IT & Network Infrastructure : IBM at 100: Big Blue`s Top Divestitures and Spinoffs

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-06-09 Print this article Print


Software giant SAP was born out of IBM in 1972. SAP was founded by five former IBM engineers, and initially was called System Analyse und Programmentwicklung ("System Analysis and Program Development"). The engineers were Dietmar Hopp, Klaus Tschira, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner and Claus Wellenreuther. As Xerox exited from the computer industry, Xerox hired IBM to migrate its business systems to IBM technology. Part of IBM's compensation for the migration was Xeroxs DS/SAPE software, reportedly for a contract credit of $80,000. The SAPE software was given by IBM to the founding SAP members in exchange for about 8 percent of founding SAP stock.
Known more recently for its acquisitions, IBM also has a reputation for spinning off commodity businesses such as printers, PCs and notebooks and more. The company over the years has made the decision to go after high-value business with its middleware, hardware and services offerings. This list goes from the early 1970s to 2009 and includes some of the interesting partnerships IBM has had with Apple Computer in the early '90s. Among Big Blue's most famous divestitures have been the spinoff of the IBM printer business—which became Lexmark