The Ericsson cloud strategy took a step into big-enteprise territory today, as the company announced it plans to take a majority stake in Apcera, which today is launching its platform-as-a-service (PaaS), Continuum.
Specifics of the all-cash deal weren’t disclosed, and that includes the percentage of Apcera that Ericsson would own. But the press release makes it clear that this is an acquisition. Apcera would continue to operate independently but would report its earnings as part of Segment Networks, the newly formed combination of Ericsson’s Radio business unit and Cloud & IP business unit.
Ericsson, in turn, would take Apcera under its wing, helping develop the startup’s sales channel and ecosystem. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
Apcera’s platform is intended for large enterprise deployments that combine a variety of clouds with on-premises facilities. Its primary feature is to infuse policy awareness into all the applications involved. That’s important for cases when regulations prevent data from being housed offshore, for instance, and the Snowden revelations about the NSA have added juice to that idea. The trend is one reason why Cisco is acquiring Metacloud.
Ericsson describes the deal — and the company’s growing fascination with the cloud and enterprise IT — as an extension of its franchise in the management of telecom networks. A big chunk of that came from the 2012 acquisition of Telcordia.
But Ericsson plans to apply Apcera to the telecom world too, as Jason Hoffman, the Ericsson vice president in charge of cloud software, told GigaOm. (Ericsson hired Hoffman, a founder and former CEO of Joyent, about a year ago, and it’s likely that he orchestrated the Apcera deal, according to The New Stack.)
Apcera was founded in 2012 by CEO Derek Collison, a well known name in recent PaaS history. Collison was the head of Cloud Foundry, the VMware PaaS project that’s since been rolled into Pivotal, a joint EMC/VMware spinout.