IBM announced it has acquired all the outstanding shares of Presence Online Pty Ltd (doing business as Aptrix), a privately held, Australia-based provider of Web content management software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition will strengthen IBM's Lotus portfolio with new Web content management software that will enable users to contribute and collaborate on assembling, approving and deploying content to a portal or Web site. This acquisition will help accelerate IBM's plans for the Lotus Workplace Content Development offering, a product that will be built based on the Aptrix technology and will accelerate the development and delivery of critical business information and help lower the cost of managing content. The Lotus Workplace Content Development software is available immediately.

The new Web content management capabilities will help IBM customers enhance the relevance and timeliness of their company websites by providing a quick and easy way to create, publish, manage and archive Web-based content within a corporate intranet, extranet and Internet environment. The new offering also addresses the growing customer demand for flexible, integrated solutions that combine portal, collaboration and content technology onto a single platform. Already the industry leader in collaboration and portals, today's announcement gives IBM customers immediate access to Web content technology to complement their collaborative portal environments.

The Lotus Workplace initiative – the collaboration and human interaction component of IBM's On Demand offerings – can help improve business productivity and can help lower costs by combining the collaborative capabilities from IBM's Lotus Software with WebSphere Portal and DB2 Content Manager technology to give customers integrated, personalized access to information, people and applications. By leveraging a single portal infrastructure, customers can integrate a variety of collaborative solutions, such as instant messaging, search, document management and messaging, onto one platform to maximize employee skills and information while helping to lower cost of ownership.

IBM and Aptrix have a long-standing business relationship, and with this acquisition IBM continues its momentum and leadership in the collaboration and human interaction space. With a global base of shared customers and solutions based on open industry standards, Aptrix technology complements Lotus' current collaborative platform and will integrate seamlessly into current Lotus Domino, WebSphere and DB2 Content Manager environments.

Aptrix's employees and operations, including offices in London and Massachusetts, will be integrated with IBM Software Group's Lotus business unit. IBM anticipates that the Aptrix technology will soon come to market under the newly announced Lotus Workplace portfolio.

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