IBM acquired cloud software testing company Green Hat today. This marks the first acquisition for the company’s new CEO, Ginni Romett, and the third in the last month.IBM has vowed to spend $20 billion by 2015 shopping for new companies, and with the worldwide economy still slow, it should get a lot for its money … it is a buyer’s market. Terms of today’s deal were not disclosed.
Green Hat is an interesting buy for IBM. Whenever software developers write a new application they have to test it. Before the cloud, software companies and enterprises would spend big bucks building labs that simulated their environments so they could test their newly written software. These labs are called test and development or testdev. Green Hat is among an army of companies that eliminates this need, allowing a virtual software test bed to be done in the cloud and to be set up in minutes, not weeks.
This kind of cloud software testing has been a major reason enterprises use cloud services including Amazon, Google, Red Hat’s OpenShift cloud, even IBM’s own SmartCloud. (Amazon offers at least a dozen testdev tools from partners.)
However, Green Hat will be added to IBM’s software development unit, Rational Software under the direction of Kristof Kloeckner, rather than the SmartCloud unit. It will be added into its software development suit, the IBM Rational Solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management, giving that tool cloud testdev functions. In this way, developers don’t need to go out and search for a cloud to test their new software. Obviously, IBM will also sell it as a separate service for those who desire that.
The buy indicates that IBM’s new CEO won’t be making any radical left-turns in the company’s acquisition strategy. All told, IBM has completed six acquisitions in about three months and bought three in December alone: Cúram Software, DemandTec and Emptoris.