(Editor's note: Updated 1:58 p.m. ET with Hurwitz and Ovum analysts comments.)

April 25, 2012 – IBM has reached a definitive agreement to acquire enterprise data search and navigation software provider Vivisimo, a move meant to deepen the discovery elements of IBM’s big data product line.

Vivisimo software groups data search and collaborate on results from in-house and online sources, highlighted in its flagship unified search repository platform, Velocity. Vivisimo CEO John Kealey appealed to the end-user access and visualization in his company’s software during a time when “businesses need a faster and more accurate way to discover and navigate big data.”

In announcing the deal Wednesday, IBM stated that Vivisimo’s technology would be incorporated into its big data platform in an effort to increase automation of data into analytics applications and real-time network monitoring and fraud detection. Those efforts have also been echoed in IBM’s initiatives with Smarter Analytics, its software and services launched last month, and future uses of the back-end data combing capabilities shown on TV quiz shows with its analytics supercomputer Watson.

Ovum Research has consistently given Vivisimo high marks for its search and navigation software. Ovum Senior Analyst Mike Davis said in a statement on the release that the deal puts a little more weight behind vendor hype on big data functionality, and, for IBM specifically, brings in a complimentary analytical search component for information "often obscured by the rapidly increasing volumes of corporate and associated social media data." 

Based in Pittsburgh, Vivisimo was founded in 2000 by a trio of computer science researchers from Carnegie Mellon University. Those deep data and IT roots from Carnegie should add confidence on the acquisition move by IBM, says Judith Hurwitz, president of consultancy Hurwitz and Associates. Hurwitz says the complimentary structured and unstructured data analysis behind Vivisimo's product line keep in step with IBM's strategy of easily integratable transactions over the last few years. And the deal, along with VMware's proposal for cloud analytics software startup Cetas late Tuesday, hint at continued activity in big data transactions in the second quarter of 2012.

Vivisimo is privately held and holds a customer base that includes the U.S. Air Force, Eli Lilly and LexisNexis.

Financial terms of the proposed deal were not disclosed, though IBM stated that Vivisimo’s 120 employees would join its Software Group.

Along with the deal proposed on Wednesday, IBM stated it would broaden its big data platform to run on distributions aside from just Apache Hadoop, starting with Cloudera. Cloudera Hadoop clients can now tap into IBM’s platform for complex analytics and the creation of data management software applications. Earlier this year, Oracle tied its big data appliance to the Cloudera framework and Teradata marked a big data partnership with Hortonworks, another Hadoop platform.

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