IBM, Tibco Make Acquisition Moves - InformationWeek

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10/13/2004
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IBM, Tibco Make Acquisition Moves

IBM adds project-management software to its lineup, while Tibco's acquisition garners tools for building composite applications.

IBM and Tibco Software Inc. are back on the acquisition path.

IBM is acquiring Systemcorp ALG Ltd., a Montreal producer of enterprise-IT project-management software, the company said Tuesday. Details of the transaction, which is expected to close in 30 days, have not been disclosed. The deal is subject to approval by a court in Canada.

The Systemcorp product line includes PMOffice Enterprise, software for managing multiple ongoing IT projects that was jointly developed with IBM. Sixty days from now it will be offered as part of the IBM Rational Software unit's product lineup, general manager Mike Devlin says.

Privately held Systemcorp brought out PMOffice 2.5 in 1996 in collaboration with the Project Management Institute, a professional association for project managers. The software enabled enterprise managers to view multiple IT projects simultaneously under way by integrating document management, change management, and risk management, as well as project-activity tracking. It was the first of what became known as the portfolio-management software category.

The average major company invests $120 million a year in IT projects, Devlin said in announcing the acquisition. Managing such projects remains a challenge, with many not delivering the targeted results. "Tightly linking the IT organization with the goals of the overall business" through portfolio-management software helps ensure that projects are more likely to meet business goals, he says.

Systemcorp products will be integrated with IBM's Rational tools and Global Services, IBM's consulting arm, as a result of the acquisition, Systemcorp CEO Ari Kugler says.

Tibco, a leading middleware player, said Tuesday that it's acquiring a privately held company, General Interface Corp. of San Francisco.

General Interface is a supplier of rich-client software for running composite applications in a user's browser window. Composite applications are frequently built from different parts of a company's existing software infrastructure that are drawn together to provide a new Web-based service. Composite applications are often assembled by drawing on existing middleware, such as Tibco's Rendevous messaging and BusinessWorks integration software. By incorporating a rich client interface on top of such products, customers can more easily build a user interface for such composite applications, senior marketing VP Ram Menon says.

Companies such as General Interface provide components for building the user's screen display in a browser window for composite applications. General Interface offers a library of Objects, its user interface components, that are used to populate the browser window with such interactive elements as menus, toolbars, or dialogue boxes.

No date was set for completion of the General Interface acquisition, nor were financial details disclosed.

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