IBM’s $2.3B Acquisition of StreamSets and WebMethods from Software AG

IBM is doling out €2.13 billion ($2.3 billion) to acquire a duo of data integration assets from Germany-based enterprise software company Software AG.

The all-cash deal will see IBM take ownership of StreamSets, a data integration platform that Software AG had acquired just last year, and WebMethods, which Software AG bought for more than $500 million back in 2007.

It’s worth noting that Software AG itself was acquired by Silver Lake earlier this year, with the private equity giant initially procuring a majority 63 percent ownership for $2.4 billion before upping its stake to more than 85 percent in September. Today, news emerged that Silver Lake has now bought 93 percent of Software AG, with plans to delist the company from the public markets imminently.


For IBM, buying Software AG’s integration platform-as-a-service (IPAAS) toolset fits into its broader embrace of the hybrid cloud, a shift that it has bolstered through the years with a series of big-bucks acquisitions — this includes its $34 billion Red Hat acquisition in 2018, and more recently its $4.6 billion deal to buy Apptio back in June.

While cloud computing brings many benefits to companies, there has been a growing aversion to vendor lock-in and singular cloud environments, toward a more hybrid approach, one that might lean on local in-house infrastructure for security and lower-latency purposes but then tap into one or more public cloud providers for specific resources when required.

However, this means having to manage and process data that may be housed in different applications stored across on-prem and multiple private or public clouds. And this is where data integration systems enter the fray, allowing companies to build pipelines that can pool their data regardless of where it resides and in whatever format.

And that, effectively, is what IBM is buying in StreamSets and WebMethods, technologies that span the various layers that constitute application and data integration, including API management which is what WebMethods specifically brings to the table.

Data is also the cornerstone of AI and, as with just about every business today, IBM has been upping its AI game of late. Indeed, the company this year introduced a new data science platform called Watsonx, which serves tools for building and deploying AI, as well as managing all data sources in one platform. And this is where IBM’s duo of acquisitions will also e put to use.

“Together with IBM’s Watsonx AI and data platform, as well as its application modernization, data fabric and IT automation products, StreamSets and webMethods will help clients unlock the full potential of their applications and data,” IBM’s senior VP for software and chief commercial officer Rob Thomas said in a press release.

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