Walmart Gets in the Cloud Computing Game

June 4, 2013 No Comments

Looking to bolster its anytime, anywhere online shopping experience for its customers, Walmart has picked up two startups in the cloud computing realm.

Walmart, through its Silicon Valley innovation lab @WalmartLabs, announced the acquisition of two startups: cloud computing newcomer OneOps and the software development shop Tasty Labs, from Delicious founder Joshua Schachter. Tasty Labs offered two services, Jig.com and Human.io – both domains which are now redirecting to Walmart’s acquisition announcement, along with that of their corporate parent, according to an article on TalkinCloud.com.

OneOps developed a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capability that Walmart explains will enable it to “significantly accelerate” its PaaS and Private Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) strategies. The company offered developer tools built from the ground up for those who host their applications on cloud services like Rackspace. Developers could publish to any cloud and seamlessly port their apps elsewhere as needed, eliminating lock-in.

The company offered a library of predefined building blocks to quickly bootstrap an application, which could be visually assembled in its interface. A variety of categories such as content management (Drupal, WordPress), e-commerce (Magento), enterprise portals (Liferay) and more were available.

OneOps was named one of the 12 Hot Cloud Computing Companies Worth Watching by Network World, and was a finalist at the GigaOM LaunchPad Competition.

“Walmart is looking to create a best-in-class global e-commerce platform to power ‘anytime, anywhere’ shopping for our customers. The Platform team has been working tirelessly to build the tools to help our developers deliver big site changes faster,” explains Walmart Public Relations Director Ravi Jariwala in a statement. “We are innovating on a very large scale, and OneOps brings us tools that will allow us to move even faster toward a global platform.”

“OneOps will help us deliver on our plans to bring together best-in-class retail with best-in-class e-commerce to create amazing experiences for customers. We are proud to have them on board and joining our talent-filled team,” wrote Walmart’s Tim Kimmet on the @WalmartLabs blog.

Walmart did not disclose the terms of the acquisition agreement, but with the addition of OneOps, Walmart should be able to accelerate its PaaS and IaaS strategies. Much of the development will likely be internal for use within Walmart for e-commerce, but there’s nothing stopping Walmart from becoming a cloud services provider in its own right. And should Walmart bring its traditional business strategies to the cloud world, it could upset the apple cart.

While acquisitions are a common way for companies to build out new technology or services, as well as expand a team, the acquisitions show that cloud software companies are not just an attractive buy for service providers, but online retailers as well. It could also mean that rather than using a cloud hosting provider, companies with enough capital will just build out internal and proprietary cloud infrastructures through acquisition.

Patrick1 Walmart Gets in the Cloud Computing Game

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting

CLOUD COMPUTING, Fresh Ink

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