Posts Tagged ‘IBM’

IBM Exploring Sale of Software-Defined Networking Business

February 3rd, 2014

A week after selling its server business unit to Lenovo, IBM is now exploring the sale of some of its networking assets and may be seeking as much as a $1 billion, sources familiar with the matter tell Re/code.

When Big Blue sold its x86 server unit to Lenovo in a deal worth $2.3 billion last week, included with the deal were several networking products — switches and other goods used to enable connections between servers.

Not included in the sale to Lenovo was another IBM product line focused on software-defined networking. IBM calls it Software Defined Network for Virtual Environments.

SDN is a relatively new networking technology that allows for networks within data centers to be set up and configured quickly using only software, similar to the way that virtual machines are “spun up” within servers. The benefit is that the network becomes more flexible and easier to change without the need to swap out new hardware.

IBM is said to have informally approached several companies in the networking business, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Juniper and Fujitsu, to gauge interest. As IBM has recently spent big to expand its Watson cognitive computing unit as well as its SoftLayer cloud computing unit, the SDN unit is not seen as strategically important, according to a source familiar with the company’s thinking.

It’s unclear how interested those companies might be in buying the unit. One executive at one of the companies approached, who asked not to be named because the matter is private, said his company would at the very least “take a look in order to understand it.”

Ed Barbini, a spokesman for IBM, had no comment, citing the company’s policy of not commenting on rumors and speculation. Representatives of HP, Dell and Juniper declined to comment. A representative for Fujitsu was not immediately available.

Several SDN startups have materialized in recent years, including Big Switch Networks and Nicira (now part of VMware), with the aim of attacking established networking vendors like Cisco Systems and Juniper.

Meanwhile, those same networking vendors — Cisco and Hewlett-Packard and Dell — have all sought to push various flavors of SDN technology of their own and have helped create different standards around it.

IBM had been involved with a standards effort known as Open Daylight, which garnered support from Cisco and HP among others, but which has not received wide-scale industry backing.

One stumbling block may be the price IBM is seeking. One executive described IBM’s initial asking price of $1 billion as “pretty optimistic.”


IBM appoints new chief of global business partners

January 6th, 2014

IBM veteran Marc Dupaquier has been named as the company’s new general manager of Global Business Partners, CRN has learned.

Dupaquier, who has spent 29 years with IBM, replaces former general manager Mark Hennessy. Dupaquier most recently served as vice president of marketing and strategy at IBM’s Systems and Technology Group. He also served as general manager of IBM’s global midmarket business and head of marketing for IBM Software Group.

Hennessy, who was appointed general manager of Global Business Partners in January of 2012, will take over an as-yet-unannounced role at IBM. Prior to heading up IBM’s partner business, Hennessy served as general manager of IBM’s Northeast Europe business, in addition to several channel management roles.

Dupaquier told CRN that he’s built strong ties with IBM partners over the years in his past roles at Big Blue and will rely on that experience as head of Global Business Partners. In particular, Dupaquier said he will work on helping partners take advantage of IBM’s growing software business, which has seen a number of acquisitions in recent years as well as a shift to the cloud.

“The software business has changed so much,” he said. “There’s the software license business and now the software service business with the cloud, and I think that gives more opportunities for partners.”


IBM to Establish Software Incubation Centres in Lagos, Calabar

September 11th, 2013

The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of International Business Machines (IBM), Ms. Virginia Ginny Rometty, said yesterday the company had concluded arrangements to establish two software incubation centres in Lagos and Calabar, by the first quarter of 2014.

Rometty made the disclosure in Abuja while she led the company’s delegation on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson.

She added the centres would help in the overall development of the nation’s human capital development. She said: “We have a long-term commitment to this continent and Nigeria.

“I have actually selected Africa and Nigeria especially to make our focal point for growth in the next decade and we have invested both in people, skills and some of our most precious resources such as innovation and research centres to be on this continent.

“In fact Nigeria is our hub for Africa. So one of our purposes of visiting the minister today is to talk about something called the innovation hub that we shall be opening in the first quarter of 2014 and it will be focused on key industries such as in banking, telecommunications, government, oil and gas solution”

Rometty said she was very optimistic about the future of Africa especially Nigeria in the growth of ICT. “We hope to continue in the way of employer of labour in the country.” She said.

Earlier, Johnson said the present administration was concerned about leveraging what IBM is doing so as to increase the penetration of ICT skills and knowledge in the country. She said: “Our meeting with IBM today is to help accelerate the development of Nigeria as an important hub of global ICT centre. First of all it get more Nigerians into the ICT and also establishing innovation Centres in Calabar and Lagos that will help solve some of the biggest challenges that we have using technology.”

She admitted that Nigeria was going to benefit from the establishment of these centres. “This ICT development and programmes will help accelerate the development of this country. This innovative will really help us to begin to think of innovative ways of how to bring ICT with many of the challenges that we are faced with today. IBM as a big company spends so much on research every year and they are to bring that expertise to support the development of Nigeria.”

On how many Nigerians will be empowered from the innovative centres, Johnson said: “Though we have not set a target in terms of how many people that we are going to empower with these Centres. What we are actually doing is trying to develop ICT skills all around the economy which runs into thousands of numbers that will make impact in the country.

“On a more broader basis we want to give more young Nigerians broader based ICT skills because research has shown that most of the jobs that are going to be created in the country will around ICT services. And so it is important for us to build these skills in their thousands.”


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