is renowned for its expertise and innovation in the software world, so it’s no surprise that we’re partnering with them on Cloud.” The blog post doesn’t specify how much the total cost of the service will be, but a description of the service is included.

What’s great about using Microsoft’s cloud services for your enterprise is that you don’t have to completely change your business model to take advantage of it. You can start with a simple migration of your workloads and then scale up over time as your company needs more capacity. There are three ways to migrate workloads between on-premises and Cloud resources:

A very interesting aspect of the blog is that IBM is touting some very specific benefits of using the IBM Cloud: faster application response, improved scalability, and high availability requirements. For companies that are adopting Sap on azure, migrating to the Cloud could mean taking on many more costs than with on-premises software and services: managing the maintenance and support, software license costs, infrastructure costs, and so on. In contrast, the IBM Cloud would allow for much lower cost adoption because there is no need for an in-house team to manage the cloud. Instead, all it takes is a simple migration from on-premises data centers to the IBM Cloud.

As part of the blog, IBM has several tools that will help companies that are considering the migration of their on-premise data centers to the IBM Cloud. The first tool is a migration advisory tool that helps companies determine the migration path from on-premise to the cloud. In addition to the advisor tool, companies will also get started deployment architecture from the IBM Research Campus. This four-part blueprint guides companies through the process of setting up a basic cloud environment using the IBM Cloud, running applications via the IBM WebSphere Application Platform, managing information for the end users, and collecting enterprise resource management data for reporting purposes.