IBM is buying AT&T subsidiary Sterling Commerce for about $1.4 billion in cash – a deal which will broaden IBM’s extensive data management software portfolio and bolster its market share.

With more than 18,000 global customers, Sterling, the maker of business-to-business data integration software, will expand IBM's ability to help organizations create more intelligent and dynamic business networks by simplifying and automating the way they connect and communicate with customers, partners and suppliers both on-premise or through cloud computing delivery models, IBM says.

Sterling enables more than 1 billion business interactions a year for clients in the financial services, retail, manufacturing, communications and distribution industries. IBM sees these interactions growing dramatically due to the proliferation of electronic business transactions.

After the deal closes in the second half of 2010, Sterling Commerce's 2,500 employees will be part of the WebSphere organization within IBM's Software Group.




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