Consolidation in the big data space continues with the announcement by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) that it has bought Infochimps, a provider of big data PaaS based in Texas. Infochimps is a relative minnow compared with CSC, but seems like CSC was quite keen on getting it.
CSC Buys Infochimps
Like many of these deals, financial details of the transaction were not published, neither does CSC say how Infochimps products fit into its data services platform, but the fate of Infochimps is interesting, even if only for the insight into what the big data market gorillas are actually looking for.
While there are bigger vendors hanging around the IT block, with 87,000 employees worldwide CSC is no pushover. Yet Infochimps, which was only founded in 2009 and really falls into the micro enterprise category (between 11 and 50 employees, according to its LinkedIn page) has something that CSC, and a lot of other big players want. It has expertise.
CSC has made no bones about the fact that this is the target of the acquisition and says that it will leave the company intact to operate standalone, at least for now. However, with the expertise that it offers, CSC will be able to scale its big data business as well as provide its customers with advanced analytics as a service.
This acquisition aligns directly with CSC’s focus on next-generation technology solutions and services...Infochimps’ expertise in building industrial-strength data platforms on open source technologies will advance CSC’s big data capabilities significantly," said Sashi Reddi, CSC’s vice president and general manager for Big Data and Analytics.
Big Data Skills Shortage
How the acquisition will impact on Infochimps remains to be seen, but CSC has said that it will immediately start offering Infochimps access to its application developers, software engineers and infrastructure professional, as well as its global sales and marketing teams.
This is the second big data buy CSC has made in the past few months, having bought Maryland-based 42Six Solutions last October.
With CSC’s global market, both buys bring it a set of skills that are increasingly difficult to find. In fact, expertise around big data and analytics have become so difficult to acquire, IBM has created a number of specialist schools to teach these skills.
In other instances it has invested heavily in universities that run academic programs for analytics and big data. CSC has opted to buy them, something which IBM has also been doing too.
But data scientist is now, as we saw during the week, officially a ‘sexy’ occupation and it is likely there will be a lot more acquisitions targeting these skills in the future.