IBM swoops for Optevia

Public sector facing CRM specialist picked up by IBM as Big Blue looks to boost its SaaS offering

The idea of acquiring reseller expertise is not something restricted to the VAR level of the channel and vendors are just as capable of opening up the cheque book and snapping up a partner.

We don’t know what the number was written on the cheque that IBM presented to SaaS player Optevia because it has not been disclosed, but Big Blue has been happy to share the strategy behind the move.

IBM has quoted numbers from analysts that put the worldwide CRM market opportunity upwards of $23bn, with the cloud portion of that business expected to come in at more than 50%.

That shift has started to happen and the race is on to try and seize the high ground. The acquisition of Optevia is designed to put IBM ahead of rivals when it comes to being able to develop a SaaS CRM offering for the public sector.

Optevia has been around for 15 years and has developed a customer base in the UK emergency services, public sector, health and housing authorities selling its SaaS consultancy services.

The firm has a strong pedigree providing Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which it helped launch on stage with Bill Gates back in 2004, and following the deal will become part of IBM Global Business Services supporting the vendor’s CRM efforts in the public sector.

“By acquiring Optevia, IBM will be able to provide Public Sector clients and prospects with a range of unique, industry focused CRM based solutions,”said Joanna Davinson, IBM public sector leader – Europe.

“This strategic acquisition will help strengthen IBM as a SaaS provider and Global Software Integrator,” she added.

Recent customer wins and CRM roll-outs for Optevia include Wealden District Council, using the firm's expertise to improve customer service, Town & Country Housing, which wanted help developing a moneu support and service charge system and Surrey Fire and Rescue, which wanted to use technology to help it improve safety.

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