IBM to buy more analytics companies, rivals worried

IBM has indicated that it intends to buy several more companies, particularly those within the middleware and analytics sectors, while Omniture said that IBM is copying its strategy in this area.

Mike Rhodin, senior vice-president of Software Solutions at IBM, said that the rate and pace of its acquisitions, which so far number 12 this year, will not change and that the ones it has bought this year are the kinds of ones it will be looking to buy in the future, suggesting a key focus, in particular, on analytics.

IBM’s most recently acquisition was in late September when it bought data storage and analytics firm Netezza for $1.7 billion. Before that it bought OpenPages, Blade Network Technologies, Unica, and Sterling Commerce.

IBM’s interest in the analytics market is particularly notable, as it is an attractive area for many companies who believe the sector will boom over the next few years.

A spokesperson for web analytics firm Omniture at the Connect 2010 conference in London this week told TechEye that IBM was copying its approach. Omniture spent several years acquiring other analytics companies and opened a number of training centres in them, a particular approach it says IBM is now employing.

The spokesperson also indicated that all of the analytics outlets are keeping a firm eye on IBM over its latest moves. They expect IBM to become a serious competitor in the analytics market in the future, but currently they do not feel threatened by Big Blue.

Other companies, such as HP and Oracle, have also been spending crazily over the past year, buying companies left, right, and centre. It is likely that they will also continue this approach if they see IBM’s planned buying power.