August 31, 2011 – IBM has announced a definitive agreement to acquire i2, a provider of intelligence analytics for crime and fraud prevention. (The U.K.-based provider is a different company than similarly named i2 Technologies bought by JDA.)

i2’s software and solutions target fraud and security threats with analytic capabilities and tactical lead generation. The company’s customers include cities, nations, international bodies and private enterprises. Clients include the U.S. Army and C.I.A.

The company has been focused on the exponential increase in “big data” – information stores from disparate and unstructured sources such as social media, biometrics and criminal databases. Additionally, security threat reduction is of strategic importance across industries. IBM now adds to their analytics portfolio with these issues in mind.

i2 CEO Robert Griffin said in an announcement that i2’s existing clients will be “at home” with IBM. Craig Hayman, IBM’s General Manager of Industry Solutions said the combined capabilities of the companies will help customers uncover patterns and trends and more effectively protect the privacy and safety of citizens, businesses and governments. 

It is a “significant” acquisition, according to Boris Evelson, Vice President and Principal Analyst for Forrester Research. He says the i2 acquisition points to IBM’s rising commitment to business intelligence and analytics. “It will surely strengthen and round out IBM’s analytics portfolio with public sector, finance and healthcare specific solutions,” says the analyst.

i2 claims to have more than 4,500 customers in 150 countries, and 350 employees in North America, Europe and Australia. The acquisition is expected to close in Q4 2011.

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