IBM Wraps Red Hat Acquisition, ‘Not Talking About Layoffs’
With IBM‘s acquisition of Red Hat now formally completed, both companies are working to reassure customers and channel partners that the new arrangement will be good for technology-hungry enterprises and for the MSPs, VARs, resellers and others that help them build and manage their IT systems.
The companies formally announced the closure of the $34 billion acquisition Tuesday, along with reassurances that the deal will allow Red Hat to maintain its independence and long history of a progressive and successful open-source culture.
IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat, announced with a splash last October, is designed to increase the stakes and opportunities of both companies in the cloud marketplace — especially in hybrid cloud. The move comes more than 20 years after both companies first began working together, dating back to when Red Hat was just a startup offering its open-source Linux operating system as a free download or on CDs at technology conferences.
“When we started on this journey of Linux many years ago, of making Linux the ubiquitous platform out there and then further on down the line really building our portfolio around that to build a truly hybrid cloud product portfolio, our goal had always been to make that the ubiquitous set of technologies and platforms across the enterprise,” said Paul Cormier, executive vice president and president of products and technologies for Red Hat. “I think today what we’ve seen and what we start on is that journey on steroids. With IBM taking that forward, it will accelerate that journey for us in spades.”
Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of IBM’s cloud and cognitive software division, said the Red Hat acquisition continues IBM on a path of being involved with open-source software for more than 20 years.
“We fundamentally believe that open source is a way to bring innovation to the market,” said Krishna. “We have this common belief of what hybrid cloud means to our clients. We believe that hybrid cloud unlocks tremendous value and is the only way forward for our clients.”
And with only about 20% of the company’s customers making a move to hybrid cloud so far, according to IBM’s research, that means there are plenty of business opportunities for the two companies to work on together, he said.
“This, what we’re calling chapter two of the cloud journey, is what excites us both,” said Krishna.
One oft-mentioned concern from outsiders is that IBM’s purchase of Red Hat Linux would squash Red Hat’s positive culture and douse the creative juices of its developers, workers and staff.
Cormier again worked to counter those fears Tuesday, repeating the recent words of Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, who said that IBM has no desire to meld the cultures of the two very different companies together.
“Our culture has been built on what has made us successful — bringing our products through …