IBM’s journey to rebalance its company software portfolio around areas this kind of as AI, hybrid cloud, and supply chain shifted into large gear with an agreement to sell a group of its collaboration and experience solutions to HCL Technologies for $1.8 billion, as announced on December 6. The products and solutions involved in the offer are: Notes, Domino, and Connections for collaboration, Appscan and BigFix in the stability arena, as well as quite a few encounter items which include Unica (marketing and advertising automation), and on-premises variations of Commerce and Portal.
This portfolio will test HCL’s product management and integration chops. Blending ecosystems is not a small-time period endeavor. But we also believe HCL has revealed that it is fully commited to currently being a superior caretaker for the solutions it has earlier taken around from IBM, in particular given its power in engineering-driven transformation and motivation to aggressively commit in and foster new IP. And readers should not fail to remember that this acquisition is just the latest in a very long line of HCL and IBM action that may perhaps not be in excess of really yet. Here’s a partial record:
- November 2015 — HCL and IBM commit to produce on IBM PaaS.
- September 2016 — HCL and IBM indicator a 15-calendar year partnership close to Tivoli and Rational.
- February 2017 — HCL licenses IBM software security goods.
- October 2017 — HCL can take over Notes and Domino development.
- August 2018 — HCL will take around enhancement and launch assistance for IBM WebSphere Portal (Portal), IBM Website Articles Supervisor (WCM), and IBM Web Encounter Manufacturing facility (WEF).
For products that were now supported by HCL, we have listened to from their clients that they have seen a optimistic effect, exclusively about improved feature backlogs and highway maps. We assume that story to continue for other IBM consumers who are now component of the expanded HCL portfolio.
Here are some particulars for different audiences:
- For commerce prospects. WebSphere Commerce, like the not too long ago unveiled V9 and IBM Digital Commerce, are both shifting to HCL. This suggests, right after the offer closes, that IBM will no extended have a commerce platform. All relevant IBM commerce contracts will changeover to HCL, and HCL will have the ahead highway map and any choices about long-phrase assist and stop of existence.
- For purchase administration and B2B purchasers. OMS products will stay with IBM, with both the on-prem and cloud OMS platform remaining with the Sterling Commerce items in the source chain portfolio. With Watson, we see a way for IBM to focus more on B2B scenarios and perform up its “smarts” around OMS-centric use cases.
- For content material administration and portal buyers. IBM’s DX Portal and website CMS products and solutions (previously WebSphere now DX portfolio) were by now component of the August 2018 partnership to transfer assist to HCL. This sale solidifies the arrangement. The cloud-indigenous Watson Content Hub, which launched in late 2016 but is even now attaining wide-scale organization adoption, will keep on being with IBM.
- For marketing and advertising leaders. The buyer expertise analytics products (Tealeaf, Coremetrics, and Shopper Journey Analytics) all keep on being with IBM, as does the SaaS Watson Marketing and advertising portfolio, even though IBM Campaign (Unica) moves to HCL. But note that IBM’s most up-to-date DX cloud application choices are continue to acquiring their legs, and by selling Unica, the corporation offers up a beachhead in several company advertising and marketing organizations.
- For business stability industry experts. IBM has been divesting out of Appscan considering the fact that its 2016 arrangement with HCL and out of stability elements of BigFix considering the fact that previous December, even as other platform vendors have been investing in this sector. Look for HCL to build new services and incorporate-ons around this acquired IP to retain up with other providers corporations that are providing related offerings. IBM will face scrutiny in the long term about whether or not it is a good long-term steward of security products and will probably need to dip its toe in the acquisition current market again to fill out its cybersecurity on line programs aspirations.
Over-all, IBM is continuing to reformulate its strategy as an conclude-to-close company solutions provider, even as it doubles down on open resource and cloud enhancement tools and systems these as AI and blockchain online courses. Selling off these collaboration and encounter belongings should help to clear out house for investing additional in these locations and much more rapidly executing its SaaS vision.
For HCL this is a major shift that accelerates its “Mode 1-2-3” method and delivers a lot more abilities in its digital working experience stack (Method 2), even if numerous of the systems listed here are 20-furthermore decades old and will certainly supply additional servicing revenues, as effectively (Mode 1). But most importantly for clientele, it provides an opportunity to show that it is all set to set its item and system aspirations into action on a considerably larger sized stage.
(Numerous analysts and researchers contributed to this blog site, together with Amy DeMartine, Brendan Witcher, Bruce…