IBM acquires data discovery vendor Exeros

IBM has acquired data discovery specialist Exeros, whose software helps customers discover hidden relationships between databases and applications.

IBM has acquired the assets of Exeros, a data discovery vendor, whose software automates the process of discovering relationships between disparate databases and applications.

The technology from Exeros Inc., a privately-held firm based in Santa Clara, Calif., will be integrated with IBM's Information Agenda portfolio to help companies better understand relationships between business entities, like customers and products, an IBM spokesperson said.

Data discovery technology could, for example, help a large bank that has grown by acquisition find customers with similar profiles whose information is scattered among various vendor and homegrown data sources in order to target relevant products to them, said Lise Neely, product marketing manager for IBM's information management tools.

"It's obviously aimed at very large enterprises with lots of data environments," said Charles King, president and principal analyst of Concord, Mass.-based Pund-IT Inc. "So if a company has a lot of data in legacy systems or if the business is growing by acquisition and has disparate data sources, Exeros has tools that will let them bring the understanding of that data under one roof."

The acquisition is "a terrific move" on IBM's part, according to Merv Adrian, an analyst and consultant at IT Market Strategy in Pleasanton, Calif. He said it could ultimately persuade more customers to undertake ambitious data architecture projects, something IBM is pushing with its Information Agenda initiative. Exeros automates otherwise "laborious, manual efforts to uncover data, find out where it is, and what it means," Adrian said, all of which are needed to start such projects.

"IBM's goal here is clear: It wants to lower the barriers that prevent responsible data architecture practices from gaining a foothold," Adrian wrote on his blog after learning of the Exeros acquisition.

Exeros was co-founded in 2002 by now CEO Piyush Gupta, who spent several years at IBM and helped develop the company's enterprise information integration (EII) product line, according to Exeros' website.

Neither IBM nor Exeros revealed full terms of the acquisition, but Neely did say all Exeros employees, including management, would join IBM.

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