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IBM Acquires Social Services Software Developer

Curam Software will bolster IBM's Smarter Cities strategy to help governments use technology to better deliver citizen services.
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IBM has acquired a maker of social services software to bolster its Smarter Cities strategy, which aims to help government agencies--particularly those in metropolitan areas--deliver services to residents more effectively through technology.

The company recently completed its purchase of privately held Curam Software, based in Dublin, Ireland. Curam delivers a breed of software called social enterprise management, which is customized to help social services organizations manage and deliver welfare, social insurance, and both individual and employer-based social programs. In turn, these government organizations can offer better services to their constituents.

Curam's 700 employees have now become part of IBM's software group. IBM already had been working with the company as a partner for its IBM Government Industry Framework, which pulls together applications, middleware, and server products for use by local, state, and federal government agencies. IBM has been offering Curam's case management software on top of the framework to social services agencies.

That framework and other initiatives are part of IBM's recent efforts to bolster its profile in the government sector with industry-specific software and solutions.

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One of these is IBM's Smarter Cities initiative, which the company said Curam's acquisition will support. Last year, IBM opened a Smarter Cities Technology Center in Dublin. With its purchase of Curam, IBM also acquires the Irish company's research institute that focuses on deploying new business models for managing social programs.

Through Smarter Cities, IBM has offered tens of millions of dollars in grant money to cities around the world to help them foster citizen engagement, services, and efficiency through technology.

Citing research by IDC Government Insights, IBM said that by the end of 2011 its Smarter Cities will represent a $34 billion technology opportunity for companies. This opportunity will increase more than 18% per year, to $57 billion, by 2014.

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