IBM’s Shopping Spree Continues As It Buys Cloud Brokerage Firm Gravitant

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IBM could have a shopping problem. It’s become the company that can’t say no as it scoops up properties to prop up its cloud strategy. Last week it was The Weather Company. Last month it was Cleversafe and today it was cloud brokerage firm, Gravitant.

With Gravitant, it gets cloud brokerage, which helps companies manage cloud purchases across multiple suppliers. IBM plans to fold the new bauble into its IBM Global Technology Services unit. In addition, IBM Cloud plans to add the capabilities to its growing SaaS catalogue.

That’s like a two for one sale because Gravitant gets sold as an old fashioned service offering, and also as a SaaS product, which plays well into IBM’s overall strategy.

“Gravitant provides an innovative approach to add choice and simplicity to how enterprises can now manage their environments. It will be a key component as we broaden our hybrid cloud services,” Martin Jetter, senior vice president for Global Technology Services at IBM said in a statement.

The cloud broker is a concept that has developed over time, as cloud services have grown increasingly complex and large enterprises have had trouble navigating the different vendor offerings.

As IBM tries to make the tough transition to cloud company, it’s learning that it’s not easy to compete with Amazon, Google and Microsoft, but one thing it has going for it is very deep pockets and the ability to fill in holes with its wallet.

Since 2012, the company has made in the order of 25 acquisitions including its $2 billion acquisition of SoftLayer in 2013 to give it an Infrastructure as a Service play. Over time it has been purchasing SaaS companies and pieces to help developers in the Bluemix Platform as a Service offering.

While the company has built a full portfolio of offerings in infrastructure, software and platform services, but has little to show for it so far in terms of earnings.

In the most recent report, IBM reported its 14th straight quarter of reduced revenue, a string it desperately wants to break. It can’t just simply sit still and watch the dial go down, so it’s taking a stand with the cloud strategy along with analytics driven by Watson technology and security.

While it struggles to make this transition, it’s shown it’s not afraid to spend money, and with the Gravitant buy, it’s another step in its metamorphosis.

Gravitant, which is based in Austin, was founded in 2004 and has raised over $40 million across three rounds.

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