IBM clears way for Red Hat buy by offloading unwanted software lines…

IBM image via shutterstock
IBM image via shutterstock

IBM has further cleared the decks ahead of its takeover of Red Hat this week, by completing the offloading of another tranche of its software estate to Indian outsourcing giant HCL.

The firms announced today that they had officially closed HCL’s purchase “of select IBM products for security, marketing, commerce, and digital solutions.”

This means that “HCL takes full ownership of the research and development, sales, marketing, delivery, and support for AppScan, BigFix, Commerce, Connections, Digital Experience (Portal and Content Manager), Notes Domino, and Unica.”

HCL has formed a new division, HCL Software, that will oversee these former IBM platforms, “and meet customer demand”. It added that, under a previous deal, “HCL Software has successfully delivered more than 340 partner releases and more than 90 HCL releases, including such popular products as Informix 14.10, Domino 10, Workload Automation 9.5.”

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At the same time, IBM’s marketing platform and commerce software offerings – formerly known as Watson Marketing – have been spun off into a new company, backed by private investment Centerbridge Partners.

The newly independent biz will be headed up by Mark Simpson, Vice President of Offering Management and Strategy for IBM’s marketing and commerce platform, who said in a blog, “We’re going to double down on AI by investing in a robust data science team to push the limits of the capabilities and more product designers to make those capabilities consumable, continuing our mission to purpose-build AI for the marketer.”

IBM’s top ranks will have little time to relax after sealing these deals – its acquisition of Red Hat was cleared by European regulators last week, and is due to complete between now and the end of the year.

The aim with the Red Hat buy is to propel IBM to “undisputed number one in hybrid cloud”, according to IBM CEO Ginny Rometty, who said the market will be worth $1tr next year.

There’s no doubt that hybrid cloud is where the industry is headed today. But then again, the industry was heading towards big data and analytics just under a decade ago, prompting IBM to snap up companies in that space, and create a new secure future for itself.

Long before that, the company bought onetime spreadsheet giant Lotus, giving it control of the Domino products, and the prospect of a place at the heart of the collaboration and personal productivity markets.

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