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IBM Acquires Cloud MSP Taos for AWS, Azure and Google Consulting

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IBM has acquired Taos, a Top 250 Public Cloud MSP as ranked by ChannelE2E. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM
Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM

This is M&A deal number 34 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2021. See all technology M&A deals for 2021 and 2020 listed here.

Taos, based in San Jose, California, has expertise across Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. Moreover, the Taos team carries roughly 300 certifications across those public clouds, according to CEO Hamilton Yu.

The acquisition aligns with IBM CEO Arvind Krishna's overall hybrid cloud vision for the company. Krishna has been striving to pivot the company from hardware and software toward hybrid cloud opportunities. Much of the effort leverages the Red Hat acquisition — which provides open source software that runs across any public cloud, in private clouds and across on-premises data centers.

IBM Acquiring Cloud Consulting, APM and RPA Expertise

IBM has been busy acquiring cloud consulting firms and software teams that develop code, specialize in migrations and/or offer managed services. Other recent IBM purchases include:

Amid those deals, IBM essentially is competing against Accenture, Atos, Cognizant, Deloitte and other global IT consulting firms as well as private equity firms that are buying up cloud consulting businesses. Pundits close to the deals suggest that some of the M&A deals may involve overheated bidding wars for cloud talent, according to ChannelE2E background reporting.

IBM Acquires Taos: Executive Perspectives

Hamilton Yu, CEO, Taos
John Granger, IBM

In a prepared statement about the Taos acquisition, IBM Senior VP John Granger said:

"Taos adds the deep expertise, public cloud partnerships and innovative solutions needed to drive growth and adoption of IBM's hybrid cloud platform throughout the Americas. The platform gives enterprises the freedom to choose from multiple providers to best meet their business and IT needs, and we are committed to helping our clients successfully navigate their open hybrid cloud journeys with those providers."

Added Hamilton Yu, CEO of Taos:

"Our laser-like focus on helping clients migrate to the cloud, modernize multi-cloud platforms, and manage hybrid cloud environments over the past several years is a natural fit with IBM Global Business Services. Our team brings over 300 certifications with leading public clouds to serve clients throughout North America, and we're thrilled to join forces with IBM and tap into its global delivery capabilities."

Financial details were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, IBM says.

IBM: Competing and Cooperating With NewCo Managed Infrastructure Services?

The Taos acquisition and other recent IBM purchases certainly look promising. But they may also trigger some irony down the road, ChannelE2E believes.

Indeed, IBM is preparing to spin off the company's managed infrastructure services business -- which essentially runs customers' infrastructure. That spin-out business, known for now as NewCo and led by Martin Schroeter, is scheduled to stand on its own later this year.

The irony: The spin-out could wind up competing and/or cooperating with many of the IBM cloud consulting acquisitions that offer managed services capabilities, ChannelE2E believes.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.