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IBM Acquires Exeros

IBM announced it has acquired the assets of Exeros, a privately-held company in Santa Clara, Calif., that provides data discovery software. Financial details were not disclosed. IBM stated the acquisition further strengthens its Information Agenda strategy, which aims to help companies turn business data into a strategic asset. According to IBM, Exeros' technology can be used to automatically uncover hidden relationships between databases, helping users quickly make sense of disparate data sources.

This can dramatically reduce the cost of data warehousing and master data management (MDM) projects and can also help companies generate new levels of intelligence for identifying market trends and predicting business outcomes with greater certainty. Over the next several months, IBM intends to integrate Exeros within its Information Management Software portfolio. The deal also provides new capabilities for IBM's recently announced Business Analytics Optimization Consulting practice and its network of Analytics Solution Centers.

Since launching its first product, DataMapper, in 2005, Exeros has delivered numerous solutions focused on improving data discovery and data integration. In addition to direct sales, the company has OEM/reseller agreements in place with companies, including Business Objects, Princeton Softech and Siperian, lists Informatica and IBM as data integration partners and works with numerous services players, including Cognizant, CSSi and ProLink.

Exeros' previous relationship with IBM's On Demand group and that organization's expanding Information Agenda initiative illuminate some of the underpinnings for the acquisition, but what practical goodies does Exeros bring to the table? More importantly, why did IBM decide to buy and bring fully in-house a company whose technologies it already enjoyed via a partnership agreement?

The first question was answered during an analyst call on the Exeros deal with what nearly qualified as a Zen koan on IBM's Information Agenda strategy: You can't manage what you don't understand. Indeed, and Exeros' data discovery technology aims to increase organizations' understanding of their business information by identifying implicit relationships and organizing elements within heterogeneous data sources, creating logical groupings or business entities with ties to that data, helping companies discover how business entities are or may be transformed by those data sources.

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