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IBM to buy web analytics firm Coremetrics

IBM announced June 15 that it will acquire web analytics company Coremetrics. The transaction, whose financial terms were not disclosed, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Lori Bosio, media relations director of the IBM Software Group, said a key reason for the acquisition is to streamline IBM’s social media analytics.

“The first time a customer interaction is made with any product or brand, it’s typically on the web,” she said. “Giving clients real-time access to that data and being able to merge it with internal data is critical.”

John Squire, chief strategy office at Coremetrics, said the deal “gives us a good opportunity to grow faster and have a larger footprint worldwide.”

“This will bring more interactive technology into the organization,” he said.

Elana Anderson, VP of products at marketing software company Unica, said the acquisition is “further confirmation that web analytics is not just about aggregate analysis and reporting but recognition that it is fundamentally part of a bigger business process.”

“There are a handful of standalone web analytic players in the market,” she said. “Certainly the 2009 Adobe acquisition of Omniture took out a standalone player. It’s not a surprise that both Coremetrics and Webtrends are being eyed as targets for acquisition.”

IBM’s Software Group has acquired more than 55 companies since 2003. It bought predictive analytics firm SPSS in 2009.

Anderson added that the buy will help IBM’s e-commerce capabilities.

“IBM sees web analytics as core to its e-commerce application,” she said. “Certainly web analytics is critical to retailers and successful online customer experiences.”

John Mellor, VP of business development for the business unit of Omniture, longtime competitor to Coremetrics, says the acquisition “is a validation of the paid marketplace for analytics.”

“That’s certainly one of the takeaways — everyone is paranoid about the free analytics,” he said.

Bosio said there are no plans for employee downsizings once the transaction becomes final. Coremetrics’ 230 employees are expected to be integrated into the IBM workforce, she said.

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