IBM Buys Integration Middleware Play

IBM has added another software company to its expanding middleware lines.

The company announced Tuesday that it will be acquiring supply chain integration player Trigo Technologies. Financial details were not disclosed, though the deal is expected to be completed early in the second quarter.

The Brisbane, Calif.-based Trigo began business in 2000 and has been an IBM partner for most of its existence. The company’s Product Center middleware solutions integrate disparate information from across the supply chain into enterprise class systems. Trigo has traditionally targeted the retail, consumer packaged goods and electronics sectors and has a number of joint wins with IBM in those verticals.

During a conference call to discuss the deal, Marie Wieck, IBM’s general manager of industry solutions and integration, called Trigo’s software package one that provides visibility into a customer’s true assets. She also said leveraging Trigo technology is a way to provide customers a more integrated view of their own products and service information across that information’s lifecycle.

The deal marks a culmination of IBM’s key partnership strategy. For example, IBM officials noted, Trigo’s product information middleware integrates with a number of IBM’s middleware suites, including DB2 Content Manager, WebSphere Commerce Solutions and Websphere Portal.

IBM’s Wieck also noted that Trigo’s integration also provides extensions for IBM into mobility and pervasive computing. IBM’s Software Group strategy currently targets 12 key industries with specific software packages geared for specific functions.

“Trigo product center is a another key element of that capability and really expands the scope of integration from a market perspective,” Wieck said in the conference call.

“It supports the type of component development model the open standards commitment to Java/Web services and Linux that is clearly a part of our overall portfolio as well,” she added.

IBM’s integrated Trigo solutions will be marketed and sold by IBM’s 10,000-member strong global sales force.

Prior to the Trigo deal, IBM’s last software group acquisition was in December when Big Blue acquired enterprise content management play Green Pasture.

“It is very much a demonstration of the philosophy we’ve had with those previous acquisitions,” she said of the 14 software acquisitions for IBM.

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