IBM Advances Cloud Initiatives With Acquisition of Cast Iron Systems

IBM today
announced it has acquired Cast Iron
Systems to broaden the delivery of cloud computing services for
clients. Cast Iron Systems, a privately held company based in Mountain
View, CA, delivers industry-leading cloud integration software,
appliances and services. Financial terms were not disclosed. The
acquisition expands IBM’s industry-leading business process and
integration software portfolio, which grew more than 20 percent in the
first quarter of 2010.

Cast Iron Systems has completed thousands of cloud
integrations around the world for financial institutions, media and
entertainment companies and retail organizations. The company’s clients
include Allianz, NEC, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Dow Jones, Schumacher
Group, ShoreTel, Sports Authority, Time Warner, Westmont University and
many others.

In today’s competitive global business environment, companies
are recognizing the need to reduce complexity and cost in order to
increase their business agility. To do so, many organizations are
accessing key business applications through software as a service models
and cloud deployments. IBM expects the global cloud computing market to
grow at a compounded annual rate of 28 percent from $47 billion in 2008
to $126 billion by 2012.

A key challenge businesses face in successfully adopting cloud
delivery models is integrating the disparate systems running in their
data centers with new cloud based applications. In the past, this
involved time-consuming and resource-draining coding work. Through Cast
Iron Systems, IBM is gaining the ability to help businesses rapidly
integrate their cloud-based applications and on-premise systems. The
acquisition also advances IBM’s capabilities for a hybrid cloud model,
which is attractive to enterprises because it allows them to blend data
from on-premise applications with public and private cloud systems.

IBM is already known for the application integration
capabilities it offers for both on-premise and business to business
applications. With the addition of Cast Iron Systems to its portfolio,
IBM will be able to offer clients a complete platform to integrate cloud
applications from providers including, Amazon, NetSuite
and ADP with on-premise applications, such as SAP and JD Edwards. Using
Cast Iron Systems’ hundreds of pre-built templates and services
expertise, expensive custom coding can be eliminated, allowing cloud
integrations to be completed in the space of days, rather than weeks or
longer. These results can be achieved using a physical appliance, a
virtual appliance or a cloud service.

"The integration challenges Cast Iron Systems is tackling are
crucial to clients who are looking to adopt alternative delivery models
to manage their businesses," said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM
WebSphere. "The combination of IBM and Cast Iron Systems will make it
easy for clients to integrate business applications, no matter where
those applications reside. This will give clients greater agility and
as a result, better business outcomes," he said.

For example, Cast Iron Systems helped pharmaceutical
distributor Amerisource Bergen Specialty Group connect Salesforce CRM
with its on-premise corporate data warehouse. In doing so, the company
has been able to give its customer service associates access to the
accurate, real-time information they need to deliver the best possible
customer experience while realizing annual cost savings of $250,000.

Similarly, Cast Iron Systems helped a division of Allianz, a
global leader in corporate insurance, integrate Salesforce CRM with its
on-premise underwriting applications to provide real-time visibility
into contract renewals for its sales team and into key performance
indicators for sales management. Allianz replaced labor intensive custom
code with Cast Iron Systems’ integration solution, beating its own
30-day integration project deadline.

"Through IBM, we can bring Cast Iron Systems’ capabilities as
the world’s leading provider of cloud integration software and services
to a global customer set," said Ken Comee, president and chief executive
officer, Cast Iron Systems. "Companies around the world will now gain
access to our technologies through IBM’s global reach and its vast
network of partners. As part of IBM, we will be able to offer clients a
broader set of software, services and hardware to support their cloud
and other IT initiatives."

Consistent with IBM’s software strategy, IBM will continue to
support and enhance Cast Iron Systems’ technologies and clients while
allowing them to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio. Cast Iron
Systems’ approximately 75 employees will be integrated into IBM.

The IBM Software Group has acquired more than 55 companies
since 2003.


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