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IBM is to bolster its database business with a $1bn cash purchase of database system specialist Informix Software. The Informix Corporation subsidiary provides database management systems for data warehousing, business intelligence, and transaction processing. The deal will involve IBM adding over 100,000 customers to its database business, and over 2,000 Informix workers, including development, support, and sales staff.
Commenting on the deal, Janet Perna, general manager of data management software at IBM, says: 'The acquisition doubles the size of IBM's distributed database business, and positions IBM for continued growth in the war for winning the information infrastructure technology prize. At the end of the day the team that has most of the best talent in the industry is going to win this war. We are fighting to win, and we are fighting for first place. Our vision is to be the leader in providing the information infrastructure for managing, analysing, securing, and accessing all sorts of digitised content, and to that end IBM has been making significant investments in DB2 Universal database.'
Perna went on to say that whilst DB2 will continue to be the company's principal database product, and primary choice for new customers, IBM will continue to maintain and appropriately enhance Informix products for existing customers. In the long term, Informix says it expects its technologies to be integrated into future versions of DB2.
The agreement will not impinge on Informix Corporation's information asset management business, Ascential Software, although under a separate agreement it will enter into a global strategic alliance with IBM. The tie-up will see Ascential's DataStage and Media360 products integrated into new IBM business intelligence and digital asset management offerings, which Big Blue will market and sell. Ascential will then be established as a separate, publicly traded company with approximately $1bn in cash.