IBM IOD 2010: Acquisition strategy bears fruits for IBM

IBM Information on Demand logo

IBM may have made more than 20 BI-focused acquisitions in the last few years, but it took the opportunity at its Information on Demand conference in Las Vegas this week to set the record straight about how the fruits of those buys are being integrated into its product set.

Responding to a question during a press conference at the event, Rob Ashe, general manager of IBM's analytics arm, said that the process of integration actually starts well before the deal is completed.

"24 acquisitions We like to call it a string of pearls," he said, adding that integration followed a very strategic path.

IBM is no stranger to investment in this area, having ploughed more than $14 billion to beef up its expertise and portfolio. Human expertise as well as technological assets are also key it would seem, given that more than 7,000 of its business consultants are analytics focused.

Arvind Krishna, the company's information management software general manager, said that integration typically takes between one and three months and was based on a "very rigourous and formal process."

And it's clear the enthusiasm about IBM's acquisition strategy goes through the company.

"Our acquisition strategy has been brilliant because they fit in. Core Metrics suddenly fit in, our other analytics acquisitions all fit in. "Can you customise it for banking?" Well, we just happened to have acquired a company with that skill It is a perfect storm," David Barne's IBM's program director for emerging internet technology told IT PRO.

"Because it goes at such a rapid place, when I see it sometimes I'm not sure why. And then, a couple of months later, I think They were brilliant' and it really amazes me. I've been involved in some acquisitions and I step back and think about the foresight they had and I'm really really impressed. I can't even think of a bad acquisition we made."

He added: "The acquisition strategy for a company of our size right now is the lifeblood of increased revenues and so on. And ours has been a really good one."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.