Palo Alto Networks will acquire IBM's QRadar Software assets in a broad partnership that gives the security vendor IBM Consulting as a channel.

As security vendors race to consolidate platforms and customer wallet share, IBM and Palo Alto Networks moved to forge an alliance that on paper looks like a win-win.

Here are the moving parts:

  • IBM will use Palo Alto Networks as its preferred security platform internally.
  • Palo Alto Networks will use watsonx large language models (LLMs) in Cortex XSIAM.
  • IBM will offer more security services and feature Palo Alto Networks' platform and train more than 1,000 of its security consultants. These consultants will focus on migrating enterprises to Palo Alto Networks.
  • Palo Alto Networks will acquire QRadar's software as a service assets and migrate customers to Cortex XSIAM at no cost. QRadar on-premises customers remain with IBM for features, support and bug fixes, but can also migrate to Cortex XSIAM.
  • IBM will receive payments from Palo Alto Networks for QRadar on-prem customers that migrate to Cortex XSIAM.
  • Palo Alto Networks to become the lead partner for IBM's hybrid cloud and AI efforts.

With IBM as a partner, Palo Alto Networks is looking to fend off multiple players including CrowdStrike. IBM can focus on its core strengths and leverage security services and AI models. CrowdStrike recently expanded its partnership with AWS

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The companies also said they will form a Joint Security Operations Center. IBM Consulting will be the preferred managed security services provider for Palo Alto Networks customers. Palo Alto Networks will also be accessible on IBM Consulting's Advantage AI services platform.

Financial details of the partnership weren't disclosed.