IBM, which loves a bit of shopping, has just bought a cloud and analytics company called Emptoris.
Big Blue claims that the buy will help IBM work on its Smarter Commerce initiative, where the big idea is to help its clients understand customer buying patterns. Emptoris will give IBM a set of tools to manage sourcing and procurement of goods and materials in managing the supply chain.
In turn, IBM thinks that should give companies an opportunity for savings. IBM cites an oil company which used centralised sourcing in over 80 countries, using over 15,000 suppliers and ultimately saving on nine percent reduction on managed categories of goods.
IBM thinks that procurement professionals need better supplier management - basically, getting the best deals - and Emptoris is just the trick because it can automate vendor selection, negotiation, management and compliance.
Terms of the deal were not revealed, but Emptoris has been running since 1999 and has about 725 employees.
The buy should close in Q1 2012 but, as usual, is subject to all of the regulatory reviews.
Just last week IBM bought another company, DemandTec, to help it gain a larger slice of the commerce market.