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September 8, 2016updated 22 Sep 2016 2:34pm

5 most important cloud acquisitions so far this year

They may not all cost a lot but they hold a lot of value.

By James Nunns

Competition for a place at the top of the cloud industry shows no sign of slowing down. Data centre construction, a boat load of new products and services, and plenty of acquisitions.

Making acquisitions in order to boost the portfolio of the vendor is an extremely well worn path. Some companies are traditionally more acquisition heavy than others, but sometimes it is quality over quantity.

In 2016 a number of cloud companies have made big acquisitions, CBR takes a look at them.


1. Oracle buys NetSuite for $9.3bn

Oracle is no stranger to an acquisition but this one could hold a great deal of significance.

Big Red has been trying its hardest to catch up with the cloud market leaders of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure and it’s not because Oracle’s technology isn’t quite there.

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The company can boast one of the most impressive portfolios when it comes to traditional software and now cloud services. The problem is that Oracle was a bit late to the game and was forced to make up ground.

The acquisition of NetSuite on 28th of July could hold the key to unlocking greater revenue streams in the cloud. NetSuite provides Oracle with much greater access to the mid-tier market and successful integration of it will boost Big Red’s product portfolio.

But will it be a FrankenCloud?

2. IBM acquires Bluewolf for around $200m

This may not be the most costly acquisition, but it is a significant one.

Bluewolf is a consulting company that specialises in helping businesses to use Salesforce, in addition to other cloud software applications.

For IBM the deal gives it a front row seat to Salesforce and significantly strengthens Big Blue’s consulting services.

The importance of this is related to the positioning of Salesforce as a core component of digital transformation efforts. Because Salesforce has become an important piece of the digital transformation puzzle it is a good move by IBM to align itself closely to it.

IBM made the acquisition in March this year. Bluewolf CEO Eric Berridge talked to CBR about the deal.

3. Salesforce buys Demandware for $2.8bn

The acquisition of Demandware, a US provider of enterprise cloud commerce solutions on June 1st points to Salesforce targeting a stronger offering in the digital commerce market.

The size of the opportunity, according to Gartner, is a market that will reach $8.544 billion by 2020.

Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce said: "With Demandware, Salesforce will be well positioned to deliver the future of commerce as part of our Customer Success Platform and create yet another billion dollar cloud."

The aim is for Salesforce customers to have accesss to a leading enterprise cloud commerce platform, while Demandware’s customers will be able to leverage the raft of services that Salesforce offers such as analytics, IoT, platform solutions, and more.

4. Amazon Web Services acquires Cloud9

Amazon Web Services isn’t particularly known for being highly active with acquisitions, so  the deal to buy a start-up which offers a cloud-based integrated development environment for building web and mobile applications, holds significance.

The interest behind the deal for AWS could be that it is hoping to lure customers away from other companies IDEs, for example Microsoft’s Visual Studio.

Founded in 2010, Cloud9 supports over 40 different programming languages and lets remote teams work together on code.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

5. Google acquires Orbitera

The deal, which is thought to be for over $100m, saw Google acquire a company that provides tools that software makers can use to sell their products as cloud-based services.

Nan Boden, head of global technology partners for the Google Cloud Platform said: “The current model for the deploying, managing and billing of cloud-based software does not easily fit the way today’s modern enterprises operate. Orbitera automates many of the processes associated with billing, packaging and pricing optimization for leading businesses and ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) supporting customers running in the cloud.”

The significance of the deal is that Google has been playing cloud catch up mainly due to a failure to appeal to enterprises. So if Orbitera is successfully integrated then it will provide Google with the kind of technology which is appealing.

The acquired company has previously been a partner of AWS and the CEO, Marcin Kurc, also spent three years working at AWS. So what better way to learn to beat AWS than to get someone who has been a part of it.

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