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May 01, 2012

IBM Expanding in Fast-Growing Big Data Sector by Acquiring Vivisimo

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

IBM (News - Alert) is expected to soon acquire Vivisimo – which provides software uses for the fast-growing, big-data sector. Financial details are being kept private.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the acquisition will get approval from regulators in “the next few weeks.” It’s not immediately known when it will be made final, the newspaper added.

Businesses are trying to gain profit from the big data coming from their IT networks, according to MarketWatch. The field is ripe for growth. IDC (News - Alert) says big data technology and services will jump at an annual rate of close to 40 percent. It is expected to total $16.9 billion by 2015, according to news reports.

"Navigating big data to uncover the right information is a key challenge for all industries," Arvind Krishna, general manager, Information Management, IBM Software Group, explained in a company press release. "The winners in the era of big data will be those who unlock their information assets to drive innovation, make real-time decisions and gain actionable insights to be more competitive."

"Businesses need a faster and more accurate way to discover and navigate big data for analysis," added John Kealey, CEO, Pittsburgh, Penn.-based Vivisimo. "As part of IBM, we can bring clients the quickest and most accurate access to information necessary to drive growth initiatives that increase customer satisfaction, streamline processes and boost sales."

Once the deal becomes final, about 120 Vivisimo employees will join IBM's Software Group. 

Vivisimo began as a research project at Carnegie Mellon University, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It now offers big data solutions for businesses, government agencies and government contractors.

Vivisimo currently has over 140 customers in government, life sciences, manufacturing, electronics, consumer goods and financial services. Clients include Airbus, the U.S. Air Force, the Social Security Administration, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Navy, Procter & Gamble, Bupa and LexisNexis (News - Alert).

IBM's big data platform is Apache Hadoop-based, which is open source. IBM can also run on other distributions of Hadoop, starting with Cloudera. Over 100 organizations have adopted IBM's big data platform. 

IBM can already sort through big data coming from internal e-mails, info from call centers, social media comments and other digital info – using a single platform, according to the Post-Gazette. Vivisimo's platform will lead to IBM having more capability to sort through and share information.

Vivisimo products are available either as standalone applications or as Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) versions that are embedded on applications. Vivisimo was named a finalist in the seventh annual 2012 Hot Companies and Best Products Awards in the IT Products and Services for Enterprise and New Product categories by Network Products Guide, according to a report from TMCnet. 

Edited by Braden Becker

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