IBM to acquire OpenPages

IBM Corp. is acquiring OpenPages, a privately-held company that makes software designed to help companies simplify risk management and corporate compliance activities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

OpenPages’ software aggregates data pertaining to compliance and risk management (including operational risk, financial controls management, IT risk and internal audits) to create an enterprise-wide view of where a company is exposed and how risks might impact future performance.

The software can highlight inconsistencies in risk and performance goals. For example, a manufacturer with aggressive revenue goals for an emerging market may risk noncompliance with regional regulations or cost overruns associated with doing business in a remote location. The OpenPages software would give an aggregate view of the business opportunities and risks associated with the expansion, IBM says.

IBM’s recent study of 1,900 global CFOs and senior finance leaders found that two out of three companies encountered material risk events within the past three years. Survey respondents indicated risk management has risen in priority by 93% since 2005.

OpenPages, based in Waltham, Mass., will become part of IBM’s business analytics software portfolio. Over the past four years, IBM has invested more than $11 billion in its business analytics software and services business, which experienced 14% revenue growth in the second quarter of 2010. Among the companies it has acquired in this area are: CognosCoremetricsGuardium andUnica.

“Unforeseen risk can hurt a company’s bottom line as well as its brand reputation,” said Rob Ashe, general manager for business analytics at IBM, in a statement. “Integrating risk management systems across once-divided units and functions is essential to seeing the bigger picture.”

OpenPages has more than 200 customers, including Allianz, Barclays, Carnival Corporation, Duke Energy and SunTrust.

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