IBM closes acquisition of Aspera

In December, IBM announced its intention to acquire file transfer technology specialist Aspera. Today (20 January), it was confirmed that the multinational technology and consulting corporation had completed the deal. Financial terms have not been disclosed. Late last year, after news of the pending deal had first broken, SVG US’s Brandon Costa spoke at length to Aspera co-founder and CEO, Michelle Munson, who described it as an “exciting day” for the company and its clients.

“There is such an explosive market demand for solutions to enable large data sharing and transfer,” Munson told Costa. “Within the entire entertainment and sports viewing community, large video assets are one of the most common forms of data. This opportunity here, to partner with IBM, allows us to scale up what we’ve been doing here at Aspera for the last nine years and to make it last into the future.”

Munson will lead the new business unit under the IBM umbrella and, according to her, the full Aspera team and its branding will remain in place, including its patented fasp technology.

Licensed to clients and partners either in the cloud or on premise, Aspera’s high-speed transfer technology reduces transmission times for large files or data sets.  fasp helps clients overcome inherent bottlenecks in broadband wide-area networks that slow the transfer of extremely large files, such as high-definition video, over distance.

“The plan for IBM is to build upon exactly what we’ve created: the core technology, the customer base, the product line, and the integration points,” said Munson. “And for us, its not only business as usual, it will be an expansion to serve an even broader market.”

For IBM, the acquisition builds upon its Smarter Commerce initiative by allowing businesses to accelerate their digital supply chains between partners and suppliers. The deal also extends IBM’s capabilities in Managed File Transfer with a complementary set of capabilities to help enterprises with their data transfers.

“Our experience working with thousands of clients on Big Data projects tells us that companies can better compete and win when they can quickly extract value from massive volumes of data,” said John Mesberg, vice-president, B2B and commerce solutions at IBM, in an official release. “With this acquisition, IBM addresses a key challenge for globally integrated enterprises by allowing them to move large data files much faster to the individuals who need them, wherever in the world they may be.”

For Aspera, Munson is looking forward to a “doubling down” of efforts from the company in areas including innovation, direct product education and outreach, and overall customer support.

“The SVG audience is particularly important to the next generation of video because of the consumption of it through the sports viewing audience,” she said. “There’s such an opportunity there for innovation around multiscreen and the combination of real-time with delivery. That is something that Aspera is going to keep investing in heavily.”


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