IBM Buy Bolsters Lotus

Advancing its collaboration and on-demand goals, Big Blue buys Aptrix, an Australian Web content management software developer.

Enhancing its Lotus software portfolio, IBM has bought Aptrix, a privately-held, Australia-based provider of Web content management software for an undisclosed sum.

The acquired technology, which will be folded into the Lotus Workplace Content Development offering, helps users create, share and post information on corporate Web sites and portals.

A spokesman for Cambridge, Mass.,-based Lotus said a partnership between IBM and Aptrix made the acquisition attractive. The companies share several customers including British Airways.

"Since (Aptrix) products build on (Lotus) Domino and (IBM) WebSphere, the integration will be a lot more seamless for our customers," Michael Shamrell said.

Combined with other offerings, such as WebSphere and DB2 Content Manager, the new Lotus software brings the company's goal of "on-demand" computing a step closer to reality, Shamrell said.

The on-demand model provides IT resources and applications on an as-needed basis, automatically responding to fluctuating traffic or usage. IBM, as well as Computer Associates, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Sun, are building offerings around the concept.

"Enterprises are looking to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time," Ambuj Goyal, Lotus' general manager told reporters during a conference call this afternoon.

Large companies are also looking to buy Web content management applications as part of a larger suite, not as an add-on, Goyal said.

Aptrix's 45 employees will be offered jobs with Lotus in Cambridge, London and Sydney. IBM said Aptrix technology is available now in the newly announced Lotus Workplace portfolio. It may be rebranded in 30 days.

"Aptrix solutions are built to complement IBM software and our joint offerings have delivered tremendous business value to our mutual customers over the last few years," said Richard Osborne, Aptrix executive chairman.






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