SAP, others say IBM’s SPSS buy proves the value of BI

Where’s the value in enterprise software? While experts expected this to be the year for security, other sectors are attracting significant investment. One case in point is data analysis, or business information (BI).

IBM on Tuesday acquired business intelligence provider SPSS for $1.2 billion.

IBM has invested billions in this area before, notably buying Cognos in 2007 for $5 billion.

One SPSS partner, SAP, praised IBM’s decision to buy SPSS. “IBM’s decision to acquire SPSS validates SAP’s early investment in, and commitment to, the predictive analysis market. Based on an existing and long-term OEM agreement with SPSS, SAP includes SPSS PASW Modeler as part of our predictive analytics solution offerings,” said an SAP representative in an e-mail to

“SAP’s partnership with SPSS is working well and we do not expect IBM’s intended acquisition to have an impact on this relationship. We have a growing number of customers as a result of this agreement and we will continue to partner with IBM and evolve our predictive services portfolio to meet the needs of our customers,” the representative added.

“I wasn’t surprised to see the strong dollar valuation of SPSS in its recent acquisition by IBM. It’s a testament to the overall value of business intelligence software, and evidence to the innovation that is continuing to happen with independent and more nimble players,” said Nobby Akiha, Actuate Corporation senior vice president of marketing, in an e-mail to

“IBM and SPSS have both incorporated the BIRT technology into their product architecture — with the recent news, we wish them well as they finalize the acquisition,” Akiha added.

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