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CDC Makes Cloud Computing Play With TradeBeam Deal

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CDC Software Corp. became the latest software maker to open its wallet for a pure software-as-a-service (SaaS) play, shelling out an undisclosed sum to acquire TradeBeam, a privately held developer of on-demand supply chain visibility and trade management applications.

Atlanta-based CDC (NASDAQ: CDCS) said the deal is just part of the company’s strategic evolution away from on-premises applications to more on-demand and hybrid enterprise software installations.

Company officials said the newly acquired applications will be folded into CDC’s existing supply chain product line as well as its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing operations application suites.

TradeBeam, based in San Mateo, Calif., makes on-demand applications that improve customers’ visibility into their supply chains and automate their import and export trade management and compliance processes. The company claims to have more than 1,000 enterprise customers located in more than 100 different countries.

“We believe the global trade management market will continue to see strong growth and offer us numerous revenue opportunities since companies are selling more and more of their products globally and increasingly moving their manufacturing and sourcing offshore,” CDC President Bruce Cameron said in a statement.

“Tradebeam and CDC Software share many complementary vertical markets, including financial services, retail, medical and high-tech and logistics, which we expect will present strong cross-sell opportunities,” he added.

Two weeks ago to the day, IBM made a significant cloud-computing purchase of its own, picking up Cast Iron Systems, a privately held developer of applications that simplify the process of blending on-premises and cloud-based applications in the enterprise.

In another deal that reflects this SaaS frenzy, security software vendor Symantec acquired a pair of on-demand storage and security companies with its April purchases of PGP and GuardianEdge for $300 million and $70 million, respectively.

IT researcher IDC is predicting staggering growth for cloud-based software and services providers, with total annual revenues growing three-fold to more than $45 billion by 2013.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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