IBM Consulting assimilates cloud firm for Azure expertise

Big Blue continues to bulk out its hybrid multicloud services

IBM has acquired Neudesic, a US cloud consultancy services firm specialising in Microsoft's Azure platform, as part of a continued drive to expand the company's growth in hybrid multicloud services.

According to IBM, Neudesic's cloud and data consultants will join IBM Consulting's own hybrid cloud services business, boosting its ability to sell to clients whose business requirements include multicloud technologies. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Neudesic extends IBM Consulting's skills and certifications across the hybrid cloud ecosystem to cover Microsoft, AWS, and the Google Cloud Platform, but also other key ecosystems such as Kubernetes, Databricks, Snowflake, RedHat, Salesforce, and Oracle.

Neudesic has more than 1,500 cloud and data experts located across the US and in India, and the firm is said to provide a full scope of digital transformation services across advisory, application development, cloud migration, DevOps, integration, data engineering, and data visualisation.

Enterprises are increasingly getting serious about cloud adoption, and a hybrid multicloud strategy that combines the most suitable services from multiple providers is likely to be the most common scenario for organisations.

At the same time, Azure is often viewed as almost a default choice for enterprise users because so many enterprises have extensive Windows-based infrastructure using services such as Active Directory that Microsoft has put a lot of effort into integrating with Azure.

"As one of the leading cloud platforms, Microsoft Azure is key to many of our clients' ability to modernize and innovate," IBM Consulting senior vice president John Granger said in a statement. "Neudesic adds deep Azure cloud, data engineering and data analytics expertise to accelerate our clients' hybrid cloud journeys. This builds upon IBM's prior acquisitions of cloud transformation capabilities last year."

Omdia chief analyst Roy Illsley said that as well as gaining expertise in Azure for the broader multicloud services market, IBM will want to serve its customers that are looking to buy into capabilities in Microsoft's Azure cloud, and may even have an eye to tempt over some Azure customers.

"Microsoft has a big portion of the enterprise space, and other cloud companies want to win some of those customers off them, so by having Azure expertise they can say to enterprises that they don't need to go to Azure," he said.

With comprehensive hybrid multicloud service support, IBM can tell its customers that they can continue to run their existing workloads in IBM Cloud while integrating with other services in Azure or one of the other cloud platforms.

Microsoft itself seems to approve of the move: chief commercial officer and EVP Judson Althoff said it is "more important than ever to have trusted partners, like IBM, skilled in our technology," and added that Neudesic and Microsoft are enabling enterprises to achieve their business outcomes with the Azure platform.

Including Neudesic, IBM has now acquired more than 20 companies since Arvind Krishna took over as CEO in April 2020, 12 of which are accounted for by IBM Consulting. The firm only recently swallowed telecoms consulting outfit Sentaca, but other cloud consulting acquisitions include Nordcloud, Taos, BoxBoat, and SXiQ. ®

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