Earlier this year, IBM CEO Samuel J. Palmisano laid out a five-year, $20 billion acquisition plan. Those acquisitions are expected to be concentrated in business analytics and optimization, as well as cloud computing and technology in areas such as traffic management, energy and health.
Indeed, IBM has been on a spending spree this year, snatching up companies that offer technologies ranging from cross-channel commerce to cloud integration, from real-time data compression to marketing.
Here’s a list of IBM’s acquisitions in 2010 — so far – from bringing in network strengths to cutting edge security and analytics.
Click through for a list of IBM's acquisitions so far in 2010.
Who: Netezza, data warehousing appliances provider
Amount: $1.7 billion
Why: IT Business Edge’s Mike Vizard points out that
the addition of Netezza will give IBM a data-warehouse platform for running analytic applications that can be quickly deployed with a minimal amount of IT intervention.
However, Arthur Cole speculates that the motivation behind the acquisition is to
pull Netezza off the market quickly to prevent someone else from muscling in on IBM's action.
Who: Cast Iron Systems, cloud integration specialist
Why: VentureBeat quotes from IBM’s press release:
With the addition of Cast Iron Systems to its portfolio, IBM will be able to offer clients a complete platform to integrate cloud applications from providers including Salesforce.com, Amazon, NetSuite and ADP with on-premise applications, such as SAP and JD Edwards. Using Cast Iron Systems’ hundreds of pre-built templates and services expertise, expensive custom coding can be eliminated, allowing cloud integrations to be completed in the space of days, rather than weeks or longer. These results can be achieved using a physical appliance, a virtual appliance or a cloud service.
Who: Blade Network Technologies, provider of blade server and top-of-rack switches and virtualization software
Amount: $400 million
Why: The two companies were already partners, but as CTO Edge’s Dan Berthiaume explains:
As a result of the purchase, Blade's switches will be brought closer to IBM systems and then pass information to the core networking layer, which IBM hopes will optimize systems performance.
Who: Sterling Commerce, provider of software for cross-channel commerce and integration of customer, partner and supplier networks
Amount: $1.4 billion
Why: According to TechCrunch:
IBM says the acquisition of Sterling will expand its ability to help organizations connect and communicate with customers, partners and suppliers both on-premise or through cloud computing delivery models.
Who: Storwize, makes real-time data compression software
Amount: $140 million
Why: SearchStorage.com quotes Doug Balog, IBM vice president of storage, as saying:
We bought a compression company, got a great team and a great technology, and we also got a great name to symbolize efficient storage … So we're repurposing the name of the company to be our new midrange storage brand.
Who: Intelliden, maker of network automation software
Why: The Data Center Journal explains:
This move … allows IBM to offer a product that improves integration between servers and network. IBM can now cater to all major components of the data center industry — networking, storage, and servers. IBM can offer easier integration to deliver optimum workloads, high speed, and low-latency performance.
Who: BigFix, systems management software vendor
Why: This acquisition will allow Big Blue to expand its management software line for automation in the data center.
Who: National Interest Security Company, business analytics and optimization
Why: According to ExecutiveBiz, the acquisition allows IBM to gain
a deeper reach into new mission spaces: intelligence, defense, homeland security, federal health, and civilian sectors.
Who: OpenPages, risk management and compliance software specialist
Why: IBM general manager for business analytics Rob Ashe says:
Integrating risk management systems across once-divided units and functions is essential to seeing the bigger picture. The combination of IBM and OpenPages will provide a holistic and consistent approach to risk management helping companies combine that insight with performance management to drive better decision making.
Who: Datacap, maker of software to automate the capture and processing of data from documents and forms
Why: In a press release, IBM says:
The acquisition strengthens IBM's ability to help organizations digitize, manage and automate their information assets, particularly in paper-intensive industries such as healthcare, insurance, government and finance. Additionally,regulations such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley have demanded new standards and now legislation is encouraging the adoption of new records management solutions, including scanning and capture to increase accuracy, lower costs and speed business processes to meet these regulations.
Who: PSS Systems, analytics and business process management software vendor
Why: According to Information Management:
IBM would seek to deliver software to coordinate policy decisions for data retention and disposal across high volumes of information for CIOs and legal officers.
LB News quotes Ron Ercanbrack, IBM’s Vice President of Enterprise content, as saying:
With the acquisition of PSS Systems, we are able to expand our portfolio with a broader set of legal solutions that for the first time link corporate legal hold policies to the reality of how information is managed and disposed of.
Who: Coremetrics, a Web analytics company
Why: ZDNet explains:
Coremetrics will give the company the ability to better track consumer interactions via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.
Who: Unica, marketing software vendor
Amount: $480 million
Why: Big Blue says this acquisition will help companies analyze and predict customer preferences and develop more targeted marketing campaigns.