IBM started up its acquisition push and analytics landgrab this week with a planned $1.2 billion buyout of SPSS.
SPSS, out of Chicago, does statistical and predictive analytics software. IBM launched its business intelligence/analytics push a few years back when it grabbed up Cognos for $5 billion. Cognos had been a close applications partner of IBM Software.
For SPSS, IBM is offering $50 per share in cash, a 42% premium over where SPSS stock closed Monday.
Given IBM’s move and Sprint Nextel’s agreement to buy Virgin Mobile USA, the deal climate is heating up.
For solution providers, this activity can cause angst. If you’re an IBM partner with an analytics practice that invovles a non-IBM company, what do you do? Also, IBM Software’s self-proclaimed desire to stay out of applications–leaving room for partners–has to be reexamined periodically. IBM’s buiding its own stack quite convincingly with a lot of what most would call application technology.