Cisco Monday announced plans to invest over $1 billion over the next two years in a global cloud for delivering applications and services.

The "Intercloud," as Cisco is calling it, will be hosted across a global network of Cisco and partner data centers. The Intercloud will offer an expanded suite of value-added application- and network-centric cloud services.

Cisco says the company's OpenStack-enabled Intercloud is designed to allow organizations and users to combine and move workloads-- including data and applications--across different public or private clouds as needed. 

The partnership will involve Australian service provider Telstra,  Canadian business communications provider Allstream, and European cloud company Canopy, an Atos company, among others. 

Robert Lloyd, Cisco's president of development and sales, called the Intercloud the first truly "open, hybrid cloud." 

Lloyd said Cisco is also expanding the Cisco Powered program to include Cisco Cloud Services. Cisco will sell these new services through channel partners and directly to end customers. 

Cisco expects to expand the addressable cloud market for Cisco and its partners from $22 billion to $88 billion between 2013 and 2017.

The news comes after IBM last month announced it will be offering developers APIS to create applications that leverage the power of its Watson super computer. The idea part of IBM's MobileFirst strategy, which places an emphasis on delivering products and services from the cloud.