The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
But Gartner expects that Big Blue will have to fend off at least one counteroffer for FileNet, which has a particularly strong presence in the banking, insurance and government vertical markets.
"We expect that the transaction between IBM and FileNet will take place, but consider it likely that competing bids from other vendors will be proffered before the deal is completed," said the analyst report.
"After it closes we believe this acquisition will consolidate the enterprise content management market, turning the high-end segment of the market into a head-to-head between EMC and IBM."
The study goes on to assert that the consolidation of the traditional enterprise content management market is only one of several drivers behind this acquisition.
"IBM has cited market demands for compliance solutions as another reason for purchasing FileNet. But Gartner does not believe that FileNet will add significant compliance capabilities that IBM did not already have," said the report.
However, Gartner noted that FileNet has developed its offerings over the past five years to embrace content-centric business process management (BPM), providing its own BPM capabilities. FileNet also has a strong human-to-human capability.
Yeah, sorry about all that, simpers Zuckerberg
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