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IBM Buys Cloud Brokerage Specialist Gravitant

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IBM has bought privately held Gravitant, an Austin-based firm that specializes in cloud brokerage software.

IBM continued to enhance its cloud offerings with the purchase of Austin, Texas-basedGravitant, a cloud brokerage firm. Big Blue made the announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Gravitant’s main product is its cloudMatrixcloud brokerage software, which allows an IT manager to compare, buy, and manage cloud-based applications to suit current IT needs.

IBM saw a need for some type of cloud brokerage service and was in a “buy it versus build it” situation when it spotted Gravitant earlier this year, explained Richard Patterson, IBM’s general manager for Global Technology Services/Infrastructure Services.

IBM tested Gravitant’s architecture and saw that it “married well with IBM’s managed stack for outsourcing opportunities,” Patterson told InformationWeek.

“Looking at the speed that the cloud market is moving, and we felt the time-to-market was critical for this decision,” Patterson said.  He did not disclose how long it took IBM to make its decision, or how long it took for IBM to test Gravitant’s brokerage platform. Cloud brokerage is a much-discussed concept, but there are few platforms out there that carry out this mission, he said.

Gravitant will be rolled into IBM’s Global Technologies Services unit, while IBM integrates Gravitant technology into IBM Cloud’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings.

(Image: Michal Krakowiak/iStockphoto)

(Image: Michal Krakowiak/iStockphoto)

“Gravitant…will reduce the complexity of evaluation for different computing models,” Patterson said.

The price paid to acquire privately held Gravitant was not disclosed by IBM. In addition to its Austin headquarters, Gravitant has offices in Bangalore and Pune, India.

The Gravitant acquisition came out of the blue, quickly following IBM’s purchase of The Weather Company’s digital assets for a reported $2 billion.

IBM is in the middle of executing complex turnaround strategy.

Big Blue wants to get into newer technologies, like cognitive computing, theInternet of Things, and cloud computing, which promise increasing sales. But it is doing so while suffering declining revenues in legacy businesses like services, software, and hardware. And all this is taking place against a background of 14 straight quarters of declining sales.

IBM’s stock price closed at $141.88, up just over 1% at close of trading Nov. 3

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