IBM acquires Tarian software

IBM added to its shopping cart on Monday when the company announced it is acquiring Ottawa-based Tarian Software.

Tarian is a provider of e-records management software for such regulated industries as insurance, financial and government. Its main product is its e-Records Engine, an electronic record-keeping technology for business application software. The software integrates with a company’s existing technology infrastructure.

With the acquisition, IBM will be furthering its enterprise management portfolio. Once the deal is complete – expected by the end of this year – Big Blue plans to integrate Tarian’s business operations into its data management group.

For IBM, the deal marks the sixth software company purchased this year alone, and its seventh dating back to buying Informix in July of 2001.

Tarian, already an IBM business partner, was a privately owned software company. All 30 employees of the company are expected to be absorbed into IBM, with many expected to be housed at Big Blue’s new software lab that is being built in Ottawa. And, while the Tarian brand will disappear, it appears the company is quite pleased with the acquisition.

“IBM chose Tarian just as much as Tarian chose IBM,” said Bruce Miller, CEO at Tarian software. Several other organizations were also courting the company, but IBM was seen as the best fit, Miller added.

While the financial and public sectors are being pegged as huge possibilities as to where the software could gain traction, Miller said that not a single financial company has signed on in Canada. Further, while there were discussions relating to both the U.S. and European governments, the Canadian federal government is seen as a “small and limited market,” he said.

Analyst house Meta Group has estimated that the enterprise content market is expected to exceed US$10 billion by 2004. By 2006, more than 90 per cent of the global 2,000 companies will have formalized electronic management policies and the technology infrastructure to support such initiatives.

“The lifecycle management issue of unstructured content is getting to be a bigger deal for organizations,” said Andrew Warzecha, senior vice-president, electronic business strategies at the Meta Group in Chicago. And strangely, this market is partly being fuelled by the legal misfortunes of Arthur Anderson and Enron. Wazecha explained that CEOs are being approached by their legal counsel to discuss the risks associated with not managing content.

According to Janet Perna, IBM has already experienced a 25 per cent growth this year in content and data management. Perna, the general manager for IBM’s data management solutions division, said the acquisition further develops its e-business on demand strategy.

Customers can expect the Tarian software to be embedded in Big Blue’s DB2, Tivoli Software and all software related to content management, the company said.