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IBM Initiates master data buy

Healthcare and gov play

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IBM said today that it plans to acquire Initiate Systems, one of the few master data management (MDM) vendors that hadn't yet been gobbled down by a software megafirm.

Chicago-based Initiate specializes in MDM software for healthcare and government organizations. Big Blue's purchase arrives on the heels of MDM rival Informatica striking a deal to purchase Initiate's competitor, Siperian last week.

Smaller players have recently been jostling for position as well. Late last month, data integration specialist Talend began selling subscriptions for open-source MDM in hopes of undercutting the likes of IBM, Oracle, SAP and Informatica.

IBM intends to use Initiate's software and expertise to better pitch MDM to healthcare and government sectors. Initiate's health clients include Alberta Ministry of Health and Wellness, BMI Healthcare, CVS/Caremark, and the State of North Dakota's Department of Health, and Human Services.

Big Blue said its current MDM customers will benefit from additional information management capabilities including clinical analytics, information discovery and transformation; and data warehousing.

The company said it intends to continue to support and upgrade Initiate Software, while rolling the applications into Infosphere and Cognos lines. Initiate will be placed into IBM's information management unit.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, which is expected to close some time in the first quarter of 2010. ®

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