IBM Buys Data Integration Firm for $1.1B

IBM announced this week it is buying data integration software firm Ascential for approximately $1.1 billion in cash.

Officials at Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM said the acquisition will bolster the company’s already burgeoning data integration business unit.

“Customers worldwide use Ascential’s data integration software to build enterprise data warehouses, power business intelligence systems, consolidate enterprise applications, create and manage master repositories of critical business information, and enable on-demand data access,” IBM said in a statement on the deal.

Ascential’s software provides customers with the ability to quickly gather, move and enhance the quality of large amounts of data, which will complement IBM’s WebSphere Information Integrator product portfolio, IBM said. The combination of Ascential’s software with WebSphere Information Integrator software “enables customers to centrally manage and access data stored across a variety of structured and unstructured sources, from IBM and non-IBM vendors, in real-time . . . This combination will help customers solve numerous integration problems,” the statement adds.

IBM plans to make Ascential into a business unit within its Information Management software division headed by general manager Janet Perna, and Ascential’s technology and products will be integrated into IBM's Information Management and Software Group offerings.

Ascential Software brought in nearly $272 million in revenue for 2004, and has an established base of around 3,000 customers and partners worldwide.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter, the companies said.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.