International Business Machines

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has today finished a deal that will see it take charge of a company specializing in software that analyses sales data. The startup, Varicent Software, markets software that analyzes sales figures from businesses and analyses those figures to give companies a greater wealth of information on where their marketing strategies should go in the future. The software is used in many sectors including financial institutions, retailers and information technology companies. The acquisition is one of several in recent months for the computer giant as it seeks to expand its role in software applications. The news was reported by earlier today.

Varicent’s business software has the ability to streamline and analyse data from several areas of a business not just sales figures. The program can be used to assess payment to employees and other metrics and can be used across a business to provide greater performance in costs and in revenue. The widespread use of the software has provided the company with a steadystream of revenue it has seen swell by 42% in the last year. The company secured 35 million in venture capital funding so far though it is difficult to tell the amount that IBM paid for the firm today.

IBM predicts that revenues from the business analytics side of the firm will hit $16 billion by 2015. The company has been aggressively expanding in the area having previously procured several other companies working in the same area. Three of the companies most recent takeovers were of Emptoris, Greenhat and Worklight. Emptoris provides supply and contract management solutions to its business, Worklight offers a  service on mobile devices that provides real time metric analysis and Greenhat has software that automates business process management analysis. IBM clearly sees the growing group of companies that offer methods of increasing business efficiency through software solutions as a big earner in the future. The company is growing its portfolio of businesses in the area and its projections of $16 billion in revenue in three years time is exciting.

It is an exciting time to be in the business analytics market and several companies like IBM are starting to consolidate different kinds of technologies in the area. HP has made similar acquisitions recently and it is looking like there may be a battle between the two companies in the industry. It remains to be seen whether or not IBM will leave the companies as they are or compound them into a single larger IBM branded analytics software. Since the advent of mobile computing its clear that what users want and what creates demand is a simple system that is quick and hasslefree. Any future in business analytics software will have to concentrate on the tablet market as well as smar tphones as eye to any development.

IBM is surely set to continue its acquisitions throughout the coming year so watch this space. The company’s emphasis on the growing sector and its willingness to spend money getting into it mean it could be vital moving forward.