In a recent conversation, a friend pointed out that IBM® has been selling (sorry, “divesting”) some of their products to UNICOM® recently. So I had a quick look and found the following:
- UNICOM® Global Acquires IBM® Rational® System Architect from IBM Corp (2015.12.31)
- UNICOM® Global Acquires IBM® Data Collection Suite from IBM Corp (2015.10.31)
- UNICOM® Global Acquires IBM® Rational® Focal Point and Rational® PurifyPlus Solutions from IBM® Corp (2014.12.01)
- UNICOM® Global Acquires Cognos® Finance Business Analytics Software from IBM® Corp (2014.07.16)
- UNICOM® Global Acquires solidDB® from IBM® Corp (2014.07.01)
- UNICOM® Global Acquires the Cognos® Application Development Tools suite from IBM® Corp (2013.12.21)
OK…The “fire sale” title may be a bit strong, but some of these products were already not getting all the love they deserve from IBM, so this may be a good thing (for IBM, maybe less for the users).
Given the history UNICOM® has with IBM products, many of these should not be a surprise and I hope my Cognos friends are in a better position to move them forward.
I will admit that having worked in Rational, I’m a bit sad about seeing some of the tools change hands. I remember System Architect from the Popkin days (way before I was part of IBM) as one of the first commercial modeling tools I’ve used. I’ve worked a lot with PurifyPlus in the past both prior to and at IBM and, though it is rather old, it was a very good tool. And as a product manager at IBM, I enjoyed using Focal Point (which came over with the Telelogic acquisition). I do hope that they have found a good home an that the development teams have been well taken care of.
On the other hand, such acquisitions do offer the potential for competition to get in there, as Corso seems to be doing for System Architect. Do check these guys out – Corso is run by really good guys who are undeniable experts in their field! And no, I am not getting a cut…
This also begs the question as to whether other Rational tools could be divested. I can certainly see that the tools directly related to cloud or IOT, such as Rhapsody, are probably safe, being well aligned with the direction IBM seems to be taking. But some of the other modelling tools might be considered if that business worsen, especially given that very decent lower cost and, especially, open source alternatives exist that are backed by industry (OK, I will admit to having an interest in that one…).
And maybe IBM will repeat their Eclipse experiment and contribute some of these tools to open source…
One can only hope, but the future will continue to be interesting.
[2016.01.13] Update: Check out Gartner’s analysis of the Rational System Architect acquisition by UNICOM®!