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Courtesy of Aperto

IBM Buys Another Digital Firm, This One in Europe

Feb 02, 2016

IBM has disclosed plans to acquire German digital agency Aperto, less than one week after snapping up Ohio-based firm Resource/Ammirati.

As was the case with the buyout last week, financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the Aperto deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter.

Together, the firms will add another 600 digital design experts to IBM’s Interactive Experience services division, which specializes in everything from mobile app development to e-commerce site personalization to digital marketing strategy.

That’s a substantial increase considering the current size of this staff. Right now, IBM iX employs approximately 1,000 design professionals within the 10,000-person division. The rest boast skills more closely associated with analytics and the other marketing and social media software technologies that IBM sells.

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Berlin-based Aperto’s clients include aviation company Airbus Group, automaker Volkswagen, and conglomerate Siemens. The founders will continue to run the 21-year-old organization, which also has offices in Beijing and Basel, Switzerland. “We share a significant alignment of culture, with a focus on understanding client needs, the value of digital, and delivering innovative experiences,” executives from Aperto and IBM wrote on the company’s blog.

You can expect more mergers combining digital marketing experts and traditional IT consulting firms, since both skill sets are necessary for delivering on digital business initiatives. IBM's rival Accenture (acn) has been particularly acquisitive; it announced another two buyouts in December 2015. It looks like IBM is determined to catch up.

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