Updates to this story
IBM has announced that it will definitely be acquiring Coremetrics, which specialises in web analytics, to help increase IBM's business analytics. It hopes that its business analytics, with Coremetrics on board, will help organisations get info on consumer interactions straight through a cloud-based delivery.
In IBM's 2010 CEO study it found that the majorityCEOs questioned wanted to focus on better understanding of customer habits and needs as well as increasing interaction. Analytic tools are useful for this sort of insight and IBM must be fairly confident that it is onto a winner.
Coremetrics has some high profile clients including the Bank of America, Holiday Inn, Office Depot and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Craig Hayman, general manager at IBM WebSphere said in a statement: "With this acquisition, we are extending our capabilities to give clients greater insight about customer behavior and sentiment about products and services, and give true foresight into their future buying patterns. Marketing departments can benefit from these capabilities very quickly because we are delivering this in a Software-as-a-Service model.
"The combination of IBM and Coremetrics will maximize marketing expenditures and also make the buying experience more convenient, personal and interactive for consumers."
The news comes in line with the launch of this year's Enterprise 2.0 conference.
It hasn't been revealed how much IBM splurged on the acquisition. But, remember Omniture? Adobe bought the analytics company for a cool $1.8 billion, which we reckon has about twice the market capitalising of Coremetrics, so we're looking at a lot of dosh here.
We talked to Christian Howes at Webtrends who told us he's not at all surprised at the acquisition. It's the third analytics company IBM has bought, he told us, one of which - SurfAid - was sold to Coremetrics. Importantly IBM is making a real effort to go for the enterprise sector this time and probably will benefit from the acquisition - there are inherent challenges to begin with about moving data, but it's become apparent that data is now very valuable in the enterprise.
It'll be interesting to see how Coremetrics and IBM work together.