IBM Acquires Cloud Testing Specialist Green Hat

Big Blue plans to combine Green Hat's software quality and testing solutions with the IBM Rational Solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management to reduce software testing costs.

By Thor Olavsrud | Posted Jan 4, 2012
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IBM Wednesday moved to beef up it Rational Software business with the acquisition of Green Hat, a provider of software quality and testing services for cloud environments. The parties did not disclose the financial terms.

Green Hat, with joint headquarters in London, England and Wilmington, DE, provides solutions that give development teams the ability to set up virtual test environments in minutes by leveraging cloud computing technologies. The company said this eliminates the need to build an actual testing lab saving weeks of time.

Green Hat is already an IBM partner and claims a diverse base of large customers across a range of industries including financial services, telecom, transportation, energy and more.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) plans to combine Green Hat with the IBM Rational Solution for collaborative lifecycle management, which will help developers and testers maximize continuous integration of applications, including the creation of virtual protocols, message formats, services, customization and engagement with third-party software.

"This acquisition extends IBM's leadership in driving business agility and software quality by changing the way enterprises can manage software development cost, test cycle time and risk," said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager of IBM Rational. "Together, we offer the most complete solution available today for agile software development and testing, with flexible options such as the cloud. Green Hat's application virtualization capabilities will help our customers accelerate their delivery of business critical software."

IBM said it will also offer Green Hat software testing solutions through its Global Business Services' Application Management Services (AMS) unit.

Brian Marshall, IT hardware and data networking analyst with International Strategy and Investment Group (ISI), was bullish on the acquisition, and cited Big Blue's successful track record in building software capabilities through acquisition.

"We expect this asset will prove strategic to IBM in helping customers reduce software testing costs, which can sometimes exceed 50 percent of overall software development expenses," Marshall wrote in a research note Wednesday.

Michael Azoff, principle analyst at research firm Ovum, agreed.

"IBM's announcement to acquire Green Hat will complement its existing application lifecycle management tools portfolio in providing a capability to rapidly setup test labs for complex heterogeneous systems spanning mainframe to distributed environments, including cloud and mobile, he said.

"Green Hat provides a virtualized solution to this complexity that allows individual virtualized components to be switched in turn to their live counterparts and for effective systems testing to be performed. The drive towards Agile development with higher frequency of testing and also testing earlier in the lifecycle is producing huge pressures on QA. Green Hat reduces the time to set up, run and return back to neutral test labs and removes impediments to Agile processes in mission-critical, large-scale projects."

Marshall said ISI expects the transaction to close in the first half of 2012.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to <A HREF="http://www.internetnews.com">InternetNews.com</A>, the news service of the <A HREF="http://www.itbusinessedge.com/">IT Business Edge Network</A>, the network for technology professionals.

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