Thursday, February 4, 2016

IBM Acquires Berlin-based Digital Marketing Firm ecx.io To Meet Growing Client Demand

Combined with the strategy, analytics, cloud and cognitive depth of IBM, the acquisition of digital agency deliver potent combination of digital marketing and technology platform expertise. 

Image credit: Fast Company
IBM is on fire. The company has made its third acquisition in the space of a week and it’s second in Europe. IBM has acquired ecx.io, a design agency based out of Dusseldorf, Germany. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016 and is subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions.

The deal extends the strategy and design expertise of IBM Interactive Experience division with new digital marketing, commerce and platform skills to help its clients in its digital transformations. The deal also gives IBM a new way of expanding its relationship with existing customers who already work with IBM on other IT services. 

IBM Interactive Experience (iX) division is a next-generation services organization dedicated to creating personalized experiences. IBM iX services span industry strategy, creative and design, to scalable digital, commerce, mobile and wearable platforms. IBM iX specialists work closely with clients to co-create experiences that drive business results.  

Based in Dusseldorf, Germany, ecx.io is a leading digital agency in Europe and one of the few specialized in implementation services across three of the leading commerce and customer platform software providers: Adobe, Sitecore, and SAP hybris. IBM said the hybris capability deepens the company’s longstanding relationship with SAP, and bring the value of design thinking to the companies’ expansion in e-commerce. 

Following the deal, ecx.io’s operation will be integrated directly into IBM’s Interactive Experience division (“IBM iX”) and ecx.io will continue to serve its roster of clients, which include Axalta, SPAR, Hammer and JAB Anstoetz, from its existing offices in Dusseldorf, Bracknell/London, Munich, Wels, VaraĹždin, Vienna and Zurich. 

In addition, the Dusseldorf-based firm will also add 200 employees specialized in designing and implementing commerce and digital marketing services and platforms to IBM’s Interactive Experience division (IBM iX). 

Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM Interactive Experience, said in a statement:
"The customer experience has become a new priority in modern business strategy," and also added this: "Together with ecx.io's distinct expertise, we're raising the bar for experience-led, digital marketing and commerce."

Gerald Lanzerits, CEO of ecx.io and Matt Candy, vice president and European leader of IBM Interactive Experience, said in a blog post: 
"By bringing ecx.io's consulting, design, digital marketing and technology skills together with the strategy, analytics and integration expertise of IBM, we will create a powerful combination," and added this: "ecx.io is one of just two agencies ranked at the highest partner level for all three main commerce and customer platform software vendors in the German market: Adobe, SAP hybris, and Sitecore. ecx.io will add its nearly 200 employees to IBM iX with specialized expertise designing and implementing experience-led solutions using agile techniques."

The deal is the latest strategic move in a rapid-fire series of investments in the design and experience capability of IBM Interactive Experience division. The company has been busy over the past few days, taking some strategic acquisitions. Last week, it acquired Berlin-based digital agency Aperto to meet growing client need for digital transformation. And recently, it snatched US-based digital creative agency Resource/Ammirati to address rising demand from businesses. 

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