• May 30, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Business Objects Will Acquire Inxight and Align with IBM

Business intelligence vendor Business Objects has announced it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Inxight Software, a developer of data search and discovery tools. Business Objects will add Inxight's applications for unstructured data mining into its BI offerings, specifically to the BusinessObjects XI platform, designed to enable customers to discover, manage, and analyze unstructured content. Financial details of the transaction, which is expected to close in July of 2007, were not disclosed. "Our customers want to use the full spectrum of available data to make the best decision possible," said John Schwarz, CEO, in a written statement. Inxight applications bring a combination of text analytics, federated search, and visualization for unstructured information, which includes emails, Web content, documents, and other material not formatted for database searches. Roughly 80 percent of all corporate data is unstructured, according to Business Objects. Inxight, which was born of the Xerox PARC research center, has about 120 employees and posted revenue of more than $25 million in 2006. The acquisition represents the merge of search functionality and BI. "The terms search and business intelligence are now being used in the same breath," says Jim Murphy, a research director at AMR Research. "Search vendors are treading into BI territory, taking various angles of approach, while BI vendors are embracing search as a logical path to ubiquity." Murphy says the acquisition could be first of many. "This acquisition indicates the rhetoric is only just starting to heat up." In related news, and to answer demand for BI solutions in the Asia Pacific, Business Objects and IBM announced an alliance yesterday to provide localized BI support for customers in the region. According to Business Objects, demand has jumped some 27 percent in the past year, which translates to a market size of $24 million. Shobit Dubey, director of Business Objects, said in a written statement: "We've seen a fivefold increase in our business opportunity in this quarter versus last quarter. We have about 1,000 joint customers in this region already." Together, Business Objects and IBM are planning to focus on industries such as financial services, healthcare, and life sciences, with localized solutions for the region being developed in Shanghai and Bangalore. IBM says it expects an annual growth of 20 percent for the joint venture. "In India, there are huge infrastructure projects, telecom projects," said Jay Ennesser, vice president of IBM Global Solutions, in a written statement. "Every country you go to has these kinds of opportunities and we just want to be positioned to be able to provide the tools, capabilities, and in some cases the skills to support that growth." Related articles: BI and PM: Two Sides of the Same Coin
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