IBM will pay US$1.2 billion in cash for SPSS, a company
with technology that will bolster Big Blue's business analytics
line-up. SPSS makes predictive analytics and data mining software
that models customer interactions.
IBM said the deal, which values SPSS at US$50 a share, is expected
to close in the second half of the year. IBM has
completed 27 acquisitions for its information on demand strategy
and more than 100 deals over the last decade overall.
Coupled with the launch of IBM's preconfigured analytics system,
Big Blue appears to be signaling that it's serious about making predictive
modeling part of every day corporate processes.
SPSS will fit into IBM's information on demand software
portfolio. SPSS targets a bevy of industries including financial
services, health care, retail and the public sector. SPSS' software
is used to retain customers, detect fraud and analyse risk.
On a conference call, Ambuj Goyal, general manager of IBM's
information management business and Jack Noonan, CEO of SPSS,
portrayed the deal as complementary. For SPSS, IBM provides more
distribution and services heft. For IBM, SPSS fits into the overall
business analytics strategy.
Goyal noted that SPSS and IBM were already partners. Indeed,
SPSS' software was embedded in the IBM Cognos business intelligence
applications via an OEM agreement.