IBM buys customer data hub maker DWL

Purchase of data integration software maker should boost IBM's information management middleware

IBM said Monday it will acquire customer data integration software maker DWL to strengthen IBM's information management middleware portfolio. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ten-year-old DWL is a privately held, venture capital-funded company based in Atlanta, although a majority of its operations remain in Toronto, where it was founded. The company's DWL Customer software is a Java-based customer data hub that pulls together information from disparate systems, such as logistics and billling applications, to provide a unified customer record. DWL's core customer industry is financial services, although IBM said it plans to add resources to expand DWL's presence in industries such as telecommunication and retail. DWL's current customers include Staples, MetLife, and SunTrust Banks.

Armonk, New York-based IBM already had a deep technology and consulting services partnership with DWL. It plans to add DWL to its Information Management group, which will soon be run by Ambuj Goyal, who is in the process of taking on the division following Janet Perna's retirement.

IBM's integration plans for DWL will be similar to the path it followed last year with its purchase of Trigo Technologies, which made software called Product Center that unifies product information in a way similar to what DWL's technology does for customer information, said Paraic Sweeney, vice president of IBM's product information management solutions group. IBM rebranded Trigo's software as WebSphere Product Center and added it to its middleware line as an independent module.

Subject to regulatory approvals, IBM expects the DWL deal to close later in the year. DWL has around 150 employees, a majority of whom IBM plans to retain, Sweeney said.

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