January 4, 2011 – In its first acquisition of the year, IBM announced a deal to buy software quality and testing solutions provider Green Hat. Financial terms of the proposed deal were not disclosed.

Green Hat solutions involve the creation of a virtual environment that simulates aspects of IT infrastructure relying on cloud, Web services, messaging, SOA, BPM and CEP from vendors such as IBM, SAP and TIBCO. In a news release on the announced deal, IBM stated that Green Hat solutions would add to its offerings for testing with continuous application integration, specifically with making virtual protocols and customization, and engagement with outside software.

Michael Azoff, principal analyst with research firm Ovum, said in a release on the deal that Green Hat solutions would provide further capabilities than IBM’s existing applications for setting up test labs for systems, including those for the cloud and mobile.

“The drive towards Agile development with higher frequency of testing and also testing earlier in the lifecycle is producing huge pressures on [quality assurance],” Azoff said.IBM stated it would merge Green Hat into its Rational Software sector, and combine solution features with its IBM Rational Solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management. That division was created in 2003 after the $2.1 billion buyout of Rational Software.
Founded in 1996 with joint headquarters in London and Wilmington, Delaware, Green Hat counts 2,000 customers on its website, including JP Morgan, BP and Virgin Mobile.