Today, the likelihood of IBM acquiring Akamai has increased from 10% to 30%, in my opinion. IBM has been an incredibly busy-bee the last two months, thanks to Bezos & Company. In February 2013, IBM lost a $600M CIA Contract to Amazon. Immediately thereafter, IBM appeals. In October 2013, a judge throws out IBMs appeal. In December 2013, IBM goes into turbo-charge, and starts shaking up its business lines. The Amazon $600M Contract win was a big wake up call to Big Blue.
IBMs Activity Time Line
- Feb 2013 – IBM loses $600M CIA Contract to Amazon to build Private Cloud. IBM appeals.
- June 2013 – IBM buys SoftLayer for $2 billion
- Oct 2013 – Judge throws out IBM’s $600M Contract appeal
- Dec 2013 – IBM buys Aspera, a major partner of Amazon
- Jan 9, 2014 – IBM invest $1 billion in Watson Super Computer
- Jan 17, 2014 – IBM invest $1.2 billion to build 15 data centers; total is 40 data centers
- Jan 23, 2014 – IBM sells low end server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion
- Jan 27, 2014 – IBM announces their Web Content Manager is integrated into Brightcove Video Cloud Platform
- Jan 28, 2014 – IBM considering selling it’s SDN business for $1 billion
IBMs Counter Move to Amazon AWS
IBMs first counter move against Amazon was to buy SoftLayer, four months after losing the $600M Contract. Next, it buys Aspera, a major partner of Amazon, Youtube, Netflix, and many other platforms. Amazon better kiss the Aspera relationship good-bye. Even if IBM doesn’t pull the Aspera rug under Amazons feet; does Amazon really want to use a competitor’s product that is deeply embedded into the AWS ecosystem. On another front, it seems IBM is cleaning house to get ready for a major acquisition.
3 Musketeers: IBM, Brightcove and Akamai
IBM announced yesterday that it has an integration into the Brightcove Video Cloud Platform. That’s interesting timing, considering that IBM is missing two pieces to complete its Cloud Platform, an OVP and a CDN. If it buys both, it can go head-to-head with Amazon in every single category, especially when dealing with Media. Plus, the $1B investment in the Watson Super Computer, will go a long way in helping IBM outperform Amazon’s AWS platform.
It will be a good move and no-brainer if IBM acquires Brightcove. However, buying Akamai is whole different story, and it’s not clear-cut, as to whether it’s a good move or not. If IBM buys Brightcove & Akamai, it will leap frog Amazon in the CDN and OVP business. I tip my hat off to Amazon, they have really shaken the foundation of the entire enterprise market in software & hardware; they have impacted all major enterprise players including Oracle, IBM, Dell, EMC, VMWare, Cisco, Rackpace, and on and on.