IBM announced yesterday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alphablox Corporation, a privately held company based in Mountain View, California. The acquisition is expected to close later this month. Financial details were not disclosed. 

Alphablox's operations will be integrated into IBM's Information Management software business and Alphabloxproducts will be available from IBM and its business partners. Alphablox software enables customers and business partners to embed analytics -- such as customer buying trends -- into existing business processes, and makes information available to a wide spectrum of users and applications. As a result, the software helps organizations boost business insight by accessing data from across the enterprise and then enables the presentation of that information to be viewed in a customized way.

According to IDC, the market opportunity for business intelligence software is worth more than $7 billion worldwide and is expected to double by 2006. With the acquisition of Alphablox, IBM is strengthening its business intelligence platform by providing developers with the ability to build business applications that will enable them to gain multiple views of real-time information from a variety of data sources. This platform, which leverages IBM's middleware portfolio of offerings, is the foundation for delivering business intelligence solutions such as data warehousing and compliance as well as being an integral part of IBM's business performance management efforts.

In support of IBM's open standards infrastructure strategy, Alphablox software can work with both IBM and non-IBM data sources, including Oracle, Microsoft and Sybase, enabling organizations to build on their existing IT infrastructure

"IBM is the leader in helping customers implement a comprehensive business intelligence infrastructure," said Joe Guglielmi, CEO, Alphablox Corporation. "Alphablox technology integrates seamlessly with IBM's middleware offerings, enabling customers to gain real-time insight on their business information so that they can make faster, more insightful business decisions."

Alphablox technology will be integrated into IBM's middleware portfolio of offerings in several key areas including IBM's Data Warehouse Edition,  WebSphere Business Integration Monitor, Rational toolset, WebSphere Portal and IBM Workplace

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