Friday, 16 November, 2018

IBM buys software company Red Hat for $34 billion

IBM is seen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain IBM is seen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain
Orlando Vargas | 29 October, 2018, 13:41

"IBM will become the world's No. 1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses".

IBM's and Red Hat's partnership has spanned 20 years, with IBM serving as an early supporter of Linux, collaborating with Red Hat to help develop and grow enterprise-grade Linux and more recently to bring enterprise Kubernetes and hybrid cloud solutions to customers.

According to AFP, the deal remains subject to Red Hat shareholder approval as well as US SEC regulatory approvals. "It changes everything about the cloud market", said Ginni Rometty, IBM's chairman, president and CEO.

"Knowing first-hand how important open, hybrid cloud technologies are to helping businesses unlock value, we see the power of bringing these two companies together, and are honored to advise IBM and commit financing for this transaction", JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement. And yes, enterprises will go from Red Hat-a proverbial Switzerland of software and the cloud-to an IBM-Red Hat combination and one throat to choke.

The deal comes just two weeks after IBM reported that its sales for its quarter ended September 30 came in at $18.8 billion, down two percent from year ago period, but flat when adjusted for currency fluctuations. It intends to maintain Red Hat's headquarters, facilities, brands and practices.

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Whitehurst also stressed that "Red Hat is still Red Hat". Red Hat's current management team, led by president and CEO Jim Whitehurst, will remain in place.

IBM was founded in 1911 and is known in the technology industry as Big Blue, a reference to its once ubiquitous blue computers. It also expects to use Red Hat's open source roots to its advantage - in theory, this encourages companies to move to the cloud when they'd otherwise be wary of being locked in. This is the next chapter of the cloud.

The announcement comes as tech giants are betting that more companies and users will pay a subscription fee to store their data elsewhere, rather than buy expensive mainframes and hard drives - which had been IBM's bread and butter. Its 2013 acquisition of Softlayer gave the company a public cloud toehold, but all the growth in public cloud computing is coming from the big three USA providers, including the above-mentioned companies and Google Cloud. It requires shifting business applications to hybrid cloud, extracting more data and optimising every part of the business, from supply chains to sales, a informed Rometty.

Venero said he is hopeful IBM will continue the strong channel relationships that Red Hat has built with partners rather than taking deals direct.

"Red Hat was previously able to position itself as the Switzerland for on-premises computing", Mueller said. "This is not about cost synergies at all", Rometty said in the interview. Among the possibilities are Google and Cisco Systems Inc., both aiming to boost their different cloud strategies.

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