Cloud M&A Ramps Up This Week, Led by Accenture, DigitalOcean

Find out which companies they’re buying, and why.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

September 8, 2021

4 Min Read
Ramp Up

Cloud M&A kicked up a notch this week, led by Accenture and DigitalOcean.

First, Paris-based Accenture is continuing its acquisitions spree with the intent to purchase Benext. Founded in 2014 and based in France, Benext acts as an independent product consulting company. It specializes in product management, agile coaching, cloud-based development and data science.

Accenture is not sharing financial details around its cloud M&A because the companies it’s buying are privately held. But Accenture did say Benext, if the deal goes through, would bring 160 professionals to its Octo Technology division and expand its Accenture Cloud First capabilities.


Cloud First’s Karthik Narain

Karthik Narain is global lead at Accenture Cloud First. “With many clients ramping up their multicloud environments, the need for new agile operating models and a seamless user experience … has never been greater,” he said. “Acquiring Benext would be a valuable addition to help more clients truly operate in the cloud and become digital enterprises. For clients, this ultimately equates to reaching a tipping point of change and pivoting the entirety of their business toward new opportunities.”


Accenture’s Olivier Girard

Olivier Girard is market unit lead for Accenture France & Benelux. He said that pairing Benext with Accenture “would bring more specialized skills to fulfill the growing demand for effective product management and agile methods.”

An Alliance of Expertise

David Robert, founder and president of Benext, made a similar observation.


Benext’s David Robert

“We are excited about this opportunity based on our history and [it] would accelerate our strategy,” he said. “The combination of our two organizations’ expertise allied with our deep product management expertise would enable us to take the services offered to our clients to a whole new level. Together, we can help clients reimagine their products, re-engineer their product life cycles and optimize their customers’ experiences.”

Accenture has to consult with “relevant work councils” and adhere to customary closing conditions before it can wrap up this round of cloud M&A.

Speaking of, though, the global consultancy now officially owns Wabion. That’s the Google Cloud services boutique it said in July it would buy. Wabion, founded in 2004, focuses on Europe. It maintains headquarters in Esslingen, Germany and Olten, Switzerland. It runs other offices in Munich, Cologne and Lausanne. Wabion delivers consulting and implementation services for Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace. It also offers integration, development, licensing and training. This plethora of capabilities will augment Accenture’s own competencies and footprint. Wabion has earned premier status with Google Cloud.

Next Up, DigitalOcean

Meanwhile, DigitalOcean — the fast-moving company gaining market share against the Big 3 — yesterday snapped up Nimbella. DigitalOcean focuses on cloud computing for developers. Nimbella delivers a serverless platform. As such, DigitalOcean will expand into the “function-as-a-service” (FaaS) sector.

Apologies for yet another acronym. FaaS is defined by IBM as “a type of cloud-computing service that allows you to execute code in response to events without the complex infrastructure typically associated with building and launching microservices applications.”

DigitalOcean says adding FaaS will give its developers access to a range of capabilities, including IaaS and PaaS. DigitalOcean targets developers in small and medium businesses. But those experts often face challenges when adopting serverless computing. Nimbella was built to overcome those obstacles, the company says, partly because it builds on open-source Kubernetes and Apache OpenWhisk.

Yancey Spruill is CEO of DigitalOcean.“Serverless computing is the next evolution of cloud that further removes the need for developers to manage complex infrastructure,” he said. “We are excited to have Nimbella join DigitalOcean to address specific needs often requested by our customers and fill a gap in the current serverless offerings in the market. People want to access the benefits of serverless capabilities without a significant learning curve. And they want functionality and pricing that is easy to understand and predictable.”

A Tremendous Opportunity

Anshu Agarwal, CEO of Nimbella, agreed.

“Our mission has been clear since the beginning — to build a serverless platform that unlocks the power and capabilities of the cloud for developers of all skill sets,” he said. “This in turn allows new applications and APIs to be created faster, more securely and more economically. Joining DigitalOcean provides us a tremendous…

…opportunity to accelerate this vision.”

Publicly-held DigitalOcean did not disclose terms of its cloud M&A. However, it did say its 2021 financial outlook does not change as a result of the deal. DigitalOcean plans to fully integrate Nimbella into its portfolio, and launch the product under the DigitalOcean brand, in the first half of next year.

DigitalOcean is positioning itself as an alternative to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. According to data from B2B marketing firm Enlyft, which tracks organizations that use various companies, DigitalOcean has gained 3.24% market share. Most of DigitalOcean’s customers (47%, according to Enlyft) are located in the United States.


Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.


About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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