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Dell agrees to buy cloud computing company Boomi

Tue, 11/02/2010 - 10:05am
DANA WOLLMAN - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press

Dell Inc. said Tuesday it has agreed to buy Boomi, whose software makes it easy for businesses to send data back and forth between Web-based applications and computer programs that run on PCs.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, nor did the company say when it expects to close the deal.

Boomi's software, dubbed Atomsphere, lets businesses swap information back and forth between the programs on their PCs and those running online, without compelling them to buy additional software or hardware, such as servers. The idea is that businesses save money on installation, as well as time and productivity, since employees won't have to manually enter data into websites anymore.

From a technology perspective, businesses have the challenge of trying to use programs that run on their local PCs, as well as services only available online, such as the popular customer relations manager Salesforce.com. Web — or cloud-based — applications give employees more flexibility when working outside of the office, since all they need to access them is a computer with a browser.

Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell hinted in public remarks yesterday that Dell was on the verge of buying a company that specialized in cloud computing. Compared with 3PAR Inc., which Dell lost in a bidding war to Hewlett-Packard Co. in September, Boomi, a startup, is a lesser-known choice.

This is Dell's second acquisition this year that will help Dell offer improved cloud services to businesses buying its PCs. It also bought Ocarina Networks, which allows data to be stored online more efficiently, taking up less space.

Dell Inc.'s stock rose 9 cents to $14.50 in afternoon trading.

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