IBM to Buy Wireless Software Company

The purchase of Vallent is meant to strengthen IBM's service management portfolio.

IBM announced Nov. 28 that it will buy privately-held software maker Vallent in a bid to expand IBMs ability to help communications service providers manage their networks.

IBM did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which it said it expects to close by the end of the first quarter of 2007.

"We are definitely after the service provider space," said Bob Madey, vice president of strategy and market management in IBMs Tivoli business unit. "Hopefully, the big news is for clients … [that] IBM is committed to this market and we are invested for success."

Based in Bellevue, Wash., Vallent sells software to wireless service providers that monitors performance of their networks and pre-empts network outages.

Calling Vallent the number one supplier in the mobile performance monitoring marketplace, industry analyst Patrick Kelly said the acquisition gives IBM a strong presence in that market.

The move also complements IBMs Tivoli software Netcool portfolio, he said.

"Theres some pretty good synergy," said Kelly, co-founder of OSS Observer, a research firm that covers the telecom software market.

With Vallent under its wing, IBM can enable operators to provide network performance, service and customer quality information to those that need to know how a service is performing, Vallent officials said.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read about IBMs quad-core servers.

"Service providers face tremendous competition and pressure to differentiate through rapid deployment of innovative, high quality services," said John Hansen, Vallents chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.

"With proven technology and extensive customer experience, Vallent and IBM can help clients manage their existing network environments while capitalizing on new services, next-generation networks, continued growth in wireless connectivity, and fixed-mobile convergence."

Once the acquisition is complete, IBM plans to integrate Vallent into IBMs Software Group as a part of its Tivoli Software unit, just as it did with the Netcool assets from the acquisition of Micromuse in February.

/zimages/5/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.