For the past 10 years, IBM has incorporated various Ilog technologies into several of its products, including its WebSphere Process Server business process management (BPM) suite, and now with IBM's pending acquisition of the French software vendor, the two companies are as one.
IBM's purchase of Ilog continues the trend of acquisitions in the attractive market for BPM applications. Large vendors have been snapping up small independent makers of BPM products that will allow their customers to squeeze more value out of IT.
Oracle bought BEA for $8.5 billion earlier this year, and SAP acquired Business Objects for $6.7 billion in October.
Sandy Carter, IBM's vice president of SOA (service oriented architecture) (define) and WebSphere, told InternetNews.com that the purchase of Ilog will boost the company in three key areas: business rules, optimization and visualization.
For example, some of Ilog's business rules are already integrated with IBM's WebSphere Process Server BPM suite, Carter said, but incorporating the full set will "bring the ability to govern those rules and manage more complex rules," she explained.
Meanwhile, IBM's Center of Business Optimization, a group of consultants acquired when IBM bought PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting for $3.5 billion in cash and stock in July 2002, uses Ilog's optimization products heavily, Carter said. She noted that consultants can now more fully leverage tools such as Ilog CPLEX and CP Optimizer.
IBM has linked Ilog's visualization tools into WebSphere Business Events and Tivoli NetCool, which helps manage services. These tools add sophisticated displays such as Gantt charts, diagrams and dashboards, to Java, C++ and .NET applications for the desktop and for rich Internet applications (define).
Carter could not comment on how long it would take IBM to fully integrate the Ilog applications into its own because of regulatory restrictions related to the pending deal.