IBM Buying MDM Vendor Initiate Systems

IBM announced Wednesday that it plans to buy MDM (master data management) vendor Initiate Systems. Terms of the deal, which is scheduled to close in the first quarter, were not disclosed.

Master data refers to classes of information such as products or suppliers that are common to a number of systems and applications within a company. MDM software is used to make sure master data entities are kept consistent and accurate.

Vendors have been moving to add MDM capabilities to their lineups. Just last week, IBM rival Informatica announced the acquisition of Siperian. IBM's move was not unexpected. Altimeter Group analyst Ray Wang recently predicted Big Blue would buy Initiate as a response.

One MDM competitor responded quickly to IBM's announcement Wednesday.

"By acquiring a niche vendor like Initiate, they bolster their portfolio of industry-specific tools that help integrate data, but do little to provide a stronger information management platform for their customers," Kalido CEO Bill Hewitt said in a statement. "This acquisition will be delivered like so many others; with dozens of IBM global services consultants to 'knit' the patchwork of tools together."

IBM executives are expected to discuss the deal further during a conference call Wednesday.

(More to follow)

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