IBM buys content manager developer

IBM has acquired Sydney-based web content management software developer Presence Online, better known as Aptrix.

IBM has acquired Sydney-based web content management software developer Presence Online, better known as Aptrix.

IBM intends to add Aptrix's technology to its Lotus portfolio of collaboration and information management software. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBM and Aptrix have worked together as partners for several years, and already have a level of technical integration between their products. Aptrix's technology will be used in a new product, Lotus Workplace Content Development, intended to aid users in publishing and managing content on a website or corporate intranet.

Available now, the software includes technology from three Aptrix products: Aptrix Content Server, Aptrix Portlet Connector and Aptrix Connect. Lotus Workplace Content Development will retail for: $39,999 per processor licence, or $49,999 for a licence and one-year maintenance subscription.

IBM's vast portfolio includes several other content management products, most notably its DB2 Content Manager.

DB2 Content Manager and Lotus Workplace Content Development offer different functionality, said Lotus vice president of messaging and advanced collaboration Ken Bisconti.

While DB2 Content Manager is a back-end, enterprise-class system for integrating multimedia content from multiple repositories, Lotus Workplace Content Developer is focused more on the publishing and end-user aspects of online content management. A typical use of the software would be to administrate a company website, Bisconti said.

"Years ago, everything was bottled up by the webmaster. By using web content management software, you can spread the distribution and creation rights throughout an organisation," he added.

Lotus Workplace Content Developer is the second product in Lotus's Workplace portfolio, which also includes the Lotus Workplace Messaging software released in May.  Throughout the next year, Lotus will expand the messaging and collaboration-focused portfolio through new product launches and tweaks on existing products to extend their ability to function as part of an integrated suite, Bisconti said.

IBM will retain Aptrix's 40 employees and offices in Boston, London and Sydney, said Lotus general manager Ambuj Goyal.

Goyal cited the Aptrix acquisition as an example of consolidation in the software market. Customers now prefer to buy web content management products from suppliers with which they're already doing business, rather than from standalone companies, he said.

"Our customers are trying to solve that integration problem and not do piece-part purchases," Goyal said.

Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service

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