5 cloud takeaways from IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s CNBC interview

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IBM chief executive Virginia Rometty appeared on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street today, where she discussed a range of topics, including the company’s push to the cloud.

You can watch part of David Faber’s interview above, but here are some cloud-related takeaways:

– Initiatives like cloud, mobile engagement and IBM Watson will “truly change the profile of this company,” Rometty said. “And if you think about it, they’re going to change the profile of this industry. As I like to think of it, the industry is reordering. It’s actually not any one of those—it’s the convergence of these.”

– At its heart, IBM “is an innovation company,” Rometty said. “They have reinvented before. We’ve moved the talent, we’ve moved the investment and they’ve reinvented again.” There’s evidence of this, she noted, in IBM’s cloud growth.

– On IBM’s acquisition strategy in the cloud: “We are very much a serial acquirer, but very clear about doing them in strategic areas. Intellectual property goes into our global distribution system so it’s very efficient. And we always do them around a core of a strategy. I think you’ll find many companies fail when they try to acquire outside their core. That’s not what we do. We pick the spaces we’re going to be in, we invest in them and we fill in around it with acquisitions. That’s what we did with cloud.”

(Related: An interview with Danny Sabbah, CTO & GM of IBM’s Next Generation Platform)

– On SoftLayer: “They were built from the bottom up, public cloud for the enterprise. Enterprises have different requirements—security, privacy, ability to audit, placement of data—the biggest things big companies care about on cloud. Then you have to be able to connect the new data on the cloud with the data you already have—this world of hybrid cloud. So, we made a big investment to buy SoftLayer, and it’s been an outstanding success, married with the investment we already made in cloud.”

– On what differentiates IBM Cloud from the competition: “We have a very clear view of what cloud for the enterprise is … the cloud for us—if it were a stand-alone company would be $4.4 billion last year—is infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, software as a service and process as a service. There’s value at every one of those and good margin at every one of those.”

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