AT&T and IBM announced on Tuesday a partnership to build a cloud service using private networks instead of the Internet. The joint venture combines AT&T’s virtual private networking technology and IBM’s SmartCloud Enterprise+ product.

Basically, IBM will provide the storage via its cloud data centers and AT&T will act as the network. Both companies represent some of the largest in their fields, as AT&T is the biggest phone service provider in the US, counting both wireless and fixed line, and IBM is one of the top cloud operators.

The service is set to arrive next year and is specifically built for Fortune 1000 companies, all of which already work with AT&T.

“When customers of the new service connect to IBM cloud computing resources across AT&T’s virtual private network, the innovative technology tightly integrates the security protections of both, allowing customers to quickly and reliably shift information or applications between their own data centers (private clouds) and this new cloud service,” the companies said in a statement.

Andy Geisse, CEO of AT&T Business Solutions, said the project “marries the security and speed of AT&T’s global network with the control and management capabilities of IBM’s enterprise cloud.”

The announcement cited a financial services company as a possible use case, noting that it could transfer customer data to IBM’s data centers all from within the secure virtual private network. The new cloud service will be customizable, contain “committed service-level agreements” and feature automated security functions and additional security protocols.

Bloomberg reports that this is the “closest relationship” that IBM and AT&T have shared yet, as IBM will receive unprecedented access to AT&T’s network for business clients.

The financial terms of the partnership weren’t disclosed, though IBM senior vice president Erich Clementi did tell Bloomberg that  the venture is a “major component” of the company’s goal to reach $7 billion in revenue from cloud services by 2015.

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