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IBM provides details on Emptoris acquisition

According company executives, they are not finished yet
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
December 19, 2011

By acquiring Emptoris Inc., last week, IBM has added another arrow to its “Smarter Commerce” quiver.

According company executives, they are not finished yet.

Emptoris Inc., a leading provider of cloud and on-premise analytics software, agreed to be purchased late last week, closely following DemandTech’s lead a short while ago.

Analysts said that Emptoris will enhance products and technologies IBM gained through its $1.4 billion acquisition of AT&T’s Sterling Commerce Unit last year.

“Emptoris brings us a set of new, flexible and integrated solutions that orchestrate and manage the sourcing and procurement of goods and materials as part of supply chain management,” said Joel Reed, Executive Director for Product Line Management, IBM B2B Commerce Software.

He added that supply chain intelligence using these “solutions” enables better inventory management and can create large savings opportunities.

With more than 350 customers in 75 countries, Emptoris is based in Burlington, Mass. with offices in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia, India, Brazil and China.  Emptoris’ global clients spans multiple industries including consumer products, financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, chemical/oil/gas, utilities, construction and industrial manufacturing.

The acquisition is the latest addition to IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, launched in March 2011, which is aimed at helping companies respond to shifting customer buying patterns. 

IBM has estimated that the Smarter Commerce initiative is a $20 billion market opportunity in software alone. 
According to Reed, the deal had been in the planning stages for the past six months.

“We did not anticipate a surge in demand, given the recovering economy,” he said. “But the time seems just right at this point.”

He also noted that shippers that are struggling to meet the demands of rapidly shifting customer buying patterns in the era of mobile and social networks.

“This new digital marketplace requires companies to respond rapidly to customer demands by automating their buying, marketing, selling and service processes,” he said.

Reed told SCMR that by developing the right procurement strategy and an adaptive supply chain, shippers are mitigating risk.

“The more transparency shippers have to their supplier network, the less chance there is of a major disruption,” he said. “It’s important to note that it’s often the secondary supplier that is most vulnerable to this exposure.”


About the Author

image
Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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