IBM Buys Alphablox for Position in Business Intelligence

IBM has signed an agreement to acquire Alphablox Corporation, a privately held company based in Mountain View, California. The acquisition is expected to close later this month, but financial details were not disclosed.

According to the companies, Alphablox’s operations will be integrated into IBM’s information management software business and Alphablox products will be available from IBM and its business partners.

Alphablox’s technologies are designed for embedding analytics — such as customer buying trends — into existing business processes. The software is said to help organizations increase business insight by giving them the ability to present their customer data in customized ways.

“IBM is the leader in helping customers implement a comprehensive business-intelligence infrastructure,” said Joe Guglielmi, CEO of Alphablox.

“Alphablox technology integrates seamlessly with IBM’s middleware offerings, enabling customers to gain real-time insight on their business information so that they can make faster, more insightful business decisions.”

Business Intelligence

According to IBM, the acquisition is designed to strengthen the company’s position in the business-intelligence space, an area of the market that has become a strategic priority for the company’s data-management efforts and the company’s on-demand computing initiatives.

According to IDC, the market opportunity for business intelligence software is worth more than US$7 billion worldwide and is expected to double by 2006.

IBM’s business-intelligence platform is designed to dovetail with IBM’s middleware portfolio and is the foundation for delivering other business-intelligence technologies, such as data warehousing and compliance applications.

IBM and Alphablox Software

According to IBM, a combination of Alphablox and IBM software will enable front-line managers to make decisions much more quickly.

For instance, by delivering a visual representation of business information, a brand manager can view up-to-the-minute sales figures for each region or be alerted to dips in inventory and make business changes based on these results on the fly.

In support of IBM’s open-standards infrastructure, Alphablox software can work with both IBM and non-IBM data sources, including Oracle, Microsoft and Sybase.

“Businesses today are faced with the challenge to drive more value from their existing information assets,” said Janet Perna, general manager of IBM’s Information Management Software.

“The combination of Alphablox technology and IBM software will enable customers and business partners to deliver business insight and drive higher returns from their information assets.”

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