Big Blue Buys Another Cloud-Ish Business
December 9, 2013 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM has promised Wall Street that it will have a $7 billion cloud business by the end of 2015, and it has gotten out the checkbook once again to help it along its way to that goal.
Last week, IBM said that it has inked a deal with Dexia, a financial services company based in Brussels, Belgium, to take over the operations of its Associated Dexia Technology Services unit. ADTS is a service company not unlike IBM’s own Global Services that provides services to Belfius Bank, Belfius Insurance, International Wealth Insurers (IWI), Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL), Dexia and Dexia Asset Management (DAM).
As part of the deal, IBM is taking a controlling stake in ADTS and is changing its name to Innovative Solutions for Finance; the amount it spent for that stake was not revealed. But IBM did say that ISFF has contracts with the various entities formerly served by ADTS that are worth $1.3 billion over seven years.
Dexia has been spinning off parts of itself in a slow-motion fashion since 2006, but ADTS was the common glue for these entities. Now, with IBM in charge, Dexia is getting out of the IT business and the units can pursue their own separate strategies as they see fit.
“After a long and careful selection process, Dexia has chosen a strong partner endorsing a new industrial future for the company and its employees,” explained Karel De Boeck, chief executive officer of the Dexia Group, in a statement. “At the same time, this agreement is yet another significant step forward in the Group’s orderly resolution.”
Exactly how the IT infrastructure for the former ADTS clients will change over time was not made clear, but there were plenty of references to “the cloud.” IBM did not reveal what systems these entities currently have installed. Several of the former Dexia units as well as Dexia itself have OS/400 and IBM i platforms.