Category Archives: M&A Activity

IBM Acquires Aspera for Fast Big Data Transfer

IBM today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Aspera, a privately held company based in Emeryville, California. This provides IBM with new and complementary capabilities to better enable companies to move Big Data, on premise or in the cloud, at global distances with the speed required by today’s business.

Aspera’s patented extreme file transfer technology accelerates the secure transfer of large files and large collections of files by up to 99.9 percent – reducing a 26 hour transmission of a 24 gigabyte file, sent halfway around the world, down to just 30 seconds. This speed is powered by Aspera’s patented” fasp protocol”, which breaks the bottlenecks inherent in broadband networks to achieve high performance, efficiency and security in the most difficult WAN environments. Recently awarded an Emmy for engineering, Aspera is used at virtually every major Hollywood studio, cable provider and pharmaceutical company with leading brands such as Netflix, PBS and Universal Studios.

IBM Acquires Mobile Messaging Startup Xtify

IBM today announced the acquisition of Xtify Inc., a ventured-backed company based in New York City. Xtify provides mobile messaging tools via the cloud to help organizations increase mobile sales and improve brand loyalty. Xtify mobile capabilities will be delivered through IBM’s SaaS portfolio and will run on IBM’s SoftLayer cloud infrastructure.

Xtify will expand IBM’s Smart Commerce initiative helping CMOs, digital marketers, mobile application developers with mobile campaign creation, content targeting, dynamic real-time segmentation and analytics across all mobile device platforms and browsers. Xtify’s technology is designed to deliver real-time, personalized offers via in-app mobile messages and push notifications.

The acquisition of Xtify has implications across IBM’s business: 

  • Xtify will expand IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative to help digital marketers develop relevant push notifications delivered via mobile devices and browsers. Smarter Commerce is among IBM’s most profitable business units boasting more than $3.5 billion in acquisitions since 2010.
  • As part of IBM’s MobileFirst strategy, Xtify will make it easier for developers building mobile applications using IBM’s WorkLight platform to deliver relevant and timely cross-channel marketing messages to customers based on open standards.

Breaking: IBM Acquiring CSL International

IBM today announced a definitive agreement to acquire CSL International, a  provider of virtualization management technology for IBM’s zEnterprise system. CSL International is a privately held company headquartered in Herzliya Pituach, Israel.

The zEnterprise System enables clients to host the workloads of thousands of commodity servers on a single system for simplification, improved security and cost reduction. The combination of IBM and CSL International technologies will allow clients to manage all aspects of z/VM and Linux on System z virtualization, including CPU, memory, storage, and network resources.

IBM Acquiring SoftLayer for Private Cloud Infrastructure

IBM is acquiring SoftLayer, a privately held cloud infrastructure provider. IBM hopes SoftLayer will enable IBM to  marry the security, privacy and reliability of private clouds with the economy and speed of a public cloud, with Fortune 500 companies the target market.

IBM says the majority of the Fortune 500 have concerns about how cloud will work with the IT investments they have already made, and many have been waiting for a cloud that is better than “good enough.”   As a result, although cloud is growing quickly, it’s still only a small part of the total IT spend.  There’s a lot of opportunity for IBM to capitalize on.

SoftLayer has a breakthrough capability that provides an easy “on ramp” especially for the Fortune 500 to adopt cloud. And for the SoftLayer born-on-the-cloud customers, IBM opens a new market into the enterprise.   Specifically, SoftLayer allows cloud services to be created very quickly on dedicated servers — rather than a virtual ones, which is the norm in the public cloud.

By building out a cloud on a dedicated server , a client no longer has to worry about sharing computing resources with other companies — thereby improving privacy, security and overall computing performance.  By using dedicated servers, software that was built for on-premise use can be more easily ported to the cloud.  It doesn’t have to go though as much heavy configuration as it does with a virtual server, which it was not developed to work with.

This capability will be added to IBM’s SmartCloud portfolio. IBM SmartCloud offers 100 cloud-based solutions for line-of-business execs including Watson Engagement Advisor; hybrid solutions such as IBM PureSystems, mission-critical cloud services for SAP on our SmartCloud Enterprise+ and the best private cloud solutions in the market.

Headquartered in Dallas, SoftLayer serves 21,000 customers with a global cloud infrastructure platform spanning 13 data centers in the U.S., Asia and Europe. SoftLayer excels at running cloud-centric, performance-intensive applications in mobile, social, gaming and analytics.

IBM is also announcing today the formation of a new Cloud Services division that combines SoftLayer with IBM SmartCloud into a global platform, reporting to SVP Erich Clementi, IBM Global Technology Services.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed and the acquisition is expected to close later in 2013 following standard regulatory review.

VMware Sells Some WaveMaker Assets to Pramati

Pramati has acquired certain assets of WaveMaker from VMware. WaveMaker, acquired by VMware in March 2011, is a visual Rapid Application Development (RAD) software platform that will be used to grow and enhance Pramati’s cloud-based Java development capabilities. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

WaveMaker simplifies the process of building enterprise Java applications to boost both developer productivity and quality, without compromising flexibility. WaveMaker applications are cloud-ready, highly scalable, multi-device, and backed by a strong developer community that has doubled to 35,000 active monthly users over the last two years. With its long heritage of mission-critical Java application development, Pramati expects to accelerate this growth going forward.

“The acquisition of WaveMaker is integral to Pramati’s ongoing strategy to efficiently bring together skills, capital, customer relationships and leading technologies that can quickly take advantage of market opportunities,” said Vijay Pullur , President of Pramati. “WaveMaker elegantly enhances our existing Java and cloud development capabilities. Over the years, Gartner and other respected voices have recognized us as a leader in Java technologies. The WaveMaker acquisition uniquely allows us to extend our leadership, while extending the reach of Java to non-expert developers and users.”

WaveMaker uniquely helps its users build standard enterprise Java applications using a visual drag-and-drop paradigm that streamlines development time, significantly reducing written code.

“WaveMaker was designed to bring high-quality Java applications to market quickly and efficiently,” said Charles Fan , senior vice president of R&D, Storage and Application Services, VMware. “Pramati is an established technology company with expertise in cloud and Java technologies. We are delighted that WaveMaker customers are in good hands.”

The addition of WaveMaker underscores Pramati’s support for Java standards in the cloud computing era. The Pramati portfolio of companies includes SocialTwist, a social referral marketing platform focused on customer acquisition and retention, and Imaginea, a technology services company that offers advisory, strategy, product development, and implementation services.

F5 Aqcuires LineRate

F5 Networks, Inc. today announced that it has agreed to acquire LineRate Systems, a developer of software defined networking (SDN) services. Through this acquisition, F5 gains access to LineRate’s layer 7+ networking services technology, intellectual property, and engineering talent, further building on F5’s commitment to bring superior service agility, application intelligence, and programmability to software defined data centers.

“F5’s vision is to enable application-layer SDN services for software defined data centers, providing our customers with unprecedented automation, orchestration, and control,” said Karl Triebes, EVP of Product Development and CTO at F5. “Extreme scale of applications, infrastructure, and services will be vital to SDN, core to F5, and the key to customers realizing the benefits of software defined data centers. LineRate’s programmable network capabilities and innovations in layer 7 will bolster our efforts to extend F5’s market leadership in these areas, and we are very pleased to welcome the LineRate team to F5.”

Critical to the success of SDN architectures are security, acceleration, optimization, and intelligent traffic management services at the application layer. Application-layer services will be vital to meet customers’ expectations of flexibility, scale, and performance, and to provide significant competitive advantages. The LineRate acquisition aligns with F5’s vision for application control plane architecture and goal of delivering application-layer SDN services to bring superior agility, application intelligence, and programmability to software defined data centers.

LineRate Systems, based near Boulder, Colorado, provides software that offers layer 7+ network services. LineRate’s software defined solution is an early-stage product, which will become an important part of F5’s broad range of development initiatives focused on software defined data centers.

“In order to reap the benefits of software defined data centers, programmable, scalable network services must be present throughout the entire network stack—up to the application layer,” said Manish Vachharajani, Co-Founder and Chief Software Architect at LineRate Systems. “We recognize that the SDN fabric may be good at layer 2-4, but ultimately customers care most about the applications. The LineRate team is excited to join F5 and looks forward to helping F5 accelerate development initiatives in this important market.”

Amazon Acquires IVONA, Makers of Kindle Text-to-Speech Tech, Inc. today announced that it has acquired text-to-speech technology company IVONA Software. IVONA technologies power the “Text-to-Speech,” “Voice Guide” and “Explore by Touch” features on Kindle Fire tablets. Additionally, IVONA delivers text-to-speech products and services for thousands of developers, businesses and customers around the world.

“IVONA’s exceptional text-to-speech technology leads the industry in natural voice quality, accuracy and ease of use. IVONA is already instrumental in helping us deliver excellent accessibility features on Kindle Fire, including Text-to-Speech, Voice Guide and Explore by Touch,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “The IVONA team shares our passion for innovation and customer obsession, and we look forward to building great products to deliver world-class voice solutions to customers around the world.”

“For more than ten years, the IVONA team has been focused on creating innovative text-to-speech technologies,” said Lukasz Osowski, CEO and co-founder of IVONA. “We are all thrilled that Amazon is supporting our growth so that we can continue to innovate and deliver exceptional voice and language support for our customers.”

IVONA offers voice and language portfolios with 44 voices in 17 languages and more in development.

Imation Acquires Nexsan

Imation today announced that it has acquired privately held Nexsan Corporation, a Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based provider of disk-based storage systems. The combination cash-and-stock transaction included approximately $105 million in cash and 3,319,324 Imation common shares, the equivalent of approximately $15 million.

“Imation’s acquisition of Nexsan is an exciting next step in our strategic transformation, which includes investing in growth platforms in data storage and security solutions, where we are targeting markets with strong growth rates,” said Mark Lucas, president and CEO of Imation. “Our strategy includes focusing on the underserved SMB market with purpose-built storage systems and appliances. This is a market that Nexsan knows well. Nexsan’s management team has grown this business from start-up to more than $80 million, with strong gross margins. Nexsan is a successful company that is addressing some of today’s fastest growing trends in storage, and we are pleased that its management team, including CEO Philip Black, will join Imation. The combination of Nexsan’s products, technologies, and talented teams with Imation’s global reach and infrastructure will be an excellent accelerator for our growth strategy in storage solutions,” concluded Lucas.

“We are excited to have Nexsan become part of Imation,” said Philip Black, CEO of Nexsan. “Imation provides us the scale and global footprint to expand our business, while still keeping intact our award winning partner program, our strong management team and employees, and our innovative products and roadmap. We look forward to working as part of Imation to deliver compelling solutions that meet the growing storage, archive and compliance requirements of businesses worldwide. This is good news for Nexsan channel partners, employees and customers.”

Nexsan’s 2011 revenues were $82 million and are continuing to grow, with gross margins in the 40 percent range. This acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to Imation’s EBITDA.

Approximately 200 employees, based in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, have joined Imation with this acquisition. The Nexsan business will continue to operate within Imation from Nexsan’s current headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif., under existing management. Integration and global expansion activities between Imation’s Tiered Storage and Security Solutions business and Nexsan will be determined in first quarter 2013.

TriZetto Acquires Cloud-based Claims Workflow Automation Company

TriZetto Corporation today announced its acquisition of Franklin, Tenn.-based Healthcare Productivity Automation (HPA). HPA’s healthcare workflow automation solutions will be integrated with TriZetto’s business management services unit over the coming months. Terms of the transaction, which closed on Dec. 17, were not disclosed.

HPA solutions employ a highly advanced, cloud-based claims workflow tool, Health Mason®. The Health Mason solution automates certain manual processes in claims administration, which can greatly improve the efficiency and quality of the provider reimbursement process. The tool replicates human decision-making to review large volumes of claims, enter data and determine the best way to process claims. Processing can be up to 30 times faster than typical manual processes, with high reliability – more than 95 percent first-pass accuracy on a rolling 12-month average across HPA’s book of business.

“The acquisition of HPA underscores TriZetto’s continuing investment strategy to provide innovative, integrated technology and service solutions that simplify healthcare and improve both its efficiency and effectiveness for payers, providers and members,” said Harish Mysore, senior vice president of corporate development and strategic alliances at TriZetto. “This acquisition builds on our commitment to enhance payer-provider collaboration by increasing the quality, accuracy and efficiency of claims processing and payment.”

“We’re excited to join TriZetto because its large payer and provider client base allows us to make a bigger impact on healthcare,” said Sal Novin, HPA’s CEO. “In managing the claims administration function of dozens of health plans, TriZetto will leverage HPA’s technology to bend the cost curve of processing claims and increase administrative efficiencies for both healthcare payers and providers.”

Dell Acquires Gale Technologies

Dell today announced the acquisition of Gale Technologies, a provider of infrastructure automation software that allows organizations to streamline the deployment of on-premise and hybrid clouds for self-service access to infrastructure. Dell also announced the formation of its Enterprise Systems & Solutions organization focused on the delivery of converged and enterprise workload topologies and solutions in alignment with Dell’s Enterprise vision.

Gale Technologies helps customers turn discrete compute, network and storage components into integrated and highly-optimized application, virtual desktop infrastructure, and private cloud solutions featuring self-service and advanced automation. Gale Technologies’ solution provides a comprehensive management, automation and orchestration platform for simplifying end-to-end provisioning across heterogeneous infrastructures. Gale Technologies delivers automated physical and virtual resource allocation, preserves best practice enterprise infrastructure deployment through reusable templates, and masks that complexity from the end user to provide a valuable enterprise asset.

Gale Technologies’ solutions are complementary to Dell’s enterprise approach in that they provide cost-effective management and orchestration tools that are easy to deploy and customize in both homogeneous and heterogeneous IT environments. This approach allows customers to extend their current IT investments to capitalize on new IT models.