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Options shrink as IBM buys continuity rival

IBM's acquisition of the business continuity services unit of Schlumberger last week will reduce choice for users in a market...

IBM's acquisition of the business continuity services unit of Schlumberger last week will reduce choice for users in a market dominated by a handful of suppliers, according to an analyst.

"You could argue that IBM's acquisition of the Schlumberger business continuity unit is bad for users as there will be less choice - although there is not a great deal of choice already," said Heather Brice, an analyst at Ovum. "The business continuity market is dominated by a handful of suppliers because it requires a lot of capital investment and it is fairly difficult to get into."

However, Brice added that the acquisition meant IBM users would have a wider range of business continuity sites.

The Schlumberger unit has long-term contracts with more than 750 clients and has more than 40 recovery sites worldwide.

The business will supplement IBM's own business continuity and recovery services unit, which has 120 business continuity locations around the world.

The Schlumberger unit has a strong presence in Europe and will help firms comply with the Basel 2 regulations, said IBM.

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