IBM Buys Sterling Commerce from AT&T
On May 24, IBM purchased Sterling Commerce, a business-to-business provider, from AT&T for $1.4 billion cash. IBM plans to utilize Sterling Commerce's software to share and transfer information to other businesses and customers using cloud computing or on-premise means.
Sterling Commerce, a well-established provider of business transaction, selling, and fulfillment software, boasts over 18,000 clients across an array of industries that include distribution, financial services, retail, communications, and manufacturing.
IBM's acquisition of the Ohio-based company will expand and simplify IBM's customer service capabilities and products through new cross-channel solutions, confirming them as prominent competitors to Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard. Business to business integration software is a $5 billion market, growing annually by 10 percent.
Ray Wang, partner and research analyst for Enterprise Strategy at Altimeter Group and the author of software blog "A Software Insider's Point of View" writes, "IBM approached Sterling Commerce because of the rich customer base and its technology leadership in B2B Integration and Order Hubs. Over time, Sterling Commerce customers will gain a much needed middleware platform with a strong set of SOA and BPM tools. While AT&T did provide Sterling Commerce with tremendous autonomy, synergies were limited to channel sales and hosting…. Ownership by IBM fits into a larger dynamic business network vision which requires integration and is bounded by capabilities to enable commerce. IBM makes more sense as a home for Sterling Commerce and as a partner to AT&T."
IBM will continue to support Sterling Commerce clients while also improving Sterling Commerce technology.
"The broad global reach and additional capabilities IBM offers make this acquisition great news for our customers and partners," said Bob Irwin, chief executive officer, Sterling Commerce. "The combination of IBM's products, services and skills with the Sterling Commerce B2B integration and cross-channel capabilities resulting from this acquisition is unparalleled."
Sam Palmisano, CEO of IBM, confirmed IBM's agenda to seek continual transformation with establishing a high-value portfolio and securing higher growth businesses such as software. IBM also recently confirmed its intended allocation of $20 billion for takeovers during the next five years.
AT&T will reportedly receive $750 million in pretax gain from IBM when the deal closes in the late 2010. Following this close, a reported 2,500 current Sterling employees will make the transition to IBM's software division.
The purchase of Sterling Commerce is IBM's largest deal in almost three years.
News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine.
You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" below.
B2B Marketers Still Hesitant to Get Social
Forrester report shows that B2B marketing, unlike its B2C counterpart, may be lax in diving into Web 2.0 business efforts.
What B2B Marketers Can Learn from B2C
CRM Evolution '09 — Day 2: Whether marketers are hitting an individual or an enterprise, both are consumers and, ultimately, share the mindset that "it's all about me."
IBM Acquires MDM Player Initiate Systems
After weeks of rampant speculation -- and just six days after Informatica and Siperian dashed to the altar -- IBM and Initiate finally tie the knot, adding yet another variety of master data management to Big Blue's arsenal, and extending its reach into the healthcare and public sectors.
IBM Extends its Integration Portfolio by Acquiring Cast Iron Solutions
Based on its belief that the cloud computing market will continue to grow, IBM acquires a SaaS leader.
Did Web Analytics Just Become One of IBM's Core Values?
Big Blue acquires Web analytics firm Coremetrics for an undisclosed sum, hoping to leverage software-as-a-service and social networks.
IBM Captures Datacap for Content Management
In what one industry analyst calls a "good move and a very good choice," IBM expands its content management and business workflow capabilities by purchasing data-capture vendor Datacap.
Big(ger) Blue: IBM Acquires Unica for $480 Million
In a monumental, though predictable move, IBM purchases marketing automation technology.
IBM Acquires Netezza for $1.7 Billion
One IBM executive boasts that Big Blue's 23rd analytics acquisition will help the company "take analytics mainstream."