Big Blue gets deeper into devops with UrbanCode buy

Contact: Jay Lyman, Tejas Venkatesh

IBM has announced the acquisition of release automation vendor UrbanCode. The deal helps Big Blue gain new ‘devops’ capability and audience as mainstream enterprise verticals embrace the trend of faster, more automated software releases.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but we understand that UrbanCode had about 55 employees. The startup did not raise any institutional funding in its 17-year history. While IBM certainly has similar capabilities in its Tivoli systems management software, many organizations are using automation and orchestration suites on top of or integrated with their systems management. UrbanCode gives Big Blue a better story for the last mile of software releases.

The deal follows similar moves by IBM’s competitors. Just last night, during the opening session of CA World, CA Technologies announced that it had picked up UrbanCode rival Nolio. Similarly, BMC grew its devops capabilities through the acquisitions of StreamStep in October 2011 and VaraLogix in August 2012.

The rapid-fire pace of M&A indicates the growing importance of the devops trend, which represents a departure from traditional, organizational silos for development and IT operations. Devops continues to grow beyond technology and Web 2.0-type customers to more mainstream enterprise verticals such as financial services, insurance, retail, healthcare, media and entertainment, all of which are represented among UrbanCode’s clients.

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