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Instant Analysis: International Business Machines Corp.'s Latest Cloud Acquisition Bolsters Its Goals

By Tim Brugger - Apr 12, 2016 at 1:56PM

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Big Blue is at it again, acquiring another cloud solutions provider to bolster its transition efforts.

Image source: IBM.

What happened?
Expanding on its cloud-based data analytics and related consulting service offerings, IBM (IBM -0.91%) recently announced another acquisition. The latest IBM cloud deal is for's (CRM 2.60%) longtime consulting partner Bluewolf. Financial terms of the transaction for privately held Bluewolf were not disclosed.

Bluewolf was's first consulting services partner, and continues to work hand in hand with the cloud CRM leader. During its 15-year relationship with, Bluewolf has worked with more than 9,500 customers to assist with the development and implementation of analytics-based cloud services.

Does it matter?
IBM has already poured more than $5 billion into various cloud, analytics, and cognitive computing acquisitions, along with the formation of new divisions including Watson Health and Cognitive Computing. The addition of Bluewolf brings additional consulting solutions to assist clients in executing comprehensive, data-centric cloud solutions.

As a key component of CEO Ginni Rometty's "strategic imperatives," IBM's cloud sales are currently tracking at an annual run rate of $4.5 billion. The Bluewolf deal is right in line with Rometty's strategic imperatives plan, which emphasizes the value of data analytics, rather than focus on the already commoditized cloud hosting market.

Bluewolf and its relationship with adds another arrow to IBM's quiver. Rometty has stated that IBM's objective is to grow its strategic imperatives group to 40% of total revenue. Last year, IBM's key units generated $28.9 billion in sales, equal to 35% of 2015's $81.7 billion in revenue. That's up from "just" 27% in 2015's Q3.

Considering IBM's data-centric approach to its cloud solutions suite, bringing Bluewolf into the fold to support customers and maximize the value of all that information in the cloud is a natural. In and of itself, the addition of Bluewolf won't dramatically impact sales, but it is a sound addition and is well-suited to IBM's plans.


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