IBM's Watson will provide support for CBRE’s clients at selected data centers.

The agreement allows CBRE to offer clients Smart Maintenance, a service complimenting its existing suite of DCIM and maintenance services.

Vendor agnostic

Data center
– Getty Images

Smart Maintenance uses AI and analytics from IBM Services to provide vendor-agnostic maintenance for CBRE’s data center clients.

As part of the agreement, IBM will also work with CBRE technicians as an on-site extension of IBM’s Remote Technical Support.

CBRE's techs will use IBM Watson, Big Blue’s system capable of answering queries on hardware and maintenance. When a problem occurs, IBM Watson will ask a series of questions to identify the problem and help find the quickest solution. IBM's Watson was previously adopted by software vendor Nlyte for its DCIM product.

If physical repair is required or upgraded hardware is necessary, then CBRE site technicians can perform this repair under guidance from IBM.

IBM is giving CBRE’s clients access to 57 call centers worldwide and IT support specialists. The deal also gives clients the ability to use 585 parts centers.

Smart Maintenance will provide lifecycle reviews for equipment, allowing for a predictive maintenance service plan.

“We’ve been exploring areas that make sense for innovative collaboration, and we’re very pleased to be backed by IBM Services and its leadership in AI and multi-vendor technology support," Jim Harding, president of Data Center Solutions for CBRE’s Global Workplace Solutions, said.

This isn't the first time CBRE has signed deals to improve its data center monitoring. In 2018, CBRE entered into a strategic relationship with AI company LitBit to train up its Risk Exposure Mitigation Intelligence software, REMI, but the company has since closed.

In 2019, CBRE acquired Romonet, which develops cloud-based modeling software that can optimize data center reliability and efficiency with analytics.

Due to hybrid cloud platforms, many clients rely on a mix of manufacturers and third-party vendors. This naturally gives rise to more complex maintenance and support.

The IBM partnership should reduce complexity and help reduce costs for CBRE's clients, the companies claim.

“We’re pleased to provide multi-vendor services for CBRE with IBM’s diverse set of technology capabilities, software knowledge, and predictive operational management,” said Mike Perera, GM of Technology Support Services at IBM.

“IBM Services is committed to innovations in analytics, AI, AR, and other technologies to enable organizations to manage the toughest of circumstances, minimize outages, and secure their data.”