IBM To Acquire Silverpop, Enlarges Cloud Computing Services

IBM reported Thursday it was entering into an agreement to acquire Silverpop, a privately held software company based in Atlanta, Ga., as it attempts to grab a bigger share of cloud computing to support marketing services.

Big Blue believes that combining its enterprise marketing portfolio with Silverpop's marketing automation and real-time personalization technology will create the most complete and advanced customer engagement solution for all types of businesses, from startups to multinational enterprises.

Privately held Silverpop employs about 500. Founded in 1999, it supports email marketing, lead management, multichannel marketing and marketing automation. The company extends IBM’s client base to power the marketing capabilities of 8,000 organizations in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Cloud computing and marketing services remain a heightened focus for IBM. The company recently launched the campaign "Made With IBM," 50 television spots that the company calls mini stories that air during the Masters golf tournament, April 9-13, on CBS and ESPN. Each of the spots demonstrates how companies collaborate with IBM's technologies related to Big Data, cloud computing, mobile devices and Watson.

Partner Ogilvy & Mather created the IBM spots. The campaign spans TV, print, digital and social media.

Advertising and mobile media continue to fuel the growth of other industries like cloud computing. Most enterprises have been slow to build up their cloud infrastructure to support marketing because they underestimated the impact of cloud computing. Small and medium-sized business were first to adopt public cloud services, especially in North America.

A J.P. Morgan survey on cloud infrastructure suggests the average spending growth for IT will reach 4.4% in 2014, up from 3.3% in the prior year. The allocation of IT dollars to cloud deployments will increase to 6.0% in 2014, up from 4.6% in 2013. This could mean more business for Amazon, Cisco, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce as they attempt to increase cloud services.

Some 73% of cloud-related spending still lives with legacy companies. The survey suggests that companies are stuck with legacy vendors due to better service licensing agreements, reliability and cost savings, while others moves to newer cloud providers, such as Amazon, Google and Rackspace Hosting for their technology road maps and cost savings, per the J.P. Morgan survey.

"Businessman pushing a cloud on a touch screen interface" photo from Shutterstock.

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