Technical assistance

Continuing the sequence of acquisitions, IBM acquires Bluetab, specialist in data management


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IBM Corp. today announced the acquisition of Bluetab Solutions Group SL, a Madrid-based software and consulting services provider aimed at helping businesses migrate their on-premises data management systems to the cloud.

Bluetab has around 700 employees who will be part of the tech giant’s data services consulting practice as a result of the deal. It is one of more than half a dozen companies that IBM has acquired since the start of the year to expand its portfolio of solutions.

Bluetab provides a software product called Fastcapture which uses machine learning algorithms to automatically organize business documents such as invoices and forms by category. It can also extract information from these documents. For example, a business uses Fastcapture to scan receipts and automatically extract the value of each transaction.

Organizing document information in a standardized form makes it easier to load information into business applications. In the process, Bluetab says, Fastcapture can free up time for a company‘s employees by automating repetitive data entry tasks.

Along with software, Bluetab provides consulting services to help companies migrate their on-premise analytics systems to the cloud. The company can set up an analytics environment for a company in the public cloud of their choice and, if necessary, manage the environment on behalf of the organization. Bluetab also supports smaller projects such as creating data transfer workflows for sharing information between different systems.

“The digital transformation from the outside to the inside of the past is giving way to the inside potential of using enterprise-owned data with AI and automation to drive business value and create flow of data. smart work, ”said Mark Foster, senior vice president of IBM services. and the Global Business Services business. “Our acquisition of Bluetab will fuel the migration to the cloud and help our customers derive even more value from their critical data. “

IBM has acquired more than half a dozen companies since the start of the year to expand its software and consulting business.

On the software side, IBM signed an agreement in April is said to be worth over $ 1.5 billion to purchase Turbonomic Inc., the provider of an artificial intelligence platform for the optimization of cloud applications. The platform can increase the performance of offsite enterprise workloads and reduce the amount of infrastructure they use. Previously IBM acquired a company called myInvenio Srl whose software helps identify business processes that a company could make more efficient by applying robotic process automation.

Consulting services also play an important role in IBM’s revenue growth strategy. Organizations often need technical assistance with implementing new software, which means IBM has the ability to bundle professional services into many of its software offerings. To develop this part of its activity, the company has acquired in recent months a series of consulting firms, more recently specializing in containerization of applications. BoxBoat Technologies Inc. Last week.

Bluetab, with its combination of software products and professional service offerings, advances IBM’s growth strategy in the software and consulting markets. It could also indirectly give IBM a boost in the AI ​​segment. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna at the end of last year named AI, as well as hybrid cloud, as key points in the company’s efforts to stimulate revenue growth.

AI projects rely heavily on the kind of data management infrastructure that Bluetab specializes in building and optimizing. Developing an AI application requires software engineers to train a neural network on a large amount of training data. This data, like other information in a business, must be organized and monitored for errors. The same goes for records that a machine learning model processes once it is run in production.

IBM’s Cloud & Cognitive Software unit, which includes many of its cloud and AI products, generated $ 5.4 billion in revenue in the last quarter. Its Global Business Services consulting business, meanwhile, increased revenue 2.4% to $ 4.2 billion.

IBM did not disclose the financial terms of the Bluetab acquisition. He expects the deal to be done in the third quarter.

Image: Patrick / Flickr

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