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.

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