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TIBCO Bags Staffware for $217M

In an effort to broaden its portfolio and extend its influence overseas, TIBCO Software said Thursday that it will acquire U.K.-based Staffware for $217 million (£122.8 million) in cash.

The purchase effectively adds a business process management (BPM) suite to TIBCO's existing business integration software for collating data in computer systems and grants TIBCO access to lucrative markets such as finance, insurance, telecom and government in Europe and Asia.

BPM is a new change management and systems implementation methodology that overcome rigid IT systems that are hardwired to work with only certain products. BPM systems are software suites that help businesses build flexible, responsive systems with rapid integration into existing software infrastructure to improve workflow.

BPM aims for this higher degree of application and infrastructure interoperability through the use of distributed architectures such as service-oriented architectures (SOA) and Web services .

Staffware makes a suite of BPM software that aims to help companies orchestrate business processes that span multiple applications and business partners. It calls for process design, deployment, execution, maintenance and optimization to match and integrate applications and infrastructure with specific business tasks.

The Staffware Process Suite includes the iProcess Engine to run business processes, along with a definer, monitor, integrator, and a Relationship Manager to provide a better client application development environment.

TIBCO Chairman and CEO Vivek Ranadive said on a conference call the acquisition of Staffware will provide TIBCO with additional reach into new markets such as retail banking, insurance, public sector and telecommunications, as well as increased geographic presence within Europe and Asia.

BPM is being increasingly touted by enterprise software vendors such as IBM, BEA Systems, as well as several smaller firms such as Metaserver, Metastorm, Pegasystems, Intalio and Savvion.

Research and consulting firm Celent estimates the market for BPM solutions will top $350 million in 2004.

"Business process management solutions give insurers the ability to orchestrate and monitor workflow among people and core systems," said Donald Light, Celent senior analyst. "They can achieve consistency and efficiency in inherently complex and geographically dispersed processes. They offer the ability to analyze history and model to optimize the future."

Palo Alto, Calif.'s TIBCO said development and support for Staffware's iProcess product and TIBCO's BusinessWorks Workflow product will continue forward with no disruption. The deal will close in June.