IBM completes the asset acquisition of Outblaze

Basically, this deal will help IBM compete with Microsoft, Google and Cisco Systems in the market for low-priced hosted e-mail and collaboration services, especially for small and midsize businesses. Gartner News Analysis

IBM
Just received the news that the acquisition of Outblaze has been completed. We are adding the talent and technology of Outblaze Ltd to accelerate our entry into the online services market – a key component of our collaboration cloud computing strategy. These assets will expand the capabilities offered by LotusLive . LotusLive is industry’s first cloud-based service designed to help businesses work smarter by forming virtual communities in the cloud, connecting colleagues, partners, suppliers and clients within, and beyond, their own firewalls.

Official Press Release

IBM Establishes First Cloud Computing Laboratory in Hong Kong
Closes Outblaze Ltd. Asset Acquisition to deliver Secure Web Mail on LotusLive.com

ARMONK, NY and HONG KONG – 16 Apr 2009: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it is establishing the first IBM cloud computing laboratory in Hong Kong. The new facility will provide a global hub for Web-based messaging services to support IBM’s emerging LotusLive (www.lotuslive.com/) cloud service portfolio, which offers affordable, company-to-company social networking and online collaboration tools.

IBM also announced the closing of the acquisition of Outblaze Limited’s messaging assets. Privately-held Outblaze operates one of the largest online service platforms for the provision of secure, private-label email, collaboration and social media services to other service providers, telecommunications operators, corporations, academia, media and publishing companies. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

With more than 10 years of experience delivering messaging solutions, Outblaze was one of the first companies to offer a fully- hosted, multilingual e-mail service. Today Outblaze offers services in 22 languages and has more than 40 million users under management. While Outblaze has customers and employees worldwide, it brings unique experience serving high-growth Asian markets including China, India, and Singapore.

LotusLive.com is designed to help businesses work smarter by forming virtual communities in the cloud, connecting colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers from within and beyond their own firewalls. The Outblaze asset purchase adds Web-based email to IBM’s expanding portfolio of online collaboration tools. Subscribers will be able to instantly provision email accounts and users can access their e-mail from any computer through any Web browser.

The new lab will be located in Hong Kong’s Cyberport complex, an information technology center developed to foster innovation within the Asia-Pacific region.

"We are happy to note that IBM, one of the world-renowned leaders in innovation and computing, is taking the lead in establishing a cloud computing laboratory in Hong Kong," said Jeremy Godfrey, Hong Kong Government Chief Information Officer. "The new IBM laboratory marks a milestone in Hong Kong’s information technology industry as it has the potential to help businesses jump-start their cloud computing projects and enhance their computing capabilities to compete in the global marketplace."

Strategically located near emerging growth markets, IBM intends to increase its investment in this center to take advantage of the global opportunity for online web 2.0 collaboration. The new facility brings the number of IBM’s worldwide Cloud Labs to 10. IBM Cloud Labs provide a range of services including development of online services that take advantage of the promised economies of scale offered by cloud computing.

"IBM is focused on helping businesses, large and small, work smarter to drive innovation up and costs down and this new cloud lab will reinforce that," said Bob Picciano, general manager, IBM Lotus Software. "LotusLive.com will soon include the most secure, scalable, business-ready Web mail in the industry as part of a full-service collaboration suite to help simplify and improve the way organizations work with their customers and partners."

Businesses of all sizes will be able to use IBM as the provider for their full range of email needs, whether on-premise or hosted, from casual to intense usage. Business partners such as telecommunications operators and Internet service providers will be able to package and sell collaborative services to their clients under their own brands.