IBM announced today that it would purchase privately-held Trigo Technologies Inc., a supplier of data synchronization software that's used to streamline supply-chain operations.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Trigo software, which is heavily integrated with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, will be part of IBM's WebSphere brand of products, said Marie Wieck, vice president, WebSphere Business Integration during a teleconference earlier today.
"We also see this as an enormous opportunity [for] the rest of the technology [in IBM's software portfolio], including Lotus and DB2," she added.
Trigo, based in Brisbane, Calif., is an existing IBM partner and has products using WebSphere Commerce server software, DB2 Content Manager and WebSphere Portal. It has 150 employees. Customers include Royal Philips Electronics, Staples, Sony and Unilever.
Trigo software lets companies integrate and centrally manage product information that is typically scattered across an enterprise and a supply chain. Trigo's middleware also links product-related information with terms of trade (such as pricing) and then synchronizes this information internally with existing enterprise systems and externally with business partners.
The move to acquire Trigo is part of IBM's overall effort to develop and offer software that is more vertically integrated. In December, IBM announced it would restructure its $13.1 billion software business and divide its software group into 12 industry-specific segments, including retail, manufacturing, health care and financial services, and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the initiative.
Trigo has an extensive customer base in retail, consumer products, manufacturing and distribution.
Perhaps more significant, said Michael Dominy, senor analyst Yankee Group, Boston, is the fact that enterprise customers are starting to demand more sophisticated data synchronization solutions, including UCCnet and RFID. IBM needs Trigo's technology to keep those customers.
"Clearly, IBM is acquiring Trigo for its technology," said Dominy. "IBM is expanding its capabilities to meet the demands that are in front of its customers, and data synchronization and RFID are two big ones."
Tom Reilly, Trigo's CEO, said his company is "ecstatic" about this acquisition and added that being part of IBM will allow it to offer the services its customers have been demanding.
The acquisition, which is subject to government regulatory approval, is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2004. Wieck said that a road map and final details about the acquisition and how Trigo will be integrated into the IBM fold will be announced at that time.
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