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ebizQ's Business Agility Watch


IBM Completes Acquisition of Lombardi

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IBM announced today that they've wrapped up their purchase of Lombardi today in 6 weeks. The announcement goes on to say:

Lombardi will become part of the IBM's application integration software portfolio, an expanding area of IBM software that grew 13 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. Consistent with IBM's software strategy, IBM expects that investments by Lombardi clients and partners in existing IBM and Lombardi technologies will be preserved, allowing customers to take advantage of the broader set of capabilities without the need to replace existing systems. Lombardi employees will join IBM.

"IBM anticipates that 2010 will be the year in which business process management goes mainstream as more customers realize the critical role this area plays in the success of their organizations," said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Application and Integration Middleware. "With Lombardi now part of the IBM family, we look forward to taking our strengthened capabilities to the marketplace and delivering business transformation to our customers."

Also, 6 weeks ago, we ran a Forum on the acquisition, with some notable comments:

First, Brian Reale correctly predicted: The BPM sector is hot and growing. No doubt about it. It will make the top 5 items in everyone's list of "What technologies will be even hotter in 2010." Think of IBM's announcement as the opening of a flood gate!

Scott Francis said: To me, the key question isn't the price of the deal (though that matters), it is the way IBM looks at it: are they buying a business or business proposition, or are they buying some core technology to assimilate into the collective.

Finally, from Jacob Ukelson: Lombardi+FileNet+Websphere+Lotus into a coherent whole - they could actually take on SharePoint+Exchange (or more to the point Outlook) for unstructured, ad-hoc true human processes, and that would be a true game changer!

Then, following Progress buying Savvion, we asked the Forum: Are the Days Numbered for BPM Pure Plays?

That Forum drew some interesting responses, but inevitably, I think larger companies buying smaller pure-play companies have always been part of the business world, and in no way ends the fact that it's often much easier to innovate at smaller, less bureaucratic companies. So while there will always be an ebb and flow, smaller companies will always rise up to meet a need, often with some sort of innovation, and will then be acquired by a larger company once that need becomes an industry standard.

And expect the acquisitions to keep on coming.

ebizQ’s expert blog team covers a broad range of BPM, business integration, business analytics/monitoring, collaboration, content and related issues.

Peter Schooff

Peter Schooff is Contributing Editor at ebizQ, and manager of the ebizQ Forum. Contact him at pschooff@techtarget.com

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