IBM buys content integration developer Venetica

IBM Corp. has agreed to acquire content integration software maker Venetica Corp., a move that continues IBM’s pattern of snapping up its business partners to augment its software portfolio.

Eleven-year-old Venetica, based in Charlotte, N.C., is a privately held developer of content management and integration tools. Its flagship VeniceBridge software helps applications access content from unstructured data sources such as documents, images, reports and other digital assets.

IBM did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which it expects to close in the fourth quarter of the year. IBM plans to add Venetica’s technology and personnel into its information management software unit’s information integration group, led by General Manager Janet Perna. Venetica has 70 employees, all of whom will be offered jobs at IBM, IBM said.

IBM already had a technology and marketing alliance with Venetica. The company has a habit of buying the businesses it works with; this acquisition is the software group’s 18th in the past three years. Recent IBM purchases include application management software maker Cyanea Systems Corp., analytics developer Alphablox Corp. and data synchronization specialist Trigo Technologies Inc.

Venetica also has partnerships outside IBM: Its VeniceBridge technology is embedded in software from several other vendors, including Interwoven Inc. IBM Information Integration Director Nelson Mattos, who oversees the group absorbing Venetica, said IBM expects to maintain those outside partnerships. An Interwoven representative did not return a call seeking comment.

IBM already sells some software for content integration, including DB2 Information Integrator, but Mattos said Venetica’s technology will expand the number and types of content sources users will be able to draw from. DB2 Information Integrator lets users tap databases such as IBM’s DB2 and Informix, as well Oracle, Sybase and SQL databases. Venetica’s software will also allow users to access content management systems like those from Interwoven, Documentum (now owned by EMC Corp.), Hummingbird Ltd. and FileNet Corp.

Because of its existing partnership with IBM, Venetica’s software already works with IBM’s, Mattos said. He expects IBM’s sales force to begin selling Venetica’s technology as part of IBM’s platform soon after the deal closes.

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