December 16, 2009 – IBM announced today that it will acquire Lombardi, a privately held provider of business process management software and services.

The announcement follows IBM’s January addition of Paris-based ILOG to its BPM portfolio. Lombardi provides a new dimension for IBM customers with an integrated solution that automates human tasks and workflows, according to the company release.

“IBM was looking for an acquisition that could help them with their story to the business side and Lombardi surely fills that gap,” said Clay Richardson, senior analyst at Forrester Research. “Of course this will introduce further stack confusion, but if executed properly it could parachute IBM into successful deals led by line of business managers.”

With this acquisition, IBM is expands in a market that shows increasing traction with organizations. The market opportunity for BPM software is expected to increase nearly 15 percent over the next four years, according to an August report from market research firm IDC.

The high cost of labor in the U.S. and Western Europe are driving investment in BPM, as Maureen Fleming, program director at IDC stated in the report, “Worldwide Business Process Management Software 2009 to 2013 Forecast.”

“While overall IT spending is forecast to decline in 2009 and only modestly recover over the following few years, BPM software investments will be somewhat countercyclical as enterprises invest to lower labor costs,” Fleming said.

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