Manufacturing, Retail, and Technology

Whirlpool signs IBM as cloud management partner

November 9, 2018
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Whirlpool Corporation global headquarters
The global headquarters of Whirlpool Corporation is located in Benton Harbor. Courtesy Whirlpool Corporation

Whirlpool Corporation has turned to IBM to help it manage its bevy of global digital operations in the cloud.

The Benton Harbor-based appliance maker said last month it will use IBM Cloud “to manage and provide 24/7 access to the company’s critical enterprise applications,” including enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and business warehousing.

Whirlpool plans to leverage the “flexibility and scalability” of the IBM Cloud to run Whirlpool’s SAP HANA environments, including around-the-clock insights into its 70 global manufacturing sites, its distribution and call centers and several other systems to provide “worldwide access and increased efficiencies.”

SAP HANA is a database management system developed by Walldorf, Germany-based SAP.

“Whirlpool Corporation is a manufacturing leader, and we have moved our work to the cloud aggressively,” said Mike Berendsen, VP of IT, Whirlpool Corporation. “This collaboration with IBM will continue to allow us to leverage the capabilities of SAP on HANA, as we continue to be a tech-forward company in the products we design and our global work environments.”

IBM recently introduced a new SAP-certified managed applications offering for SAP HANA workloads. It is an integrated approach for hardware, software and services, and the company said it is the first to offer “this level of cloud support” for workloads of up to 24 terabytes by using IBM Power Systems and IBM Storage. IBM said the approach will give “even the largest customers” the capacity they need to manage analytics in the cloud.

IBM said its innovation was “key” to gaining Whirlpool as a client, as the company has business requirements that drive “very large” HANA platforms exceeding “generally available” cloud capacities for HANA.

“The advent of emerging technologies has provided companies like Whirlpool Corporation with a whole new platform to innovate on,” said Mark Slaga, global technology services general manager, IBM Services for Managed Applications. “Prior solutions often lacked the ability to scale to meet the needs of clients like Whirlpool and required substantial customization, which could drive up costs.

“With this solution, we’re providing Whirlpool Corporation the means to scale its HANA environment to keep up on strategy.”

Under the new partnership, Whirlpool now has options to expand its SAP HANA portfolio and “can focus on what’s most important to its business,” IBM said.


Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) is an appliance manufacturer with 92,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world.

The company markets the brands Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, Jenn-Air, Indesit and other major brand names.

The company reported 2017 sales of $21 billion.

IBM Services

Founded in 1995, IBM Services is the professional services arm of Armonk, New York-based IBM.

The division uses advanced technology to help clients reduce cost and risk, achieve compliance, accelerate speed to market, create new revenue streams and establish a “security-rich and reliable” infrastructure that’s ready for AI and hybrid cloud.

It offers various services: applications services; business process, operations, resiliency, strategy and design; cloud, digital workplace, network and security services; and technology support and consulting.

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