IBM buying Unica for $480 million

It will strengthen Big Blue's hand in targeted marketing

IBM said Friday it intends to purchase marketing software maker Unica for roughly US$480 million, in a move that will boost Big Blue's capabilities for creating focused marketing campaigns. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Unica has more than 1,500 customers, including major retailers like Best Buy and telecoms such as US Cellular, IBM said.

IBM's announcement follows its recent purchase of Web analytics vendor Coremetrics. Unica's software will work in concert with Coremetrics' technology as well as IBM's WebSphere Commerce platform.

The company's goal is to help customers generate a "consistent and relevant cross-channel brand experience to promote customer loyalty and satisfaction," according to a statement.

Vendors such as Adobe are making similar moves. In support of its "customer experience management" strategy, Adobe has purchased Web analytics provider Omniture and more recently, Web content management vendor Day Software.

IBM officials are expected to discuss the Unica acquisition in further detail during a conference call Friday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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