IBM Spree Continues With Bid For Platform Computing

While IBM didn't divulge the financial terms of the Platform Computing buy, the Armonk, N.Y.-based tech superpower said the acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Platform Computing's operations will be integrated into IBM's Systems and Technology Group, IBM said.

Platform Computing, Toronto, makes management software for users to create, integrate and manage shared computing environments, such as departmental clusters or enterprise grids, that are used in resource-intensive applications such as simulations, computer modeling and analytics. Currently, Platform Computing boasts more than 2,000 customers including 23 of the 30 largest global enterprises.

IBM said it will combine Platform Computing's software with its own high-performance systems and software to add compute capacity to tackle application complexity and the significant growth of data. IBM said adding Platform Computing's capabilities helps it better serve customers who turn to technical computing to help manage and analyze massive amounts of data in a timely manner.

According to IBM, Platform Computing's management software suite complements its high-performance platforms such as System x, BladeCenter, Power Systems and System Storage, along with its software portfolio, including Tivoli management and WebSphere application software.

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IBM said the acquisition will better position the company to capture some of the $14 billion opportunity for servers, storage and systems software for technical computing, which research firm IDC estimates will grow 8 percent annually to $18.5 billion by 2014.

"IBM considers the acquisition of Platform Computing to be a strategic element for the transformation of HPC into the high-growth segment of technical computing and an important part of our smarter computing strategy," Helene Armitage, general manager, IBM Systems Software, said in a statement. "This acquisition can be leveraged across IBM as we enhance our IBM offerings and solutions, providing clients with technology that helps draw insights to fuel critical business decisions or breakthrough science."

The Platform Computing acquisition also gives IBM access to Platform Computing's network of ISVs, OEMs and other partners, which will help IBM deliver distributed computing management software to a larger client base via a wider set of partners. IBM said that the purchase also will accelerate its growth in smarter computing, which IBM has said is a key component of the IBM Smarter Planet Strategy, which features projects that are estimated to drive $10 billion in revenue for IBM come 2015.

The Platform Computing buy continues a late-year shopping spree for IBM, which has made a trio of key acquisitions in the past few months. In August, IBM signed on to buy i2, a U.K.-based developer of security threat and fraud detection applications.

The following day, IBM revealed plans to acquire Algorithmics, a supplier of financial risk analysis software and services, for $387 million.

And last week, IBM said it will acquire Q1 Labs, a security intelligence software company that will join IBM's Security Systems Group.