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IBM Isn’t Buying Salesforce — But This Is Close

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IBM, like Microsoft, was rumored in recent months to be planning a takeover of Salesforce as it looked to enhance its enterprise focus and boost its Global Business Services consulting unit.

On Thursday (March 31), reports emerged that IBM has indeed struck a buyout deal with Salesforce — but it’s not what you think.

According to the firms, IBM will acquire Salesforce-owned Bluewolf, a unit that helps businesses integrate Salesforce’s customer relationship management solutions into their operations — a market that IBM says is worth about $111 billion a year.

The financial details of the takeover were not reported, but IBM will reportedly be acquiring Bluewolf’s offices in 13 cities across the U.S., Australia and Europe. IBM will combine the staff into its existing Interactive Experience unit, also known as iX, which provides companies with cloud and analytics consulting and solutions.

Reports highlighted iX’s role in IBM’s Global Business Services division, which the corporation has been focusing on for growth in recent years. Bluewolf will be the fourth acquisition impacting this unit this year, reports added, following the takeover of Resource/Ammirati, Aperto and ecx.io.

IBM said it plans to close the acquisition by the middle of the year.

The company has made some adjustments in recent months other than mergers and acquisitions, however.

Last year, the company divested its supply chain management software LogicTools, bought by Llamasoft.

And recently, IBM has been focusing internally on blockchain solutions. Last month, the firm announced plans to test, in-house, blockchain software to help streamline use of IBM hardware. It also said it plans to introduce a free, open-source solution to help developers create their own blockchain solutions. Reports said the plans make IBM one of the largest, most prominent supporters behind distributed ledger technology.

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