IBM has agreed to acquire long-time partner Netezza for $1.7bn (£1.09bn) in a bid to expand its information and business analytics division.
Netezza specialises in database activity monitoring products that analyse and report on critical data activity across an enterprise, including databases, file servers and mainframe applications.
Arvind Krishna, general manager of information management at IBM, said that all departments from finance to marketing are increasingly tapping into the capabilities of analytics to draw meaningful insights.
"Clients cannot sacrifice time, cost or performance by deploying solutions that do not best meet each of their business needs," he said.
"The addition of Netezza will reinforce IBM's focus in understanding clients' needs by providing a broader set of analytics capabilities, and bringing the power of analytics right into the hands of business users at every level within an organisation."
The acquisition will deliver a boost to IBM's analytics division, according to Clive Longbottom, service director at analyst firm Quocirca.
"Netezza's appliance approach provides a rapid means of deploying systems to deal with mass data issues," he told V3.co.uk.
"This purchase provides demonstrable added value to IBM's existing customer base as well as offering differentiation against competitors [such as] Oracle."
IBM will aim to integrate Netezza into its Information Management software portfolio. Netezza has 350 clients across a wide range of industries, and employees 500 people.
The purchase is subject to Netezza shareholder approval, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
IBM has invested more than $12bn (£7.7bn) in 23 analytics related acquisitions in the past four years, and its analytics business grew by 14 per cent in the second quarter of 2010, according to the company's own figures.
Meanwhile, IBM's rivals have also announced plans to further their business analytics offerings.
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