IBM bolsters cloud services with latest acquisition

Company prepares for more direct competition with Amazon, Google

IBM Corp. has acquired Cloudant Inc. in a move that extends IBM’s big data analytics, cloud computing and mobile offers by boosting its ability to help clients take advantage of these key growth initiatives.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Boston, Mass.-based Cloudant is a privately held database-as-a-service provider that enables developers to create next generation mobile and web apps. The company has a number of clients across multiple industries, including gaming, financial services, mobile device manufacturers, online learning, retail and healthcare.

The deal has been spotlighted by Wired as illustrating that IBM intends to compete with Amazon and Google in the realm of cloud computing – particularly with Amazon; due to the fact that Cloudant tech operates similarly to Amazon’s DynamoDB and SimpleDB services. In conjunction with IBM’s acquisition of Amazon rival SoftLayer last year, IBM is becoming a direct competitor to Amazon, Wired said.

Competition aside, the deal better positions IBM at the intersection of the three opportunistic markets of big data analytics, cloud computing and mobile.

"Cloudant sits squarely at the nexus of these three key transformational areas and enables clients to rapidly deliver an entirely new level of innovative, engaging and data-rich apps to the marketplace,” said Sean Poulley, vice president, Databases & Data Warehousing, IBM.

Cloudant will complement IBM’s big data analytics capabilities beyond traditional data management by providing a database-as-a-service that enables clients to simplify and accelerate the development of engaging and scalable mobile and web apps. The acquisition also strengthens IBM's cloud solutions by providing developers with the tools and resources to build, test, deploy and scale cloud apps on a variety of hosting layers, IBM said in a release.

The deal is expected to close later this quarter.

Cloudant will become part of IBM’s newly formed Information and Analytics Group, a business unit within IBM Software & Systems Group.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at mhoover@washingtontechnology.com, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

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