IBM To Acquire SPSS
IBM today said it has agreed to acquire SPSS, a leading provider of real-time predictive analytics software, for $1.2 billion.
The company announced the deal at a conference held at its Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, N.Y., where it also launched a new turnkey analytics platform called IBM Smart Analytics System.
SPSS is a key provider of real-time analytics software, said IDC analyst Dan Vesset. "This is a move that gives IBM an even more complete analytics portfolio," said Vesset, who was at the event. "The SPSS acquisition is strategic for IBM," added Forrester analyst James Kobielus, noting the company lacked a best of breed data mining portfolio. Chicago-based SPSS, with 1,200 employees, is the second largest provider behind SAS Institute of real-time predictive analytics tools.
"They are quite pervasive. They have been rated as the top performer in advanced analytics," said Ambuj Goyal, general manager of IBM Software's information management software organization.
IBM intends to bundle the SPSS software across its software stack to allow organizations to move predictive analytics "from the back office to the front office," Goyal added.
While the deal was disclosed at IBM's analyst and media conference, it was a prelude to the launch of the IBM Smart Analytics System.
The system consists of an IBM pSeries server running AIX, that includes storage, networking, various other services and a suite of IBM's data mining tools, including its Cognos BI and InfoSphere Warehouse. It will be available in September with a starting configuration of 4 TB and up to 200 TB. Pricing was not disclosed.
IBM officials said they see predictive analytics as a key growth area. "The higher rates of growth clearly exist in the world of analytics and optimization. It's where more of the money is moving to," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive for IBM Software Group. "It's a logical extension of the changes of how to recognize a yield on information technology."
The SPSS acquistition, pending regulatory approval, is slated to close in the second half of this year, IBM said.
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.