IBM makes multi-billion dollar software acquisitions

28 Jul 2009

The computer giant known as Big Blue has acquired two enterprise IT companies – one a leader in business analytics called SPSS for US$1.2bn and another a player in risk software called Ounce Labs for an undisclosed sum.

IBM acquired NASDAQ-listed SPSS for US$1.2bn in an all-cash transaction today, which is subject to shareholder approval.

The acquisition of SPSS will expand IBM’s information on demand (IOD) software portfolio and business analytics capabilities and its information agenda initiative that turns information into a strategic asset.

IBM is expanding its focus on business analytics technology and services to meet growing client needs to cut costs, reduce risk and increase profitability through predictive analytics capabilities, which include advanced data capture, data mining and statistical analysis.

“With this acquisition, we are extending our capabilities around a new level of analytics that not only provides clients with greater insight – but true foresight,” said Ambuj Goyal, general manager, Information Management at IBM.

“Predictive analytics can help clients move beyond the ‘sense and respond’ mode, which can leave blind spots for strategic information in today’s fast-paced environment – to ‘predict and act’ for improved business outcomes,” Goyal added.

In its second major acquisition, Big Blue bought Massachusetts-based Ounce Labs for an undisclosed sum.

IBM will integrate Ounce Labs, a leading provider of enterprise source code security testing, into its Rational software business.

The industry-leading Ounce Labs solutions use advanced capabilities to scan software source code and identify potential security and compliance vulnerabilities during the earliest stages of software development, when they are less expensive to correct.

Ounce Labs software can also help organisations to rapidly assess and remediate the level of risk posed to their businesses through their legacy applications.

“Secure applications are vital to information integrity and continuity in government and business,” explained Dr Daniel Sabbah, general manager, IBM Rational Software.

“The complexity of today’s systems and the sophistication of attacks require comprehensive technology. The acquisition of Ounce Labs allows IBM to provide customers an end-to-end application security testing solution for managing security and compliance across all stages of the software delivery process,

“Integrating Ounce Labs technology into our industry-leading IBM Rational AppScan family of security products represents the best-of-class solution for application security assessment and testing,” Sabbah added.

By John Kennedy

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