Some of those acquisitions should create — or have already created — near-term opportunities for partners. Meanwhile, others carry the potential of facilitating cutting-edge engagements further down the road.
Three of the deals are seen as boosts for IBM's Watson technology platform to yield insights from big data. In a keynote address at CES 2016, CEO Ginni Rometty touted Watson as a key to Big Blue's transformation from its hardware and software roots.
"People see IBM as a hardware, services and software company, and we are," Rometty said. "But we are more than that."