IBM has extended its business intelligence (BI) presence by acquiring Alphablox, a small software company which specialises in analytics software.
Alphabox's operations will be melded into IBM's Information Management Software business, with Alphablox's products being sold through IBM and its network of resellers and business partners.
Alphablox software allows users to more effectively embed analytics into their existing business processes, making information available to a wider spectrum of users and applications.
Driving the deal is the growing demand from IBM's larger accounts to extract more value from existing data and technology assets.
IBM will integrate Alphablox's technology into its middleware portfolio, including its Data Warehouse Edition, the WebSphere Business Integration Monitor, the Rational collection of tools, and the WebSphere Portal and IBM Workplace.
IBM has had an overarching strategy centered around business intelligence for the better part of the past year. One of its goals is to deliver technologies capable of marrying the mountains of historical data that Fortune 1000 companies typically have on mainframes with the millions of transactions that occur every day.
The hope is that tying this information closer together will result in better analysis of that combined data and therefore more informed business decisions.
Recent market research indicates that IBM may be justified in its focus on the technology. According to IDC the overall opportunity for business intelligence will total more than $7bn (£3.8bn) worldwide for 2004, doubling by the end of 2006.
The Alphablox acquisition is the sixteenth by IBM's software group and the fifth for the company's DB2 Data Management Division.
Ed Scannell writes for Infoworld