On February 19th, Rockwell Automation, Inc., automation systems provider, announced that it had acquired Kalypso. Kalypso is a software delivery and consulting firm with around 300 employees. It is focused on digital transformation in the industrial sector and primarily operates in the life sciences, consumer products, and industrial high-tech spaces. The value of the acquisition was not immediately available with the deal set to close in Spring 2020.
The acquisition is noteworthy for two reasons. First, the capabilities that Rockwell acquired with Kalypso are complementary to the services that it typically provides today. Kalypso provides digital transformation strategy consulting as well as services targeting enterprise (IT) system deployments (as opposed to Operational Technology, or OT, systems). In addition, Kalypso has a strong Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) practice which aligns with the $1 billion equity investment Rockwell made with leading PLM vendor PTC back in 2018.
The question of culture always arises when a large vendor like Rockwell acquires a much smaller vendor such as Kalypso which has a unique, founder-driven culture. Indeed, Kalypso states on its website: “As a private firm we are governed by our unwavering commitment to our clients and to our values, not to shareholders.” Rockwell’s challenge will be to maintain that culture while simultaneously utilizing its much broader reach to grow its services business. It will be a few years before we know how that plays out. In the meantime, Kalypso’s existing customers can be assured that this is a strategic and synergistic acquisition for Rockwell, one in which it has significant incentive to fully support.
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