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IBM and SoftLayer will target new customers (Photo: IBM)

IBM has signed a definitive agreement to buy SoftLayer technologies in a bid to strengthen its cloud-based services offering.

The US-based IT group said the acquisition will help speed business adoption of public and private cloud solutions. "With SoftLayer, IBM will accelerate the build-out of our public cloud infrastructure to give clients the broadest choice of cloud offerings to drive business innovation,” Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Global Technology Services, said in a press statement.

Dallas-based SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform that spans 13 data centers in the US, Europe and Asia. The company has 21,000 customers.

Lance Crosby, SoftLayer's CEO, said his company's inclusion in the much bigger IBM corporation will allow the combined group to expand its offering geographically and reach new clients.

IBM expects to have 7 billion dlrs a year in cloud revenue by the end of 2015. The company offers a range of software-as-a-service and other cloud-based products. It operates 10 cloud computing centers on five continents.