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HCL Technologies Acquires Majority Stake in Actian

HCL Technologies in collaboration with Sumeru Equity Partners this week acquired Actian, a provider of columnar database and data management software, for $330 million that is part of a bid to transform how managed services are delivered.

Kalyan Kumar

Actian will provide HCL Technologies with a data management framework that makes it simpler to bring data to where application code resides, says Kalyan Kumar, corporate vice president and CTO for IT services at HCL Technologies.

“There’s been a data explosion,” says Kumar. “The way managed services are provided is evolving.”

Applications may be running on-premise or in a cloud. Having a common later of data management software in place will allow HCL Technologies to move data across a hybrid cloud computing environment. The Actian columnar database technology will then enable HCL to analyze that data in near real time regardless of where it’s located, adds Kumar. Historically, IT organizations brought code to where the data resides. But increasingly, organizations are now moving data to where application code resides.

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In general, Kumar says HCL Technologies has committed $1.2 billion to acquire intellectual property. Headquartered in India, Kumar notes HCL already has a significant portfolio of technologies it makes available to its service customers.

Actian, however, will continue to operate as a unit of HCL Technologies; thereby hoping to keep relationships with solution providers that compete with its parent company intact, says Jeff Veis, senior vice president of marketing for Actian.

Jeff Veis

“We’re looking to cooperate with partners within the context of a larger ecosystem,” says Veis. “Co-opetition is what makes it fun.”

Overall, it’s clear managed services are starting to become less platform-centric. Organizations want managed service providers (MSPs) to be able to deliver services anywhere their applications are deployed. That shift requires MSPs to construct modern IT architecture on which services can be delivered anywhere at any time, including out to the network edge where an Internet of Things (IoT) application might reside.

Naturally, it may take some time for the shift to a more data-centric model for MSPs to play out. But already it’s more a matter of when rather than if.

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