Black Box Corporation (BBOX) is a leading technology solutions provider focused on the operation and management of IT infrastructure. Black Box is a telecommunications company based in Lawrence, PA and has been around since 1976. The last fews years have been difficult financially for Black Box, with the 2015 fiscal year being the first of growth in the last three years. Black Box has traditionally focused on hardware solutions for power, networking and kernel-based virtual machines (KVM) amongst other applications. With the increasing popularity of virtualization, Black Box has found it necessary to expand their products to include these virtualization services.
Successful virtualization processes require hardware, hardware virtualization and an operating system. Black Box’s 40-year history has its roots in the hardware, and they do quite well in this regard. However, today’s business market requires companies to have a sound virtualization platform as well to be competitive and remain relevant. In an effort to meet this market need, Black Box acquired Cloudium Systems Limited on April 11, 2016.
Cloudium was founded in 2009 in Limerick, Ireland. The company is quite small, composed of only 12 employees. Cloudium’s expertise centers on the development of software and hardware for desktop virtualization. The overlap with Black Box for hardware development should strengthen Black Box’s existing products, and Cloudium’s virtualization software capabilities should help fill in the gap between Black Box’s long-standing hardware specialization and the market’s demand for virtualization.
Josh Whitney, VP of Technology Product Solutions & International Services, stated in their press release on April 11 that, “Black Box’s product growth strategy is to expand our core assets with software and services that offer a complete solution to current and emerging target markets. We will leverage Cloudium’s development capabilities and existing patents to deliver mission critical KVM systems. Additionally, we plan to deploy their AV/IT Enterprise Management platform to differentiate and round out our portfolio of Control Room and Data Visualization solutions.” This statement shows that Black Box realizes it needs to offer a more complete package to remain relevant.
The former CEO of Cloudium, John Hickey, recognizes that the acquisition by Black Box will be beneficial for Cloudium as well. He remarks that, “the combination of our systems development experience in the KVM space combined with Black Box’s incredible reach and strong brand recognition will create significant value for clients.” The combination of these two companies shows promise for Black Box’s future and for the former employees of Cloudium (AKA now current Black Box employees). Black Box hopes that this acquisition will help solve some of its financial woes and that it will continue to see growth and success in the coming years with its ability to compete in virtualization markets.