IBM picks up Classic Blue for SMB push

IBM has picked up Australian disaster recovery specialist, Classic Blue, as part of plans to widen its small to medium business continuity services capabilities.

IBM business resilience and continuity services manager, Lara Fidler, said Classic Blue would be a complementary fit to its existing services team, giving it the ability to further reach into disaster recovery services for SMBs.

She said the business continuity market was a key growth area across A/NZ, and according to an IBM survey, one of the top three priorities for local CIOs.

Classic Blue's skills in multi-client platforms would also widen IBM's services offering, Fidler said.

"This deal is also important for our regional capacity: organisations want support in their local state," she said. "IBM had data centres in Sydney, Victoria and Perth. Classic Blue extends this to South Australia, Queensland, and additional sites in Victoria and Sydney."

Combined, the two organisations would operate 11 data centre recovery facilities across Australia, Fidler said. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Current executive chairman of Classic Blue, Adrian Bogatez, said he had been looking to inject new capital into the company to help build out its data centre capabilities in Sydney as well as acquire further data centres nationally. These discussions had led to the acquisition of Classic Blue by IBM.

Because of the relatively little overlap between the skill sets of the two organisations, IBM planned to retain most of Classic Blue's 62 full-time staff, Fidler said.

Classic Blue would continue to operate as normal over the next 12 months while IBM gained a better understanding of the organisation, she said.

A decision would then be made as to whether to retain the company's masthead.

Bogatez said the deal would give Classic Blue access to substantial financial support and resources while attaching it to a well recognised and respected IT brand.

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