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IBM to acquire Toronto-based cloud vendor

Big Blue to acquire Platform Computing to extend reach of technical computing

IBM Canada (NYSE: IBM) has confirmed it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Platform Computing, a privately-held Toronto company that will help IBM’s cloud computing strategy.

While financial terms of this deal were not disclosed, it comes just one day before IBM plans to make a big announcement concerning future cloud services and technology for the enterprise space. IBM has said that security and portability will be addressed in tomorrow’s cloud announcement. The acquisition is also intended to accelerate IBM’s growth in smarter computing, a key initiative in IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy. Earlier this year, IBM said Smarter Planet projects are estimated to drive $10 billion in revenue for IBM by 2015.

As for Platform Computing, the the 530 staffers will be integrated into IBM Systems and Technology Group. Platform Computing has gone through 19 straight profitable years and has amassed a client roster with many high profile names such as Citigroup, Pratt & Whitney, Red Bull Racing, and Harvard Medical School.

Cloud computing has been listed by IBM as one of its four major growth plays along with Smarter Planet, business analytics and emerging markets. IBM Canada has forecasted more than $7 billion in revenue by 2015. Platform Computing’s software, which specializes in cluster and grid management software for distributed computing environments, is already the foundational element of many enterprise cloud computing environments.

According to a new IBM survey of business and technology leaders, more than 60 per cent of enterprises revealed plans to adopt cloud computing business models in order to move beyond the operational effectiveness benefits of cloud and significantly enhance their ability to address Big Data, collaboration capacity and the mobile device explosion. The study indicates a fundamental shift in the competitive business landscape and the possibilities of cloud computing as a new platform for enterprises to create and deliver value to customers.

Helene Armitage, general manager, IBM Systems Software, 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.

“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 company founder Dr. Songnian Zhou said his company’s software has a proven track record over the past 19 years of helping clients to accelerate innovation, business analytics and IT services while being easy to deploy and manage.

“This acquisition will enable Platform Computing to better serve our customers by leveraging the IBM solution portfolio and extend the reach of our pioneering distributed computing software for broader enterprise adoption.”