It's a cloudy day in Hartford, Conn., today, but this time, it has nothing to do with a host of cumulonimbus clouds rolling into town. The city's resident insurer of the same name today announced that it has signed a 5-year deal with IBM to transition its virtual desktop environment to IBM's Smart Business Desktop Cloud solution.

The Hartford agreed to take on IBM's services in an attempt to become a more cost-efficient and customer-focused organization, IBM says. The implementation of a centralized, virtual desktop cloud is designed to allow The Hartford's employees more flexibility by offering anytime, anywhere access to e-mail and applications.

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