RealTime IT News

Big Blue Pockets Another Partner

Looking to build on recent successes in their business integration software portfolio, IBM Thursday announced it has acquired all the outstanding shares of Holosofx, a former partner of the IBM WebSpere unit.

Financial details of the acquisition, which closed Wednesday, were not disclosed.

Holosofx's operations will be integrated immediately with the IBM Software Group, and will bring the El Segundo Calif.-based company's business process modeling and monitoring tools to IBM's WebSphere Software. WebSpere is IBM's Integration software, allowing e-businesses to combine many functions of integration to lower overall IT maintenance costs.

According to Marie Weick, vice president for the development of business integration at IBM, the company will add Holosofx's BPM Work Bench, a modeling and simulation and reporting capability for the business user to help automate and define business processes. In addition, customers will have access to BPM Server and BPM Monitor, which allows a business to track those processes and take actions against the results they see.

The company will immediately begin expanding Holosofx's existing integration with the WebSphere workflow product, including enhancing it with support around open standards, such as the Web services standard Business Process Execution Language, recently announced by IBM and other industry members.

Holosofx's currently employs 60 people worldwide, including a large integration office in Cairo. According to Weick, those individuals will be incorporated into IBM's integration business, including IBM's Egyptian office.

The two companies first established a business relationship in 1998, and Big Blue has continued to partner with the company, reselling Holosofx's business modelling and monitoring tools with IBM's business process management (BPM) software.

This is the third acquisition in the integration space by IBM Software Group in the last nine months. IBM closed its acquisition of CrossWorlds Software for business process integration in January, 2002, its acquisition of Metamerge for directory integration in June and now Holosofx for business process modeling and monitoring.

Business integration infrastructure software is currently a hot commodity as firms look to trim integration costs, which industry analysts estimate can occupy up to 40 percent of a company's IT budget. Research firm IDC reports that the opportunity for business integration technology will hit $4 billion by 2005.