International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) is on an acquisition spree to fortify its Big Data Analytics business. It acquired sales data analytics company, Varicent, and enterprise search optimizer, Vivisimo, in April and recently announced plans to acquire Tealeaf Technology, which provides customer experience analytics software. The financial details of these acquisitions are not yet disclosed. IBM competes with Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) in the enterprise software market.
Where Do These Acquisitions Fit In
Varicent analyzes sales data and helps companies make decisions regarding compensation and sales and helps align the compensation structure strategically to the sales function. It analyzes data across sales, finance and human resources to help improve operational efficiency of companies. Varicent had more than 180 customers at the time of its acquisition. The acquisition will help fortify IBM’s Smarter Analytics Signature Solutions offering to detect fraud and improve financial and operational efficiencies of its customers. 
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Vivisimo helps capture data across a range of data sources, irrespective of format. The software automates data discovery to uncover the right information to help make better business decisions. IBM estimates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created daily, making it difficult for businesses to navigate and find relevant data to improve efficiency and competitiveness. IDC estimates big data technology and services to grow at 40% annually and reach 16.9 billion by 2015. Vivisimo has more than 140 customers which include Airbus, U.S. Air Force, Social Security Administration and the U.S. Navy, among others. About 120 employees will join IBM’s Software Group from Vivisimo. 
IBM’s latest acquisition is Tealeaf Technology, a provider of customer experience analytics software that helps companies gain insight into consumer trends and enables them to react quickly to changing customer needs. Tealeaf has over 450 customers worldwide, including some of the top fortune 100 companies. Its clients include Dell, Wells Fargo, Air Canada, GEICO and Expedia. The customer experience management software records and analyzes the customer’s website and mobile interactions. This data can be used to uncover patterns which can help streamline online customer experience.
With these acquisitions, IBM hopes to extend its analytics and Smarter Commerce initiative by providing marketing executives, and e-commerce and customer service professionals with real-time insights into customer behavior. 
These acquisitions will also help expand IBM’s data analytics offering which is already the broadest in the industry spanning software, hardware and services. The Watson system developed by IBM Research is a key innovation in this space, and over a hundred partners have adopted its Big Data platform already. By adding to its portfolio the targeted search and aggregation capabilities of these acquisitions, IBM is well on its way to become the standard in Big Data analytics.
We currently have a $223 Trefis price estimate for IBM, which is 8% above the current market estimate.Notes: