I was happy to hear of IBM’s acquisition of predictive analytics player SPSS for $1.2 billion, as it’s a healthy sign for the CRM market for two reasons. First it shows that the technology sector in general is still flush with cash despite the downturn, and thus, have shown the ability to consummate acquisitions.
Secondly, it provides an opportunity for IBM to step back into the application space, particularly around CRM, which I believe to be a good thing. Outside of CRM consulting from their Global Business Services unit, IBM doesn’t do much with CRM directly. That said, between the acquisition of BI player Cognos back in 2007 and now SPSS, the company has rounded out a stout BI/analytics portfolio that has a strong focus on CRM…two areas of the CRM market that are experiencing explosive growth.
It’ll be interesting to see how IBM integrates these products and packages them into offerings that CRM customers will react positively too, or perhaps not.