IBM Acquires Vivisimo

One week after acquiring the analytics software company Varicent, IBM announced today that it has acquired Vivisimo, a provider of information optimization solutions, for an undisclosed amount.

Pittsburgh-based Vivisimo offers automated software to help enterprise users access and analyze vast amounts of structured and unstructured data across numerous sources.

In a statement, IBM claims that the combination of its Big Data analytics capabilities with Vivisimo software will "further IBM's efforts to automate the flow of data into business analytics applications, helping clients better understand consumer behavior, manage customer churn and network performance, detect fraud in real time, and perform data-intensive marketing campaigns."

Using Vivisimo's search software to find patterns in data sets is the "first step in the full cycle of business intelligence and analytics," says Forrester vice president and principal analyst Boris Evelson.

"Once you discover a pattern using a product like Vivisimo, you may need to productionalize...your findings in a traditional data warehouse, and then build reports and dashboards for further analysis using traditional BI technologies," Evelson notes. "This is where IBM may be looking to integrate Vivisimo with their InfoSphere and Cognos products."

IBM has made 30 acquisitions to date to boost its analytics portfolio, including Cognos, SPSS, Coremetrics, Netezza, Algorithmics, DemandTec, and Emptoris. Last year, IBM committed $100 million in R&D funding over the next five years to develop technologies to help clients analyze massive amounts of data.

In addition to acquiring Vivisimo, IBM is also expanding its big data platform to run on third-party distributions of the software framework Apache Hadoop, beginning with Cloudera. Cloudera is an enterprise software company that provides Apache Hadoop-based software and services to clients in industries that include financial services, government, telecommunications, media, retail, energy, and healthcare. Cloudera clients can now use IBM's Big Data platform to perform complex analytics and build a new generation of software applications.

"Navigating Big Data to uncover the right information is a key challenge for all industries," noted Arvind Krishna , general manager of information management at the IBM Software Group. "The winners in the era of big data will be those who unlock their information assets to drive innovation, make real-time decisions, and gain actionable insights to be more competitive."

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