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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Acquisitions: The Party Goes On

As it would be, I was discussing with MRO software executives Thursday evening on opportunities, later in the evening comes the news that IBM is acquiring MRO software. Matter-of-fact, I had planned to start the Friday morning with a meeting with MRO executives – so I may get a little more enlightened. As more types of corporate assets are touched by technology, companies are looking for ways to consolidate how they manage these assets – both operational and IT-related. The two companies have been partners since 1996, when IBM acted as a systems integrator in implementing MRO Software. IBM’s Al Zollar finds that 40 percent of CEOs indicated that asset utilization would be a key focus in strengthening financial performance. IBM intends to incorporate MRO software technology into IBM's Tivoli software offerings. IBM GS could benefit substantially here by building referenceable services based on service-oriented architectures (SOA) that can be used by clients across verticals. MRO's had earlier integrated its asset and IT service management into a single enterprise suite called MAXIMO ES, paving the way for building such services. No doubt, the ITIL space is a hot one – with good upside potential for vendors to get more business.HP’s recent acquisition of Mercury could have spurred IBM to buy quickly. IBM seems to be executing to a plan here- after all the acquisition comes one day after IBM bought Webify Solutions, which builds SOA software for the insurance and finance industries. MRO must have been concerned about Infor’s acquisition of Datastream as well. With IBM, HP, CA getting their act together, BMC may feel a little left out.

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