IBM, Microsoft Take Acquisition Route to Fill Needs
Opinion: IBM's acquisition of Ascential fits well in its plans to bolster data integration, while Microsoft's Groove purchase may give companies a reason to go to the next version of Office.IBM on Monday acquired Ascential Software for $1.1 billion to bolster its tools for integrating enterprise data, which can then be analyzed, categorized and serve as a platform for new business applications. Last week, Microsoft bought Groove Networks, which allows broader dispersion of data in peer-to-peer networks, creating something of a Napster version of the corporate workplace. Aside from both companies being from Massachusetts (Ascential from Westboro and Groove from Beverly)which makes one wonder if every company in the Bay State along with Gillette, John Hancock and Fleet Bank will eventually become subsumed into some corporate entity outside the bounds of New Englandthe work of the two high-tech acquisitions fits the needs of the acquirers. IBM (which has also acquired a couple of other Massachusetts-based companies: Rational Software and Lotus) wants to create the technology platform for companies to build on what they already have in place.
Companies tend to have lots of databases that dont talk to one another, word documents that arent stored or categorized in any one place, and departments that are as distinct as separate countries speaking incompatible languages. Does your human resources department connect to your purchasing department? I doubt it. IBM wants to provide the tools to make those connections and then allow other high-tech vendors to build applications on top of that platform.