Wheelings & Dealings: Majority Stake in IT Enterprise Cloud Company Acquired by Ericsson

By Joe Rizzo

This morning, Ericsson announced that is purchasing a majority stake in San Francisco-based Apcera. This is a company that was founded in 2012 by Derek Collison, a former Google executive who also designed a VMware product called Cloud Foundry.  Actually, today’s announcement is twofold, at the same time Apcera also announced that it was launching its new product called Continuum.

The company describes Continuum as an IT platform designed to blend the delivery models of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). The idea is to overlay them all with technology that handles policy.

According to a blog post from Apcera, PaaS is supposed to be great for developers, unfortunately, it is not enough to deliver applications for mature companies that must deal not only with technology but must also deal with compliance and regulatory rules and regulations.

According to Collison, Continuum is targeted toward big companies, although he does think that smaller enterprises that are currently struggling with development and network perimeter-based security models will also be looking to use the product.

This is where Apcera takes advantage of today’s announcement about Ericsson. Continuum makes big promises to big companies in terms of development, deployment and managing workloads all wrapped in a package that takes into account compliance and policy. This is a big order to fill and with Ericsson’s backing, Apcera will now have the funds to accomplish its task.

Ericsson sees cloud technology as disrupting the global information and communication technology infrastructure market. This means that service providers must modernize to provide more value to their customers. With the addition of Apcera's PaaS technology to Ericsson's Cloud offerings, Ericsson will be able to deliver complete cloud automation to run all workloads and use cases. At the same time it can provide complete control for infrastructure.

As a follow up, Jason Hoffman, who is vice president and head of product line cloud software at Ericsson said, "The beauty of the cloud is that it is much more efficient to develop, roll-out and operate applications. To realize the full potential, cloud environments need security and governance, which our partnership with Guardtime and our acquisition of a majority stake in Apcera provides. With these technologies in place, enterprises and individuals can trust the integrity and the confidentiality of their infrastructure. When you think about why people don’t use clouds, it’s because people don’t trust them -- they’re not governed."

The following are some of the highlights and Ericsson’s announcement about acquiring a major stake in Apcera:

  • Adds next-generation platform as-a-service (PaaS) technology to Ericsson Cloud System. Ericsson sees PaaS as key to success in cloud
  • Provides governance and automation of operator and enterprise IT operations
  • Apcera will operate as a standalone company and Ericsson commits significant  funding for Apcera's technology and global expansion of its enterprise sales channel
  • Strengthens Ericsson's position in the cloud market by extending the company's network approach into operator and enterprise cloud

Collison made the following comments, "We welcome Ericsson's backing. With a history of transforming the world's most demanding businesses and the global ability to deploy and scale critical infrastructure, Ericsson will enable us to accelerate our innovation of Continuum and provide enterprises the next-generation platform that enables them to achieve a significantly faster time-to-market as they deploy, orchestrate and govern a diverse set of workloads, both on premise and in the cloud."

Apcera will retain its name and operate as a standalone company. Founder and CEO Derek Collison will continue as CEO. This is expected to be an all cash deal, which is projected to have a completion date of sometime in the fourth quarter 2014. What is not known at this time is the actual dollar figure associated with the transaction.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

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