IBM eyes embedded systems

With its planned acquisition of Telelogic, IBM is looking to make a splash in the embedded systems development space, a high-ranking IBM official acknowledged on Monday morning.

Telelogic has specialized in enterprise lifecycle requirements management tools for markets such as aerospace, automotive and defense. IBM's Daniel Sabbah, general manager of IBM Rational Software, noted Telelogic capabilities for embedded systems development.

"Part of the reason why we're acquiring Telelogic is because we believe that the embedded systems space is growing," Sabbah said. Also, the Telelogic buy will help bolster product and system development from the requirements management stage through to implementation, he said.

"Telelogic marries the demands of enterprise and government customers with business objectives to drive the development of products, applications, complex systems and software," Sabbah said.

"IBM's acquisition of Telelogic serves to accelerate the innovation of products that rely on software. This space includes industries such as consumer electronics, medical systems, automotive and aerospace and defense," said Sabbah. Telelogic customers have included organizations such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

"Software development is providing innovation in products we use everyday, from phones to cars to airplanes. Together, IBM, Telelogic and our business partners will expand and, more important, accelerate our customers' ability to define, model, build, test, deliver and govern the development," of complex systems, Sabbah said.

IBM's move was called "not surprising, given how hungry IBM has been to reestablish itself in the systems development [space]," said Carey Schwaber, senior analyst at Forrester Research. But she cited a high degree of overlap between the two companies.

"It is certainly on the complicated side though, given the number of areas in which IBM Rational and Telelogic both have capabilities," Schwaber said. "I count modeling, requirements management, software change and configuration management and project portfolio management a bit, too. The only area where Telelogic has a tool that IBM doesn’t is enterprise architecture."

The Telelogic acquisition was the fifth made by the IBM Rational division since IBM acquired Rational itself in 2003, Sabbah said. The division bought Watchfire, for Web application security, last week. Telelogic will be a business line within The IBM Rational software unit.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.