In a move to beef up its hybrid cloud and enterprise services, IBM just acquired a privately held company called Gravitant. The company develops cloud-based software to help companies plan, buy, manage or broker software and computing services from a variety of suppliers.
The technology IBM is picking up in the deal gives Big Blue much-needed capabilities to span mixed environments of public and private clouds. Once Gravitant’s tools are integrated into IBM’s storehouse, clients will be able to integrate and manage digitally public and private clouds as single clouds. The promised result: better performance and greater efficiency.
"The reality of enterprise IT is that it is many clouds with many characteristics, whether they be economic, capacity or security,” said Martin Jetter, senior vice president, Global Technology Services at IBM, in a statement. “Gravitant provides an innovative approach to add choice and simplicity to how enterprises can now manage their environments. It will be a key component as we broaden our hybrid cloud services." Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Breaking IT Barriers
Gravitant breaks down some IT barriers that make it more difficult for enterprises to drive adoption of the cloud. The company's tech democratizes hybrid clouds. Beyond IT managers, for example, the technology makes it possible for any authorized employee to review and buy compute and software services from approved suppliers.
In addition, employees can make side-by-side comparisons of the tools they need, looking at pricing and capabilities on consoles. After the technologies are purchased, they can be delivered as services and managed from those same condoles. The idea is to drive more visibility, and therefore more efficiency, as to how employees are actually using the services.
We caught up with Zeus Kerravala, a principal analyst at ZK Research, to get his thoughts on the acquisition. He told us hybrid cloud and enterprise services are areas in which IBM needs to invest more. He based that on the last 16 quarters in a row of declining revenue.
What IBM Lacks
“We’re actually moving into a world where everything is mobile and cloud,” Kerravala said. “IBM is pretty weak in both those areas so it’s good to see the company bolstering its position there but I certainly expect to see more acquisitions.”
IBM plans to integrate the Gravitant capabilities into the IBM Global Technology Services unit. IBM Cloud, then, will integrate the capabilities into software-as-a-service offerings, which effectively broadens the company’s hybrid cloud solutions and capabilities.
“IBM is really still a service company. They’ve got Watson as an analytics play but most people don’t really think of IBM as a major cloud player," Kerravala said. "I think they need to bolster their cloud presence. They need some infrastructure as well. Dell acquired EMC and HP is building its infrastructure story to help customers build clouds. [IBM is] largely a professional services organization. They can’t really provide the whole solution.”