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IBM To Scoop Up Analytics Firm Alphablox

IBM reveals plans to increase the business intelligence capabilities of its DB2 data warehouse and middleware products with the signing a definitive agreement to purchase the BI software maker.

Ted Kemp

July 14, 2004

2 Min Read

IBM revealed plans to increase the business intelligence capabilities of its DB2 data warehouse and middleware products with the signing of a definitive pact to purchase BI software maker Alphablox.

Privately held Alphablox makes software designed to help companies proliferate customized analytics within their organizations. The company, which upgraded the presentation capabilities of its software in March, has marketed itself as a provider of "inline" analytics, meaning its platform is designed for building customized analytic applications that are embedded into operational processes.

IBM plans to integrate Alphablox technology with a number of its products, including most significantly the current version of its DB2 data warehouse. Alphablox will complement a new version of DB2 named "Stinger" that IBM is expected to release this year, but an IBM spokesperson said no firm plans have been made to fully integrate the two while Stinger is still in its beta testing stage.

Other products IBM hopes will benefit from Alphablox analytics include its WebSphere Business Integration Monitor performance management offering, its WebSphere Portal and IBM Workplace desktop products, and the IBM Rational toolset, which developers use to build applications.

The acquisition, announced Wednesday, is expected to close this month. Financial terms were kept private.

IBM's plans mark the latest move in a trend among the major database players to embed analytics and reporting services into their products. In April, Microsoft acquired ActiveViews, a company specializing in ad hoc reporting, with an eye toward adding reporting services to SQL Server. The trend has caused concern among stand-alone makers of analytics and reporting packages that such offerings could dampen interest in their technology.

Alphablox's target markets have included pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, high-tech manufacturers, financial services companies and retailers, among others. The company also makes an alerts product.

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