By Tom Rosamilia
IBM has always taken the long view of its business strategy, continuously reinventing – from divesting its PC business to more recently its x86 business.
Today’s announcement that GLOBALFOUNDRIES plans to acquire IBM’s global commercial semiconductor technology business is one more step in the company’s reinvention. The Agreement reinforces IBM’s clear path, commitment and vision for systems and hardware.
IBM’s proven model for success is driven by focusing on the high-value segments of our systems portfolio driven by the unique innovation that only IBM can bring. GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ business model is to innovate through high-volume semiconductor manufacturing, which is enhanced by economies of scale.
If you’ve been following IBM’s hardware business closely, you’ve heard us talk about the need to continuously transform our business. OpenPOWER, Software-Defined Storage, Flash memory, connecting mobile and the mainframe and the sale of our x86 business to Lenovo are a few of the most recent examples.
Our strategy, and the reason for these changes, should be clear. IBM’s systems business is focused on driving innovation and open systems, areas where we add significant value. The company has built an arsenal of technologies and a strong portfolio to differentiate from the competition.
As an example, earlier this year we delivered a breakout strategy for our Power Systems – creating a distinctive open and collaborative model. In addition to Google, Mellonox, NVIDA and Tyan, we founded the OpenPOWER Foundation. The group has emerged at a time when service providers and large data centers are designing and building their own custom servers while, simultaneously, numerous disruptive forces are impacting system designs and driving designers to consider new ways of innovating.
And for the past 50 years, the mainframe has been the computing workhorse focused on data serving and transaction processing. The need for the mainframe is evolving – driven by the explosion of data and the demand of the growing number of mobile applications and transactions.
Finally, in the evolving storage arena, we are reinventing our storage business with a deep portfolio in Software Defined Storage and investments in Flash technology. As organizations seek to harness Big Data, IBM is offering new ways to manage, access, and store that data.
Moving forward, IBM will intensify its focus on the Power architecture, mainframe and storage systems, where it will apply IBM’s vaunted research and development capabilities to differentiate its offerings. The company plans to innovate in areas such as Big Data and cloud, allowing clients to capture value from opportunities in those segments.
And make no mistake about it: we’ll continue innovating in semiconductors too – the heart of our systems business. We’re continuing to invest in the people who are developing our advanced chip research and design capabilities. We’ll deploy these skills – and a $3 billion, 5-year investment – to ensure we sustain our incredible record of breakthrough innovations from IBM Research that we infuse into our servers and storage technologies.
Our vision for the future of systems has never been clearer:
- We are going to lead in creating highly differentiated servers and storage systems that can manage the latest big data, cloud, mobile and cognitive workloads.
- Our continued leadership in systems requires ongoing investment in semiconductor and material science research and development that drives innovation that matters for our clients.
- We will not remain static. We are always transforming to meet the needs of our clients in a very dynamic industry.
We’re looking forward to an exciting, dynamic and successful future.