IBM Acquires Curam Software to Boost Smarter Cities Initiative

IBM announces its plans to acquire Curam Software, a maker of social programs software, to enhance its Smarter Cities initiative.

IBM signed a definitive agreement to acquire Curam Software, whose technology is designed to help governments improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of social programs for smarter cities.

IBM did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Company officials said the Curam acquisition extends IBM's Smarter Cities initiative with a new social element. Curam Software is used in more than 80 government agency projects around the world to provide social programs to citizens in a timely manner, deliver services more effectively, and continuously monitor progress toward achieving people's social and economic potential. The software is used by health and human services, workforce services and social security organizations around the world to deliver welfare, social insurance, and both individual and employer-based social programs, IBM said.

"We are working to help cities and governments at all levels transform the way they interact with citizens while improving efficiency," Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM Industry Solutions, said in a statement. "We all have stories to tell about standing in long lines or making countless phone calls to gain access to government services, but it doesn't have to be that way. Together with Curam, IBM can transform the way citizens do business with government in a way that benefits everyone."

Curam Software allows cities and governments to provide a single view of benefits and services available across agencies, levels of government, and private and nonprofit organizations. The Social Industry Platform includes processes to deliver all types of programs and offers the flexibility needed to quickly update them as policy makers react to different economic times. Curam Software's Platform also allows government and providers to focus on lowering overall program costs by ensuring that the benefits and services provided address core issues and that people become more self-sufficient.

Curam, which means "care and protection" in Irish Gaelic, was founded in 1990 and is based in Dublin. One of the company's investors was Enterprise Ireland, which helps Irish companies achieve global success, IBM said.

Through its Smarter Cities initiative, IBM helps cities and governments serve citizens better by adopting more intelligent and efficient ways to analyze data, anticipate problems and coordinate resources. IBM has led more than 2,000 projects to achieve these goals and through its acquisition of Curam Software, IBM expects to extend its leadership in this area.

IDC Government Insights estimates the new Smarter Cities information technology market opportunity at $34 billion in 2011, increasing more than 18 percent per year to $57 billion by 2014.

The pending acquisition builds on IBM's Smarter Cities initiatives in Ireland. Last year, the company opened its first Smarter Cities Technology Center in Dublin at IBM's R&D Lab, where IBM works with city authorities, universities, and small and large businesses to research, develop and commercialize new ways of making city systems more connected, sustainable and intelligent. With the addition of the Curam Research Institute-which is working to develop and deploy new business models for managing social programs-IBM will enhance its ability to help clients increase the social and economic potential of people.

Since 1999, IBM and Curam have collaborated on federal, state, local and provincial-level social program solutions around the world. More than 90 percent of Curam's clients use IBM WebSphere middleware and nearly 70 percent of its clients use IBM hardware. Curam's software is certified for use with the IBM Government Industry Framework and has been part of IBM Global Business Services' Integrated Case Management solution since 2001.

"After 13 years of experience working with IBM, we know our companies are an excellent fit," said John Hearne, CEO of Curam Software. "Many of our clients already use IBM technologies and services, and they will benefit from working with Curam and IBM as one. Through IBM's global reach, we can grow our client base by bringing the benefits of Curam's Social Industry Platform to citizens around the world."

IBM's announcement of its plan to acquire Curam Software follows a series of moves Big Blue has made this year to enhance its offerings for cities and governments. In June, the company introduced the IBM Intelligent Operations Center, which provides a unified view of all city agencies so officials can predict events and quickly respond. Shortly thereafter, IBM announced it planned to acquire i2, a leading provider of intelligence analytics for crime and fraud prevention. The acquisition was completed in October.

On completion of the Curam acquisition, it will be integrated into IBM's Software Group, which is a key driver of growth and profitability for the company. Curam has approximately 700 employees. In addition to its headquarters in Dublin, the company has offices in Herndon, Va.; Toronto; Frankfurt, Germany; Canberra, Australia; and Bangalore, India. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of December subject to regulatory reviews, IBM said.