IBM announced its planned acquisition of most the Weather Company's assets Wednesday, including Weather.com, Weather Underground and the brand itself, in a landmark deal set to shake up the Internet of Things-powered future. The big exception to the deal is the Weather Company's TV channel, which will remain independent and license weather forecasting data under a long-term contract from IBM. Weather.com is a top-20 comScore website in the U.S. with nearly 100 million unique monthly visitors. The financial terms were not disclosed.
Senior Vice President Bob Picciano and Weather Company Chairman & CEO David Kenny took to the stage at the IBM Insight Conference in Las Vegas to announce the deal. Picciano said the deal builds on Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and data processing in which IBM specializes. "And also, we've known about clouds for a long time," Kenny quipped.
The deal adds to a $3 billion commitment in March 2015 to invest in services relating to IBM's Watson IoT capabilities. The Weather Company's data will allow IBM to enhance its decision-making offerings in enterprise, combining weather information with enterprise data.
“The Weather Company’s extremely high-volume data platform, coupled with IBM’s global cloud and the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of Watson, will be unsurpassed in the Internet of Things, providing our clients significant competitive advantage as they link their business and sensor data with weather and other pertinent information in real time,” said John Kelly, senior vice president, IBM Solutions Portfolio and Research.
IBM has been steadily investing more and more into an Internet of Things-based future. In August, the company unveiled the LinuxOne line of mainframes, which the company pictures as being more relevant than ever in the IoT-powered future. The huge volume of data requests will need beefy processors to serve up results, and IBM believes it has the answer.