There was a time when Lotus Notes and Domino were the cornerstones of IBM's software portfolio, enabling enterprise collaboration and productivity. Those days are now in the past, as IBM is divesting those assets, along with a number of other applications, to HCL Technologies.
HCL Technologies will pay IBM $1.8 billion, with the deal expected to close in mid-2019. In addition to Notes and Domino, HCL is acquiring several other enterprise applications, including: Appscan for secure application development, BigFix for secure device management, Unica (on-premises) for marketing automation, Commerce (on-premises) for omni-channel eCommerce, Portal (on-premises) for digital experience, and Connections for workstream collaboration.
"We believe the time is right to divest these select collaboration, marketing and commerce software assets, which are increasingly delivered as standalone products," John Kelly, IBM senior vice president, Cognitive Solutions and Research, wrote in a media advisory. " At the same time, we believe these products are a strong strategic fit for HCL, and that HCL is well positioned to drive innovation and growth for their customers."
IBM has increasingly been moving into cloud and artificial intelligence over the past four years, and has built up other assets that it will focus on.
Many of the applications being sold to HCL were originally acquired by IBM from other vendors.
IBM acquired Lotus Software, maker of Notes and Domino, in 1995 for $3.5 billion, though the Lotus brand wasn't dropped by IBM until 2012.
AppScan which is now being sold to HCL, was once the cornerstone of the IBM Rational software portfolio. IBM acquired the AppScan product portfolio as part of the acquisition of security vendor Watchfire in June 2007.
HCL Technologies is based in Noida, India, and positions itself as a digital transformation company. HCL and IBM had already been partnering on most of the acquired software assets.
"We continue to see great opportunities in the market to enhance our Mode-3 (Products and Platforms) offerings," C Vijayakumar, President & CEO, HCL Technologies, wrote in a media advisory. "The products that we are acquiring are in large growing market areas like Security, Marketing and Commerce, which are strategic segments for HCL. Many of these products are well regarded by clients and positioned in the top quadrant by industry analysts."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.