Today, IBM has announced it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Lombardi. As if IBM offering were not already so complex with at least 20 products offerings in the BPM and SOA arena. IBM has acquired FileNet three years ago and ILog (The Business Rule Management System) few months ago. The former for its customers portfolio and the latter for the great technology they have, which filled a major gap in IBM offering, especially for the insurance and banking spaces. Now with Lombardi, I guess they are after a great product amongst the leaders in the human-centric BPM Suites.
This announcement does not help and we should expect the same confusion around IBM offering in the BPM space as Oracle is suffering these days. Oracle have hard times selling their BPM Suite, based on BEA acquisition. Even their [Oracle] sales representatives are confused as the strategy is not stable enought and customers keep asking where the heck are we doing with four portals, 2 application servers and what will happen now that SoftwareAG has acquired most of IDS Sheer ARIS (Oracle BPA Suite is an OEM implementation of ARIS from IDS Sheer) ?
Back to the acquisition, what will happen to IBM BlueWorks and Lombardi Blueprint, will they merge or one eat the other? As mentioned in Sam Kemsley blog, they will probably keep the best of both.
So who is next to be aqcuired? Today, as Joe Mooney pointed out, PegaSystems, Savvion and Global 360 have suddenly become strong contenders to the next acquisition by a giant. I’m thinking about Microsoft amongts these giants to make the next move and I would bet 100$ that they will target Global 360. As a matter of fact, Global 360 have strong roots in Microsoft technology and they complement Microsoft offering in the BPM area. Referring to the latest Forrester paper on BPM Suites three categories (Human-Centric vs Document-Centric vs Integration-Centric) , you will notice that there are only two players that have an offering for the three categories mentionned. With Microsoft acquiring Global 360, the former will be the third palyer with an offering in both human, document and integration centric BPMS sub-markets.
So who wants to bet?