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October 18, 2012

IBM Looks to Take Red Bend Software in Nine-Figure Deal

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Earlier today, reports suggested IBM (News - Alert) was poised to stage a buyout of the Israeli firm known as Red Bend Software. Sources put the value of the buyout at $250 million, but the potential value for IBM in picking up the Israeli firm, whose primary focus is on mobile management, may be much bigger.

The deal itself is said to be in "advanced negotiations," which suggests it's not likely to fall through, so barring calamity, it looks as though IBM will have a whole new and very desirable set of tools in its toolbox in the not too distant future.

Red Band holds what estimates peg as 71 percent of the mobile software management market, which would give IBM a very big share of a current market and make it a force to be reckoned with as the bring your own device (BYOD) movement gains steam.

Red Bend Software has been in operation since 1999, and already has over a billion mobile phones and similar devices with its firmware installed on them. Red Bend also boasts a wide variety of mobile partners, including major names like Samsung (News - Alert), LG and Dell – with plenty of others in the wings.

Red Bend not only works with the Android operating system, but is also geared toward a number of older operating systems, giving it plenty of versatility.

The deal is said to be unconfirmed, which left both IBM and Red Bend Software refusing to "respond to rumors and speculation.” So there's a chance this may not come off. But since IBM and Red Bend were already seen working together via the integration of Red Bend's Software Management Center system with IBM's PureApplication and PureFlex systems, it's a safe bet they'll ultimately stick together.

IBM is likely already seeing benefit from its work with Red Bend in that earlier integration, and since the deal itself is in "advanced negotiations," it's not likely to fail at this late stage. With the BYOD movement gaining steam and the remote worker concept already well in play, having that mobile device management capability is almost certainly going to prove valuable for a lot of businesses who find themselves in need of a way to keep track of mobile operations – even when their workers aren't immediately underfoot.

When software can do the job that helps fuel a movement that both improves morale and, in several ways, sheer bottom-line impact potential, it's an improvement all the way around for companies and workers alike.

Edited by Braden Becker

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