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India – Wipro to acquire cloud services company, Appirio

24 October 2016

India-based IT services and outsourcing organisation, Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Appirio, a global cloud services company, for a purchase consideration of USD 500 Million.

Wipro states that once the acquisition is completed, it will create one of the world's largest cloud transformation practices, “a game changer in today's as-a-service and digital economy”. Appirio also brings to Wipro, Topcoder, a crowdsourcing marketplace connecting over a million designers, developers and data scientists around the world with customers.

"Appirio and Wipro are coming together to unlock transformational synergies in the applications space and help enterprises create new business models," Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, Chief Executive Officer & Member of the Board, Wipro Limited, said.

“We believe that the future of work in the IT industry is going to get Uberized to some extent. I could have a Wipro-ite who works 9 hours and makes another 4-5 hours of available time to IT work on Topcoder. So then they can submit that work and get paid for that. This is going to be the future of IT in some cases,” he told The Economic Times.

Wipro will consolidate its existing cloud applications practices of Salesforce and Workday under the Appirio brand and structure. Chris Barbin, Chief Executive Officer of Appirio, will lead the expanded business.

"As one of our earliest partners, Appirio has played a key role in the Workday Community, and we're thrilled to see such a great opportunity for the team's continued growth," said Aneel Bhusri, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Workday. "With Appirio, Wipro gains an organization with deep industry expertise and a strong commitment to customer service, dedicated to helping companies take their businesses to the cloud."

Established in 2006, Appirio is headquartered in Indianapolis with offices in San Francisco, Dublin, London, Jaipur, and Tokyo and has 1250 employees worldwide.  In September 2014 when Appirio bought TopCoder, it named NASA, Harvard University, and Comcast as customers. Appirio uses the TopCoder platform to some services to its customers. In 2016, TopCoder had over 1million IT professionals, from coders to data scientists, on the platform.

Appirio has delivered services to clients including including Stryker, Robert Half, Johnson Controls, Cardinal Health, Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Home Depot, and Sony PlayStation.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to be closed in the quarter ending 31 December 2016.

Wipro is the first Indian IT company to acquire in the crowdsourcing space, however however, it is not the first IT company to make such an acquisition. Accenture Ventures made a minority investments in Applause, which provides crowdsourced testing services, in September. Accenture said the alliance would help its clients build a ‘liquid workforce.’ “Crowdsourcing will supplement, not replace, traditional staffing capabilities and provide flexible access to in-demand talent” Bhaskar Ghosh, Group Chief Executive at Accenture Technology Services, said in September on the alliance. 

Crowdsourcing for work is part of Staffing Industry Analysts report series: The Human Cloud.


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