IBM Buys Gravitant, Aims To Create Default Cloud Broker Platform

IBM has acquired cloud-based software developer Gravitant Inc., creating what both companies hope will become the default enterprise platform for hybrid cloud IT.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Privately held Gravitant, based in Austin, Texas, created the platform CloudMatrix. The software-based platform allows companies to adopt a multi-sourced cloud operating model by making it simpler to create, manage and order a multi-cloud IT environment from a single console.

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"The combination of Gravitant and IBM's portfolio basically creates the default enterprise platform for hybrid IT," said Richard Patterson, IBM’s general manager of infrastructure services.

With the acquisition, IBM will be able to push its focus on multi-cloud IT environments and enable customers to look at all of their cloud environments through a single console, making it much easier to manage, figure and order the personalized cloud services each company needs.

IBM will leverage Gravitant's software from various parts of its business Patterson said in an interview with CRN.

Customers will be able to buy the platform as part of a service offering from IBM's cloud unit, as an appliance from its Global Business Service and Global Technology Service divisions, or as part of large enterprise contracts.

However, according to Joe Demassa, vice president of strategy, portfolio and alliances at IBM, Gravitant will continue to operate as a complete entity as it moved into the global technologies services division at IBM.

During a "transition period,’ in which Gravitant will be integrated within IBM’s global technologies services division, ’we will look to see if there are opportunities to create any synergies with the rest of the portfolio," Demassa said.

Until then, IBM and Gravitant partners will compete with each other and sell the same products.

"We will definitely compete in some areas," Gravitant CEO Mohammed Farooq said, citing IBM’s "large portfolio."

However, Farooq said that he wants to make Gravitant's platform the "go-to" computing interface for the multi-cloud ecosystem, and when it comes down to it, Gravitant will monetize its software, via IBM's divisions or its own partners.

"We would like to keep IBM as the de-facto computing interface with enterprise," he said. "And we will leverage all channels to reach that goal."

Farooq said that through the acquisition, Gravitant's software can become the perfect platform for the redefined business and service portfolios that are coming as cloud brokerage begins to take off.

"Fundamentally, IBM is taking the leadership role in redefining the channel in the broker model," he said, adding that by acquiring Gravitant, "IBM is taking a very significant step in addressing that the need [for a platform] is there."


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