IBM buys BPM software provider Lombardi

The buyout is meant to add a department-level approach that was lacking in IBM's lineup of business process management tools

IBM has signed a deal to acquire software company Lombardi, which makes tools for automating business processes and making them more efficient.

Lombardi's products are focused on improving the business processes that support functions such as product planning, supply chain execution, insurance application and claims management, human resources and IT services and procurement, IBM said in its announcement on Wednesday.

While IBM already sells a number of BPM tools, they are concentrated on on enterprise-wide business process management, while Lombardi's tools work at the departmental level.

The business process management company has customers in the financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, retail and telecommunications industries. Its customers will be able to continue using their existing IBM and Lombardi systems without needing to replace any technology, IBM said.

The Lombardi software will be added to the WebSphere line of BPM and SOA products, where it will contribute a more collaborative approach than is found in other WebSphere offerings, according to IBM. Lombardi's tools are already designed to work with WebSphere infrastructure, the company added.

"Any discussion on business improvement inevitably leads to improving the processes that are at the heart of every company," said IBM's general manager of application and integration middleware, Craig Hayman, in a statement. "Recognising this, IBM has strengthened its presence and investments in business process and integration software to meet these growing client demands."

IBM said the acquisition follows in the line of its other buys, including the purchase of French BPM and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) provider Ilog last year.

The company has acquired 90 companies since 2003, with eight of those deals related to software integration. Its buyout total for this year is eight companies — two of which are service providers and six of which are software makers.

Austin, Texas-based Lombardi is privately held, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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