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IBM Acquires Data Consultancy Bluetab Solutions Group

Bluetab, an IBM Company

IBM is acquiring Bluetab Solutions Group, an IT consulting and services firm that has data strategy, management and hybrid cloud services expertise. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is technology M&A deal number 419 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2021.

The Bluetab deal is the latest piece in Krishna’s effort to pivot the enterprise technology provider toward multi-cloud software that drives business automation.

How Bluetab Aligns With IBM Hybrid Cloud Strategy

Bluetab, based in Madrid, Spain, employs more than 700 data experts. The company, founded in 2005, serves enterprise vertical markets such as banking, telecommunications, energy and utilities across Spain, Mexico, Peru and Colombia.

Bluetab will tuck into IBM's data services consulting practice for hybrid cloud and IT services.

The deal has some benefits and potential risks. On the upside, Bluetab has multi-cloud expertise along with Red Hat OpenShift expertise. On the potential downside, Bluetab could in some ways compete with the Red Hat's ecosystem of OpenShift and data-centric IT consulting partners.

IBM is leveraging Red Hat OpenShift as a multi-cloud software platform to compete against VMware while pivoting away from head-on competition from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

IBM Acquires Bluetab: Executive Perspectives

Mark Foster, IBM
Mark Foster, SVP, IBM

In a prepared statement about the deal, Mark Foster, senior VP, IBM Services and Global Business Services, said:

"The outside-in digital transformation of the past is giving way to the inside-out potential of using company-owned data with AI and automation to generate business value and create intelligent workflows. Our acquisition of Bluetab will fuel migration to the cloud and help our clients to realize even more value from their mission-critical data."

Added Bluetab Co-founder Luis López:

"The key to solving data challenges for our clients has been the exceptionally talented and experienced team we have been able to build as well as the value-added accelerators we have developed. We could not be more excited by the opportunity that IBM offers us to continue to grow our team, to build on our accelerators and to help more clients achieve leadership positions by leveraging their data."

Concluded Bluetab Co-founder Tom Uhart:

"We have had the good fortune to engage with and develop long-lasting relationships with large organizations that value innovation and share our data-driven vision for the future. Over the years, we have partnered with our clients to help deliver transformation to hybrid and multi-cloud models enabling them to leverage value from their data assets."

IBM expects to close the deal in the third quarter of 2021.

IBM Spinning Off Kyndryl: MSP Business Details

Meanwhile, IBM is on track to spin out Kyndryl as an independent managed infrastructure services provider (MSP) business before 2022. IBM and Kyndryl will certainly partner, but the companies may also compete on some fronts, ChannelE2E believes.

Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM

Indeed, some of IBM's recent acquisitions under CEO Arvind Krishna involve cloud migration services and some form of managed services. Those recently acquired services will remain with the IBM business portfolio, while Kyndryl also focuses on six global managed services practices. Those Kyndryl practices include:

  1. Cloud
  2. Applications, Data & AI
  3. Security & Resiliency
  4. Core Enterprise & zCloud
  5. Network & Edge
  6. Digital Workplace

The IBM-Bluetab deal in some ways could overlap with multiple services on that Kyndryl list, 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.