Web 2.0, SOA, and Web Services: IBM's Top 25 Acquisitions Aim for Analytics, Cloud, Software Domination
In October 2002, IBM announced it had bought PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, the global management consulting and technology services unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers. The combination created a new global business unit, IBM Business Consulting Services, comprising more than 30,000 IBM and 30,000 more professions from PwC Consulting. IBM Business Consulting Services became the world's largest consulting services organization, with operations in more than 160 countries.
IBM has been on an acquisition spree for some time now, and IBM senior management has said acquisitions will remain a part of the company's growth strategy through 2015. IBM has had a history of making strategic acquisitions over the years, but big software buys did not start until former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner set out to get Lotus in 1995 and then Tivoli in 1996. However, under the leadership of Samuel Palmisano since 2002, IBM launched a series of acquisitions. Particularly, with analytics as a major focus, in the last four years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in 24 acquisitions to expand its analytics capabilities. IBM has also dedicated more than 7,000 business consultants with industry expertise to help clients understand their data and put this information to use. IBM also has launched a network of analytics solution centers across the globe. In IBM's third quarter of 2010, IBM's analytics business grew 14 percent. IBM's approach to M&As (mergers and acquisitions) is based on the need to align strategy, selection and implementation. This means focusing on doing the right deal for the right reason. When these basic principles are followed, organizations are able to use M&A to increase market share, obtain critical mass, establish new growth platforms, extend geographic coverage, add capabilities, diversify portfolio, and divest to focus on core businesses and competencies. As IBM reaches 100 this month, eWEEK decided to use this slide show to take a look at 25 key IBM acquisitions.