Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘acquisitions’ Category

IBM To Acquire HR And Talent Management Firm Kenexa

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IBM today announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kenexa Corporation, a publicly held company headquartered in Wayne, PA, in a cash transaction at a price of $46 per share, or at a net price of approximately $1.3 billion.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” says Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM, explaining IBM’s rationale for acquiring HR and talent management provider Kenexa Corporation for $1.3 billion cash earlier today.

The acquisition bolsters IBM’s leadership in helping clients embrace social business capabilities while gaining actionable insights from the massive streams of information generated from social networks every day.

The adoption of social business technology is supporting the growth of big data and the need for analytics in the enterprise. A recent global IBM study revealed that 57 percent of CEOs identified social business as a top priority and more than 73 percent are making significant investments to draw insights into available data.

The survey also reveals that 70 percent cite human capital as the single biggest contributor to sustained economic value. The combined strengths of IBM and Kenexa are key differentiators at a time when organizations of all sizes are looking to increase workforce efficiencies and gain more insight from their business information.

Kenexa: Providing World-Class Social Business Capabilities

Kenexa is a leading provider of recruiting and talent management solutions. They bring to IBM a unique combination of cloud-based technology and consulting services that integrates both people and processes, providing solutions to engage a smarter, more effective workforce across their most critical business functions.

Kenexa complements IBM’s strategy of bringing relevant data and expertise into the hands of business leaders within every functional department, from sales and marketing to product development and human resources. As a result of this synergy, clients will be able to attract and develop the right skills to build the right teams, for the right projects, the first time.

Social media has pervaded the lives of consumers, helping them connect with each other in new ways. However, a shift is occurring in the enterprise as business leaders look for ways to generate real value through the use of social technologies to evolve their front-line business operations.

According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM. “IBM is uniquely positioned to help clients generate real returns from their social business investments, while helping them gain intelligence into the data being generated in these networks to be more competitive in their markets.”

Social Business Creating Value In The Enterprise

Today, Kenexa supports more than 8,900 customers across a variety of industries, including financial services, pharmaceuticals, retail and consumer, including more than half of the Fortune 500.

With Kenexa’s world-class front-office process solutions, IBM will be able to offer strategic consulting, a social technology platform, and expertise on a global scale to help clients enable a smarter workforce and gain a competitive advantage in any market.

By creating a smarter workforce, employees can resolve problems before they arise to improve customer service, drive innovation to bring products and services to market faster, and increase sales by building new skills — linking the right experts to the right clients.

The Kenexa acquisition will complement IBM’s social business and HR business services leadership. More than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have licensed IBM’s solutions for social business.

Through its combination of social software, analytics, content management, and deep industry expertise, IBM is uniquely positioned to help organizations capture information, create insights and generate interactions that translate into real business value.

With operations in 21 countries worldwide, Kenexa has approximately 2,800 employees. Consistent with its strategy, IBM plans to continue to support Kenexa clients and enhance Kenexa technologies while allowing these organizations to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.

IBM expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to Kenexa shareholder and regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

IBM To Acquire Flash Memory Provider Texas Memory Systems

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IBM announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a leading developer of high-performance flash memory solutions.

TMS is a privately held company based in Houston, Texas. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1978, TMS designs and sells high-performance solid state storage solutions. Unlike hard disk drives that rely on spinning disks and robotic arms, solid state systems are high-speed data storage solutions based on flash or RAM memory that can provide significantly faster throughput and data access while consuming less power.

TMS offers its solid state solutions as the RamSan family of shared rackmount systems and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) cards.

The products are designed to help companies improve performance and reduce server sprawl, power consumption, cooling, and floor space requirements, all of which in turn can help clients save money, improve performance and invest more in innovation.

IDC estimates the amount of solid state storage solutions being shipped into the enterprise will grow significantly, reaching nearly 3 exabytes by 2016.

“The TMS strategy and solution set align well with our Smarter Computing approach to information technology by helping clients realize increased performance and efficiencies at lower costs,” said Brian Truskowski, general manager, Systems Storage and Networking, IBM. “Solid state technology, in particular, is a critical component of our new Smarter Storage approach to the design and deployment of storage infrastructures, and part of a holistic approach that exploits flash in conjunction with disk and tape technologies to solve complex problems.”

Following acquisition close, IBM plans to invest in and support the TMS product portfolio, and will look to integrate over time TMS technologies into a variety of solutions including storage, servers, software, and PureSystems offerings.

TMS employs approximately 100 people. The deal is expected to close later in 2012.

Written by turbotodd

August 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Softer Networking

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The Turbo radar sensed more disruption on the technology M&A front overnight.

Actually, it was my RSS feed reader, but hey, close enough for jazz.

VMWare, the virtualization technology provider owned by storage technology stalwart, EMC, bought Andreessen Horowitz-backed Nicira for $1.05 billion buckaroos.

Nicira is an open source software developer for network virtualization, and has been adopted by VMWare most likely for its development of “software defined data centers.”

Historically, data communications controls have been managed by proprietary software sold in combination with hardware (think Cisco, Juniper, etc.)

With Nicira, control functions are separated and moved down the stack, so to speak, so they can be run on a variety of servers and not just proprietary hardware.

According to Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the announcement, VMWare CEO Paul Maritz “predicts that nearly all of the hardware in current computer rooms will be replaced by software running on commodity-style servers.”

The software-defined data center. Veddy interesting.

It’ll be even more interesting to see how Cisco and the other networking hardware vendors respond…or not.

Written by turbotodd

July 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

IBM Furthers Focus On Marketers

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The Wall Street Journal just posted this article in advance of IBM’s 2Q earnings announcement tomorrow, leading with this sentence: “Technology companies have found a new customer—the marketing department.”

The story goes on to highlight the fact that marketing organizations are increasingly taking the lead in technology acquisition, and that “Companies are deemphasizing traditional productivity tools like PCs and standard business software in favor of advanced programs that help them boost revenue, for example by tracking customers across channels and better targeting offers and advertising.”

The article reminded me of a post I wrote back in May leading up to IBM’s Smarter Commerce Summit in Madrid, Spain – entitled “No More Business As Usual” — which I’ll quote freely from again below:

Today, circa 2012, we find ourselves at another inflection point in the history of commerce, one which begins and ends with the customer. Today’s commerce environment features a customer who is dictating a new set of terms in the dynamic between buyers and sellers, and these are very smart consumers, ones empowered by technology, transparency, and an abundance of information.

Just simply walk through your closest local retailer or your nearest airport, and you’ll see signs of this new and smarter consumer. Via smartphones and other mobile devices, they are connected real-time to an absurd amount of information that empowers them as buyers, and, in turn, requires an accelerated sophistication on the part of sellers, no matter the product or service.

These consumers expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital, and mobile means, and they want a consistent experience across all channels.

Because they are empowered and connected, they can compare notes, quickly, and they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse or the stroke of their tablet computer.

In the Journal article, author Spencer Ante points out that Gartner recently predicted by 2017, the chief marketing officer will control more technology spending than the company CIO.  Gartner estimates that around a third of marketing department expense budgets is devoted to purchases such as systems to manage customer relationships, predict customer behavior, and run online storefronts, and that the global spend on marketing software already rose from $20 billion to $25 billion over the past year.

Yuchun Lee, an IBM vice president who is one of the “Smarter Commerce” strategy’s architects and who was quoted in the article, says that “IBM is making investments in technology that could help clients manage online customer interactions, analyze social media data and craft targeted pitches.”

Specifically, IBM has spent some $3 billion making acquisitions in this growing market over the past several years, including the acquisitions of Coremetrics, DemandTec, TeaLeaf, and Unica.

Following is an interview my compadre, Scott Laningham, conducted with Yuchun in Madrid on the topic of smarter commerce.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM Product Manager Mark Frigon On Smarter Web Analytics & Privacy

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Mark Frigon is a senior product manager with IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management organization, a key group involved in leading IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative. Mark’s specialties are in Web analytics (he joined IBM as part of its acquisition of Coremetrics) and Internet privacy, an issue that has come to the forefront in recent years for digital marketers around the globe.

Effective Web metrics are critical to the success of businesses looking to succeed in e-commerce and digital marketing these days, and IBM has a number of experts who spend a lot of their time in this area.

One of those here in Madrid at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Mark Frigon, is a senior product manager for Web analytics in IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management organization.

Mark sat down with me to discuss the changing nature of Web analytics, and how dramatically it has evolved as a discipline over the past few years, including the increased focus by marketers on “attribution,” the ability to directly correlate a Web marketing action and the desired result.

Mark also spoke at the event about the importance for digital marketers around the globe to be more privacy-aware, a topic we also discussed in our time together, calling out in particular the “Do-Not-Track” industry self-regulatory effort that intends to put privacy controls in the hands of consumers.

If you spend any time thinking about Internet privacy or Web analytics, or both, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Dr. Kareem Yusuf On Smarter Commerce and Cities Acquisitions

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When Scott Laningham and I sat down with Dr. Kareem Yusuf yesterday, we didn’t realize what we were bargaining for.  As IBM’s executive responsible for both strategy and mergers and acquisitions for the Industry Solutions Division, Kareem’s responsibilities range from the formulation and prioritization of strategic plays to the execution of M&A in support of the business strategy

Also central to Kareem’s responsibilities have been the Smarter Commerce and Smarter Cities initiatives, along with the acquisitions that have been executed to support them.

Prior to this role, Kareem was focused on Decision Support Systems for Civil Engineering construction as he completed his Ph.D from the University of Leeds, and also spent some time providing Level 3 support for IBM’s WebSphere MQ technology, specializing in Java-based messaging.

Our discussion was far-ranging, with Kareem providing a beautifully-worded explanation of IBM Software’s Smarter Commerce acquisition strategy, along with some words about the new Smarter Cities technology buyer (the Mayor, the Police Chief, etc.) and also an update on what IBM has been focusing on most recently around the Smarter Cities initiatives.

All this and more coming to a stadium near you and soon!

IBM Business Analytics: Preventing Fraud, Predicting Profits

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Scott Laningham and I are starting to think about repacking our suitcases and preparing to head back out on the road, this time across the pond to Madrid for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit May 22-24.

In Madrid, we expect to hear quite a bit about IBM’s investment in the analytics space, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait to visit the Prado to relate some interesting details about business analytics.

Specifically, predictive analytics that can help companies across the span of industries to prevent fraud.

Here’s a sound byte you may not have yet heard: Did you know that insurance fraud has reached an estimated $80 billion per year in the U.S. alone??

And in South Africa, the rate of short-term insurance fraud is about 15 percent of all premium costs.

And yet, we’ve also found that organizations that effectively apply predictive analytics are 2.2 times more likely to outperform their peers.

One such client of IBM is Santam, South Africa’s leading short term insurance company, which has saved $2.4 million on fraudulent claims in the first four months of using IBM business analytics software.

This new analytics solution has not only enhanced Santam’s fraud detection capabilities, however — it has also enabled faster payouts for legitimate claims.

In partnering with IBM, Santam’s claims division developed a new operating model for processing claims, depending on varying risk levels. IBM’s predictive analytics software has enabled Santam to automatically assess if there is any fraud risk associated with incoming claims and allows the insurer to distribute claims to the appropriate processing channel for immediate settlement or further investigation, which in turn optimizes Santam’s operational efficiency.

In turn, Santam is able to reduce the number of claims that need to be assessed by mobile operatives visiting the customer or claim site, resulting in further considerable cost savings for the company.

IBM: Investing In Analytics, Predicting Results

In the last five years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in acquisitions. With investments in SPSS, Clarity, OpenPages, i2 and Algorithmics, and others, IBM is building business analytics solutions providing clients with capabilities for managing fraud, risk and threat. In addition, IBM has assembled almost 9,000 dedicated analytics consultants with industry expertise, and created a network of eight global analytics solution centers.

The Santam project also illustrates IBM’s leadership in analytics in Africa. IBM is also actively laying the foundations for a major presence throughout the African continent, with offices in more than 20 African countries, where the company is assisting businesses and governments in building strategies, expertise, solutions, frameworks and operating procedures to help improve performance.

You can learn more about Santam here, and their new predictive analytics solution in the video below.  You can learn more about IBM business analytics solutions here.

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