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Samsung acquires Joyent and boosts US IoT R&D investment

Steve Rogerson
June 23, 2016
Samsung Electronics has agreed to acquire US public and private cloud provider Joyent. The South Korean technology giant also announced this week a strategy to spend $1.2bn over four years for US-based IoT R&D and investments.
With Joyent’s cloud technology, Samsung will now have access to its own cloud platform capable of supporting its growing line of mobile, IoT and cloud-based software and services. The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions.
“Samsung evaluated a wide range of potential companies in the public and private cloud infrastructure space with a focus on leading-edge scalable technology and talent,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics. “In Joyent, we saw an experienced management team with deep domain expertise and a robust cloud technology validated by some of the largest Fortune 500 customers.”
Joyent’s technology will let Samsung to scale its cloud infrastructure and services as it continues to innovate with software and technologies. Through this acquisition, Joyent’s team of technologists, including CEO Scott Hammond, CTO Bryan Cantrill and VP of product Bill Fine will join Samsung to work on company-wide cloud initiatives.
“We are excited to join the Samsung family,” said Hammond. “Samsung brings us the scale we need to grow our cloud and software business, an anchor tenant for our industry leading Triton container-as-a-service platform and Manta object storage technologies, and a partner for innovation in the emerging and fast growing areas of mobile and IoT, including smart homes and connected cars.”
In addition, Joyent’s combination of container-native infrastructure, object storage, server-less computing and Node.js expertise is suited to help Samsung meet the needs of its customers. As one of the world’s largest consumers of public cloud data and storage, Samsung will immediately benefit from having direct access to Joyent’s technology, leadership and talent. Likewise, Joyent will be able to take advantage of Samsung’s scale of business, global footprint, financial muscle and its brand power.
Joyent will operate as a standalone company under Samsung and continue providing cloud infrastructure and software services to its customers.
“We work closely with start-ups to bring new software and services into Samsung, and one of the ways we do this is by driving strategic acquisitions,” said David Eun, president of Samsung’s global innovation centre. “Joyent is a great example of a leading and disruptive technology company that will make unique contributions to Samsung while benefitting from Samsung’s global scale and reach.”
Samsung Electronics vice chairman and CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon unveiled this week Samsung’s vision for human-centred IoT, including a strategy to spend $1.2bn over four years for US-based IoT R&D and investments.
Kwon delivered this news in a speech as part of a Samsung-hosted forum in Washington DC. He called for his peers to “start talking and thinking differently about IoT” with a human-centred approach, embracing the life-changing possibilities of the technology and working together to bring these benefits to society at-large.
“I am excited to show how we are moving IoT to the centre of our strategy and am delighted to announce that Samsung is planning to spend $1.2bn in US-centred IoT investments and R&D over the next four years,” he said. “At Samsung, putting people at the centre of everything we do is our highest value. The same must be true for IoT if we want to realise its full transformative power. Today, IoT is changing individual lives – helping people to age in their own homes. But tomorrow, using IoT, we can give the same independence to millions of Americans. We can keep people out of hospitals and nursing homes. As our populations live longer, these benefits and cost savings for society cannot be ignored.”

In his keynote Kwon (pictured) offered industry and policymakers two principles in addition to a human-centred approach: to be open and collaborative.
“If we want innovators everywhere to make use of IoT, we must make sure all tools are open to them,” he said. “This means technologies that connect to each other, because we know that boundaries around technologies hold back innovation and scale.”
He also warned that sector-specific regulations would inherently fragment the development of IoT, impeding devices and platforms from connecting to each other.
As the IoT ecosystem is by nature connected and interwoven, collaboration is vital to promoting this level of openness and interconnection. In this vein, Kwon urged attendees to pursue cross-sector dialogue and partnerships, and announced Samsung’s role as a co-founder of the newly launched National IoT Strategy Dialogue.
The dialogue, to be hosted by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), aims to design a national IoT strategy as a tool to inform policymakers on enabling the technology to deliver benefits for individuals, communities, innovators and the US economy.
This announcement, Kwon said, “is not about the first steps because IoT is already happening all around us. It’s time to imagine the transformative potential of IoT for our societies, and learn how to achieve its human, social benefits at scale.”