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IBM Buys Project Management Specialist

In a bid to help customers realize better value from their IT projects, IBM said it will buy Systemcorp for an undisclosed sum.

The Armonk, N.Y., giant's move to buy the privately held company will give it products in a software niche called Project Portfolio Management (PPM).

Systemcorp's flagship PMOffice suite allows executives, managers and programmers to track project budgets and risks, from the beginning to end.

A sort of business intelligence software for application development, PMOffice helps software developers and their corporations gain a competitive edge by accessing project data, analytic tools and reports.

IBM said in a statement PPM is important because the average large organization invests more than $120 million per year in IT projects. And because some projects prove difficult to manage, and less than half of these projects succeed, IBM decided to acquire software to help users of its software development platform get more value from their work.

PPM complements the practice of application lifecycle management (ALM), a critical growth area for software development tools makers such as IBM's Rational unit, Microsoft and Borland .

IBM Rational, which plans to integrate Systemcorp's technology into the IBM Software Development Platform, will use PMOffice to track technology spending and activity and resource allocation.

IBM has made several software acquisitions in the past year, many of them related to management of WebSphere, DB2 or Tivoli products. The Systemcorp buy will be the first the company has made under its Rational brand, according to an IBM spokesperson.

If the deal is approved it will close in 30 days. Systemcorp, a Montreal-based company, whose customers span the retail, finance life sciences and automotive industries, will be tucked into IBM's Rational software development business. Its products will be available from IBM within 30 days of completion of the deal.