IBM’s iPhrase Buy Adds to WebSphere

IBM said that it has bought iPhrase Systems to add self-service search and navigation technology to its enterprise software lineup.

Veterans from MIT’s Laboratory for Computer Science and business leaders from Bain & Company founded iPhrase, which is privately held and venture-backed.

Its software is used by companies in a number of different sectors, including financial services, technology, health care, travel and retail.

“IBM plans to market and sell iPhrase software worldwide as a combined offering with its existing WebSphere Information Integrator product line,” Chris Andrews, an IBM spokesman, told “The specific product details will be announced at a future date.”

Big Blue will also continue to support and work closely with existing iPhrase customers.

IPhrase has approximately 70 employees who will be offered jobs with IBM, Andrews said. There are no immediate plans to move out of iPhrase’s Bedford, Mass., facilities. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBM has made 15 acquisitions since 2001 aimed at assembling a complete range of enterprise software, including six this year.

The largest was the $1.1 billion purchase of data-integration application maker Ascential Software.

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