IBM Acquisition Goes After Devil in Business Event Details

By Chris Gonsalves  |  Posted 2008-01-23 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

IBM moved to bolster its business process management (BPM) offerings through the acquisition of privately held AptSoft, a Massachusetts-based vendor of business-event-processing software.

Business events—transactions, sales, utilization spikes—happen in an instant and often disappear just as quickly. Making sense of those events, as well as turning them into timely, actionable business intelligence is the challenge of business process management (BPM).

 

IBM moved to bolster its BPM offerings through the acquisition of privately held AptSoft, a Massachusetts-based vendor of business-event-processing software. Big Blue paid an undisclosed amount for the 6-year-old privately-held software company in an effort to bolster its service-oriented architecture (SOA) portfolio and deliver an easy-to-implement events tool in a market that is expected to top $1 billion by 2010, according to IBM representatives.

 

AptSoft software roots out cause-and-effect relationships in the myriad business events occurring in milliseconds across most enterprises. The tool, designed for use by business analysts rather than IT administrators, identifies patterns and can initiate action when a trend emerges. 

 

“[AptSoft] really elevates event processing at the business level,” says Sandy Carter vice president for SOA and WebSphere marketing, strategy and channels at IBM in Armonk, N.Y. Carter adds that the AptSoft tools take “something that today only engineers understand,” and deliver it to business users in an intuitive, less technical way.

 

For an e-commerce vendor, that might mean scouring customer activity to ferret out fraud or reduce the incidence of dropped shopping carts. In health care, the tools could be used to scour a variety of medical software applications to provide users with suggestions for healthier living. Fleet managers could make split-second decisions to deal with lost products and delayed shipments. And even in the in the massive multiplayer online game industry, the even recognition could root out unscrupulous activity buried in tens of thousands of game movements per second.

 

“We provide the ability for line-of-business users to define business events that are actionable, define the correlation of patterns and then to define actions they want to take place as a result,” says Frank Chisholm, former CEO and founder of AptSoft.  “As SOA continues to evolve, companies are linking event processing and BPM to gain deeper insight into the transactions and events that shape their business and industries as a whole.

 

“The excitement we share with IBM is in the instrumentation. IBM is very keen on the interface,” Chisholm adds.

 

For now that interface gives business analysts a way to detect, correlate, discover patterns and take action based on their own definitions. But Chisholm didn’t rule out the future development of industry-specific templates that would let users find trends and anomalies without having to touch every metric.

 

AptSoft products will become part of the IBM Software Group WebSphere software brand. The acquired technology will be added to existing IBM business event processing and BPM tools including: WebSphere Event Broker, WebSphere Business Monitor, WebSphere Application Server, DB2 Real-Time Insight and Tivoli NetCool products.

 

The integration with the IBM products should be complete by early summer, according to IBM officials.

 

AptSoft has 19 customers mostly in the U.S., though officials declined to comment on whether the software vendors is profitable.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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