Acquisitions - IBM, HP and Microsoft

On recent acquisitions by IBM, HP and Microsoft - the last note was about SAP, Google and Cisco.

Last week IBM bought Cast Iron " The combination of IBM and Cast Iron Systems will make it easy for clients to integrate business applications, no matter where those applications reside" IBM WebSphere general manager Craig Hayman said.
IBM has a substantial business integrating applications inside a business; Cast Iron has a track record of integrating applications when some part of the application support runs outside the business firewall (ie, in the cloud). "These results can be achieved using a physical appliance, a virtual appliance or a cloud service with attractive entry and pay-as-you-go pricing. "
The previous acquisition, Intelliden, (Feb 2010) offers cloud based network compliance audit. IBM would seem convinced that having solutions which operate in a location independent manner is important to its customers and its business.

HP bought Palm a couple of weeks ago, giving it a mobile operating system which can be used to give the user a similar experience across multiple mobile devices. However, HP Labs, which is a reasonably reliable guide to the longer term strategic direction for HP, is, like IBM, paying a lot of attention to cloud infrastructure. It's been building an open distributed cloud computing test bed, testing federation, for new application support models. HP is hedging its bets about the importance of remote infrastructure.

In contrast, Microsoft's last acquisition (2 Feb 2010) was of Sentilion, a healthcare software provider. The press release mentions context management and single sign on, but says nothing about cloud infrastructure support. Oracle's latest acquisition was also in the health care space - a company called Phase Forward, which makes data management solutions for clinical trials and drug safety. Microsoft is either not getting interest in cloud solutions from its customers, or already has all the infrastructure in place which it needs.


IBM Cast Iron press release
HP acquires Palm press release
OpenCirrus paper
Microsoft acquires Sentillion press release
Oracle acquires Phase Forward press release

Cunning Systems evaluates product and service ideas in computing and communications. If you would like to discuss whether an idea is likely to be of interest to a large corporation, contact us at Follow me on twitter at @annejohn and @vcwatch