IBM outlines Asian growth ambitions with acquisition of Indonesian ERP consultancy

SAP and Oracle services provider Equine Global becomes part of Big Blue

IBM has acquired Indonesian ERP consultancy Equine Global and signaled that the purchase represents a sign of its plans "to grow its footprint in the region."

Big Blue didn't reveal what it paid for Equine Global in its announcement of the deal. The Indonesian firm claims it has handled over 500 projects, has more than 225 "satisfied customers," and supports 40,000-plus SAP users.

Equine is the parent company of three other entities IBM will also acquire: Oracle consultancy Optima Data Internasional, system integrator Niagaprima Paramitra, and IT services generalist Xsis Mitra Utama.

Despite the company's world-girdling name, Equine Global lists only an Indonesian office and its customer testimonials are all Indonesian companies.

Which is no bad thing as Indonesia is the world's fourth-most populous nation, behind the USA, China, and India. It's also ranked the world's 16th largest nation by GDP, according to the World Bank, and last year grew at a brisk 5 percent on its way to becoming a top ten economy.

Indonesia has also digitized at impressive pace, even growing a Big Tech player in the form of GoTo, a sprawling conglomerate that offers ride-sharing, food delivery, electronic payments, logistics, and even financial services.

A strong presence in Indonesia is no bad thing.

IBM stated that the acquisition "will extend IBM Consulting's resources and capabilities to help clients in Indonesia modernize their core businesses while advancing the company's hybrid cloud and AI strategy in the region."

"Upon completion of the transaction, Equine Global will become IBM's first acquisition headquartered in Indonesia, demonstrating IBM's commitment to grow its footprint in the region," Big Blue's statement adds.

Indonesia is a nation, not a region. But Big Blue is sensible to consider a bigger presence in nearby nations, as the likes of the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are all growing and digitizing fast. India is an even larger and more tech-savvy target. Singapore may be small by comparison, in terms of area and population, but is a regional tech hub that's benefiting from nervousness about China's increasing influence over Hong Kong.

IBM did not mention its regional ambitions during its Q3 earnings call last week and offered no further detail. The Register will keep an eye on Equine Global to see how and where IBM rides it. ®

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