Informix says so long to database assets

Informix Corp. has sold its database business to IBM Corp. for US$1 billion, and decided to re-brand its remaining business as Ascential Software, an information asset management vendor.

Steve Mills, senior vice-president at IBM, said the purchase is for all database assets of Informix software.

“This is a transaction where we are making an asset purchase, so that part of the business associated with databases – the people in that part of the business will be joining the IBM company,” he explained during a recent teleconference.

He noted that adding Informix’s database business to IBM’s will double Big Blue’s position in the distributed database market.

Janet Perna, general manager for IBM data management, added that this acquisition will add more than 2,000 skilled people to IBM’s human resources.

“The team that has the most, best talent in this industry will win the war,” Perna stated. “We are fighting to win, we are playing for first place.”

Mills added later that the Informix install base was something IBM valued greatly. He also stated Informix had already started to split into two businesses, allowing for IBM to make an offer on the database assets in which it was interested.

Perna noted that DB2 Universal will continue to be IBM’s foundation database product, although IBM will continue to maintain and enhance database products from Informix for its existing customers.

She said IBM will integrate selected Informix technology into DB2.

Jim Foy, president of Informix, said this is an opportunity for both companies to “win big in this growing marketplace.”

He noted Ascential and IBM will work together to build data warehouses, information portals and contact management products.

“The activities will be enhanced by the alliance that exists between Ascential and IBM, where IBM will market Ascential products and in some cases be engaged in joint development.”