IBM to acquire Net Integration

IBM has reached an agreement to acquire Toronto-based Linux server software developer Net Integration Technologies Inc.

Financial details were not disclosed as is the policy of IBM when the company acquires a privately held firm such as Net Integration.

This deal helps IBM move into the SMB space. Recently IBM has realigned itself to go after the growth of the SMB market. IBM has restructured sales operations and processes to line up the offerings with the opportunity in SMB.

“Lotus historically was a very good channel and SMB company and one of the things we did was to take their technology and move it upscale to bring it to the enterprise. Along the line we lost the SMB roots. As we go back, we want to expand channel capabilities, add to it and leverage the channel capacity,” said Michael D. Rhodin, general manager, IBM Lotus Software.

“We think we will have an interesting road ahead of us,” said Papic.Nitix is the equivalent to Microsoft Small Business Server and Papic believes with IBM he can take Net Integration, which is small company of 61 and open up a global presence.

Net Integration has another product called NitixBlue that provides SMBs with enterprise-level collaboration tools at less than $100 a user.

Market analyst Carmi Levy of AR Communications told CDN that online collaboration will be a huge growth market.

There are no plans at the moment to alter or change the Nitix brand name, according to Rhodin.

”We are in the early stages of integration and we are looking at brand carefully and will not be taking any position at this point,” he said.

Rhodin said that the entire Net Integration team would join IBM’s Lotus division. Net Integration is situated in the North Toronto suburb of Markham. Papic said IBM Canada’s main campus is just around the corner from their office, but that there is no intent at the present moment to move operations.

Currently, Net Integration has 2,600 channel partners predominately in the U.S. The company is a 100 per cent channel friendly organization. “One of our value propositions is that are technology is simple to use and that we generated value and money for the channel. That is an essential component in our go to market strategy,” Papic said.

Earlier in 2007, Net Integration changed direction and started offering Linux-based autonomic server operating system under the Nitix brand name.

Papic said, the company added the Domino groupware from Lotus to its server, retaining all of the benefits of Nitix such as self-installing, self-configuring, self-tuning and self-healing features.

This is deal is expected to close in the first quarter of this year.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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