IBM acquires analytics firm Netezza for US$1.7bn

20 Sep 2010

IBM has vowed to bring analytics to the masses and has acquired Netazza, a company that helps businesses analyse data, for US$1.7bn in cash. This brings to US$12bn the amount IBM has invested in 23 analytics-related acquisitions in the last four years.

The acquisition of Netezza at US$27 a share will expand IBM’s business analytics initiatives to help clients gain faster insights into their business information, with increased performance at a lower cost.

The acquisition, which is subject to Netezza shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

In the last four years, IBM has invested more than US$12bn in 23 analytics-related acquisitions. In IBM’s second quarter of 2010, IBM’s analytics business grew 14pc.

The work of Netezza

Netezza currently designs and develops its appliances on IBM systems technology and combined with IBM software powers many applications within organisations. The two companies have been strategic partners for many years, focused on workload optimised systems that deliver integrated systems, software and storage for analysing vast amounts of complex data.

The rate and pace of data is accelerating the IT opportunity around information and analytics. A recent Global IBM study revealed that 83pc of CIOs identified analytics as a top priority.

The combined strengths of IBM and Netezza are a key differentiator at a time when organisations of all sizes are looking to gain more insight from their business information.  

“IBM is bringing analytics to the masses,” said Steve Mills, senior vice-president and group executive, IBM Software and Systems.

“We continue to evolve our capabilities for systems integration, bringing together optimised hardware and software, in response to increasing demand for technology that delivers true business value. Netezza is a perfect example of this approach.”

Companies that have adopted Netezza

Today, more than 350 clients across a variety of industries have adopted Netezza.  These companies include eHarmony, Neiman Marcus, Time Warner, Estee Lauder, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, United HealthGroup, Nationwide Insurance, Sapporo, NYSE Euronext, Virgin Media and others.

The simplicity of deploying Netezza appliances makes this technology ideal for the needs of high-performance analytics, requiring minimal administration and IT skills, and enables clients to run complex data queries within days of deploying the solution.

“It’s no longer just the CIO – every single department from finance to marketing professionals, is tapping into the capabilities of analytics to draw meaningful insights,” said Arvind Krishna, general manager, Information Management, IBM.

“But clients cannot sacrifice time, cost or performance by deploying solutions that do not best meet each of their business needs,” Krishna said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years