IBM Closes Acquisition of Platform Computing

Big Blue plans to integrate Platform Computing, a specialist in cluster, grid and cloud management software for distributed computing environments, with its IBM Systems and Technology Group.

By Thor Olavsrud | Posted Jan 9, 2012
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IBM Monday put the finishing touches on its acquisition of Platform Computing, a company that specializes in cluster, grid and cloud management software for distributed computing environments.

Big Blue announced the deal for privately held firm in October, noting that it planned to combine Platform's software with its own high performance systems and software business to better serve enterprise clients who are turning to technical computing reduce the cost and complexity of managing and analyzing massive amounts of data. Now that it has completed the acquisition, IBM (NYSE:IBM) said it will integrate Platform with its IBM Systems and Technology Group.

Toronto, Ontario-based Platform Computing provides management software for resource-intensive applications like simulations, computer modeling and analytics. These high-performance computing (HPC) applications are used in sectors ranging from financial services, digital media and government to manufacturing, oil and gas exploration, life sciences and research and education.

"The acquisition of Platform Computing will help accelerate IBM's growth in smarter computing -- a key initiative in IBM's Smarter Planet strategy -- by extending the reach of our HPC offerings into the high growth segment of technical computing," said Helene Armitage, general manager of IBM Systems Software. "Our intent is to enable clients to uncover insights from growing volumes of data so they can take actions that optimize business results."

IBM said the combined opportunity for servers, storage and systems software for technical computing was greater than $14 billion in 2011. Citing research firm IDC, it said it expects the opportunity to grow more than 8 percent annually to $18.5 billion in 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," Armitage said in October when Big Blue first announced its agreement to acquire Platform Computing. "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."

Platform Computing has about 500 employees worldwide and boasts more than 2,000 clients, including 23 of the top 30 largest global enterprises. Among its clients are the CERN particle physics laboratory (home of the Large Hadron Collider), Citigroup, Infineon, Pratt & Whitney, Red Bull Racing, Statoil and the University of Tokyo.

IBM has been on an acquisitions tear in the past few months. Last week it <a href="http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/datacenter/ibm-acquires-cloud-testing-specialist-green-hat.html">acquired Green Hat</a>, a specialist in software quality and testing services for cloud environments. In recent months, it has also acquired supply chain analytics firm Emptoris and cloud-based commerce analytics firm DemandTec. Other 2011 acquisitions include i2, Algorithmics and Q1 Labs.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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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