IBM has moved to extend its capabilities in the burgeoning business process management (BPM) market, by announcing the acquisition of BPM vendor Lombardi Software for an undisclosed sum.
Lombardi's departmental-level approach to process management will fit well with IBM's current enterprise-wide BPM software products, and the former has long been a supporter of IBM's WebSphere middleware family, according to the software and services giant.
"Any discussion on business improvement inevitably leads to improving the processes at the heart of every company," said Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM application and integration middleware.
"Recognising this, IBM has strengthened its presence and investments in business process and integration software to meet these growing client demands. Lombardi fills out our company's portfolio in this key area."
IBM quoted recent research by IDC which estimates that the market for BPM software will increase at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 15 per cent over the next four years, from $1.7bn (£1.03bn) this year to $3bn (£1.83bn) by 2013.
IBM also said that customers will not need to replace their existing Lombardi systems, giving a guarantee that any investments in that area would be preserved.
Donald Light, senior analyst at consultancy Celent argued that today's announcement is an important step in IBM's attempts to build out its middleware and infrastructure business.
"For years, Lombardi has been one of the leading BPM providers, with a strong presence in the insurance industry," he added.
"Celent has seen a heightened interest in BPM among midsize and large insurers in the past 18 months, as they examine wrap-and-extend alternatives to ripping and replacing their core systems. BPM solutions can also play an important orchestration role within an insurer's SOA strategy."
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