IBM to add Ascential

Big Blue is splashing out US$1.1bn cash for enterprise data integration software vendor Ascential to strengthen its ‘information integrity’ offering. IBM plans to market and sell Ascential products both through Ascential's existing channel and through IBM business partners.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  March 15, 2005

Big Blue is splashing out US$1.1bn cash for enterprise data integration software vendor Ascential to strengthen its ‘information integrity’ offering. IBM plans to market and sell Ascential’s products both through Ascential’s existing channel and through IBM business partners. “Information integration is an important enabler of an on demand business strategy and customers are increasing their investments in software that allows them to rapidly analyse, consolidate and extract value from their business data,” explained Steve Mills, senior VP and group executive at IBM’s software group. Ascential’s software allows customers to build enterprise data warehouses, power business intelligence systems, consolidate enterprise applications, create and manage master repositories and enable on demand data access. With more than 3,000 customers and partners across all major industries, Ascential is a leader in the enterprise data integration space. The Ascential Alliance partner programme focuses predominantly on partnerships with complementary vendors and systems integrators. IBM plans to establish Ascential as a business unit within IBM’s Information Management software division and build upon an existing partnership that has already resulted in more than 550 joint customers worldwide. “The integration market is changing and evolving as customers demonstrate a preference for broad solutions that meet enterprise integration requirements,” said Peter Gyenes, chairman and CEO at Ascential. “IBM shares our understanding that data integration is a strategic component of information and process integration and offered us this opportunity to combine and form a stronger competitor in the large and growing integration market.” Ascential’s sales soared 46% year-on-year in 2004 to US$271.9m with after-tax profits coming in at US$14.95m. IBM’s offer values Ascential at more than 73 times the vendor’s 2004 earnings. Analysts at IDC reckon that the global market for data integration spending will rise in value from US$9.3bn in 2003 to US$13.6bn by 2008.

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