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HP To Acquire Analytics Specialist Vertica

The buyout will help HP counter IBM's recent acquisition of Netezza as analytics sector heats up.
Hewlett-Packard said Monday it agreed to acquire Vertica, a privately-held developer of software that lets businesses analyze and interpret information stored in enterprise databases. The move should help HP keep pace with rival IBM, which recently bolstered its analytics portfolio with the buyout of Netezza.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Vertica's software is used in sales prediction, network performance analysis, market tracking, and other sophisticated business applications. The company has tripled its customer base to about 300 over the past two years. High-profile users include Comcast, Groupon, and BlueCrest Capital Management.

Billerica, Mass.-based Vertica is backed by venture firms Bessemer Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and New Enterprise Associates. Though its books are private, analysts said they believe the company is profitable.

HP officials said the deal will help enterprise customers cope with vastly increasing amounts of information coming into their organizations—through the Web, mobile phones, smart devices, and other sources.

"In today's highly competitive environment, customers need the ability to manage the increasing amounts of data and growing streams of information with more flexible, more dynamic architectures," said Shane Robison, HP's chief strategy and technology officer, in a statement.

"Vertica's unique platform combines simplicity with industry-leading performance, allowing HP to leap ahead of the industry in the race to analyze massive amounts of data," said Robison. Vertica's in-database analytics platform features what the company calls the four C's: column storage, clustering, compression, and continuous performance.

Vertica executives said that they'll be able to extend their technology to a much larger market under HP. "By combining Vertica's offerings with HP's brand and global reach, customers will benefit from the commitment, expertise, and resources from the largest technology company in the world," said Vertica CEO Christopher Lynch.

The networked economy, where information floods into organizations in real time, has made analytics one of enterprise software's hottest growth segments.

IBM enhanced its analytics portfolio late last year with the $1.7 billion acquisition of Netezza, which bundles analytics software with specialized hardware. "Vertica reports that it most often comes up against Netezza" in competitive bids, said 451 Group analyst Matt Aslett, in a research note. Oracle and Microsoft are also building out their analytics footprints.

HP said it expects the deal to close in the second quarter.