IBM Buys BPM Software Maker Lombardi

IBM announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Lombardi, a privately held Business Process Management (BPM) software company based in Austin, Texas.

IBM announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Lombardi, a privately held Business Process Management software company based in Austin, Texas.

Lombardi's BPM software and services helps organizations automate and integrate business processes to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Dec. 16 announcement reinforces IBM's commitment and investments in service oriented architecture (SOA) and BPM and builds on recent BPM acquisitions such as ILOG which have helped IBM extend its industry leadership capabilities. With an SOA community of more than 8,000 clients and 7,400 business partners, and a BPM community of 5,000 clients and 2,500 business partners, IBM continues to build momentum in these areas.

IBM officials said Lombardi's department-level approach to delivering process management complements IBM's existing strengths in enterprise-wide process management software and adds a new dimension for customers looking for an end-to-end, integrated solution that automates human tasks and workflows.

"Any discussion on business improvement inevitably leads to improving the processes that are at the heart of every company," said Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM Application and Integration Middleware, in a statement. "Recognizing this, IBM has strengthened its presence and investments in business process and integration software to meet these growing client demands. Lombardi fills out our company's portfolio in this key area."

According to market research firm IDC, the market opportunity for BPM software will increase at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 15 percent over the next four years, from $1.7 billion in 2009 to $3.0 billion by 2013.

Company officials said Lombardi brings capabilities that complement the recent product upgrades and new product announcements in IBM's WebSphere portfolio, as Lombardi has long supported WebSphere. Through its collaborative, graphical approach to process application development based on a WebSphere infrastructure, Lombardi extends IBM's customizable, role-based capabilities to enable business users to rapidly change applications as needed.

"IBM has been a long-standing partner in addressing the core business needs of customers across a wide range of industries," said Rod Favaron, CEO of Lombardi, in a statement. "Our shared vision has been to deliver technology that helps companies improve their effectiveness by better managing the processes that keep their businesses running. Becoming part of the IBM family will take this vision to a higher level and enable us to explore new opportunities together in product development, integration and go-to-market strategies."

Existing clients have already benefited from a combined IBM and Lombardi portfolio. For example, IBM worked with Ford Motor Company, which needed to speed new products to market. Both Lombardi and IBM are providing solutions for process improvement at the departmental level as well as a platform for process automation. These solutions are designed to help streamline development processes which typically have multiple iterations of designs from disparate teams, IBM said. Moreover, Lombardi has strong customer relationships in the financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, retail, and telecommunications industries that will complement IBM's existing customer base and solid partner ecosystem.