IBM announced on Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sterling Commerce from AT&T for approximately $1.4 billion in cash. The acquisition of the Dublin, Ohio-based company will expand IBM's ability to help organizations create more intelligent and dynamic business networks by simplifying and automating the way they connect and communicate with customers, partners and suppliers both on-premise or through cloud computing delivery models. IBM and AT&T expect the transaction to close in the second half of 2010, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
"Businesses today are operating in a highly competitive global environment in which lines between actions taking place within and outside an organization's four walls are blurring," said Craig Hayman, general manager, WebSphere, IBM. "This acquisition will give IBM new tools to help clients build dynamic business networks that connect partners, suppliers and clients and deliver a consistent customer experience across channels. In addition, the fact that much of this can be done in the cloud will make it compelling to large numbers of our customers."
In its announcement IBM said that its products and services complement the business-to-business capabilities of Sterling Commerce and together enable the integration of key business processes through the entire cross-channel solution lifecycle - from marketing and selling to order management and fulfillment. These offerings also give clients the flexibility to manage their networks of business partners through public or private cloud computing environments, IBM said.
Today, more than 18,000 global customers use Sterling Commerce offerings. The company enables more than 1 billion business interactions a year for clients in the financial services, retail, manufacturing, communications and distribution industries. IBM sees these interactions growing dramatically due to the proliferation of electronic business transactions, from banks exchanging transaction data and manufacturers sourcing raw materials electronically, to retailers automating stock replenishment and managing orders online. Such intelligent transactions, and the software that supports them, help deliver the agility businesses need to be successful. For more information on the acquisition, go here.