In case you thought IBM wasn't serious about going all-in on Design, this article might persuade you.
IBM has made its third acquisition in the space of a week ? and its second in Europe ? to expand its front-end design and creative services business: the company has acquired Ecx.io, a design agency based out of Dusseldorf, Germany. As with its previous deals to buy Aperto and Resource/Ammirati, IBM is not disclosing the financial terms of the purchase, and the operation will be slotted directly into IBM?s Interactive Experience division (?IBM iX?).
3 acquisitions in a week, 25 design centers globally, and 1100 designers. Phil Gilbert has met his promise to hire or acquire over 1000 designers at IBM to change the culture. But it sounds like the internal design culture isn't all that has changed - Phil and company have also changed the service offerings to customers and put Design front and center.
In many ways, acquiring design firms aligns more closely with helping customers than with the internal projects - and that may be a healthy aspect of diversification of the design portfolio for IBM.? It may well pay for itself in revenues, not just in better results for better designed products.
Also, there was this awesome picture of Phil Gilbert, formerly the head of the IBM BPM portfolio, now of the Design Studio in the article: