IBM buys Holosofx to boost WebSphere

IBM Corp. has acquired software maker Holosofx Inc., whose technology IBM plans to integrate into its own WebSphere Business Integration software. Financial terms of the deal, announced Thursday after closing on Wednesday, were not disclosed.

IBM and Holosofx, based in El Segundo, Calif., have been close partners for the past few years. IBM already resells several Holosofx products that complement IBM software, including Holosofx’s BPM (business process management) Workbench, BPM Server and BPM Monitor.

IBM will incorporate Holosofx’s BPM modeling and monitoring tools into its WebSphere Business Integration software to offer end users additional features for designing, deploying and supervising corporate processes, IBM said.

“We see enormous opportunities in the integration markets,” said Paraic Sweeney, IBM’s vice-president of WebSphere business integration marketing, during a conference call. “Recent reports of CIO (chief information officer) spending intent and priorities show integration of applications and business processes is the number-one item on their lists.”

Holosofx is IBM’s third acquisition in the last nine months for its integration software portfolio. In January it completed its US$129 million acquisition of CrossWorlds Software Inc., and in June bought Norwegian directory integration software firm MetaMerge AS.

Holosofx employs about 60 people worldwide, with most of its development work done at a facility in Cairo, Egypt. That team will remain in Cairo as part of IBM Egypt, and IBM will continue Holosofx’s California operations, IBM officials said.

“Nothing changes. Our integration is seamless with (IBM’s) current technology,” said Holosofx Chief Executive Officer and founder Hassan Khorshid, who plans to remain with IBM as part of its WebSphere business integration development team.

“The major benefit for our customers is going to be at the point where they feel much better about the stability of the company. Our size was an issue,” Khorshid said. Becoming part of IBM will also give Holosofx the resources to expand its technology’s sales and support globally, he said.