IBM Completes Purchase of ILOG

IBM has now completed its purchase of ILOG.  From the “ILOG, an IBM Company” press release:

ARMONK,NY and PARIS – January 6, 2009. IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the completion of its approximately $340 million USD (EUR 215 million) tender offer for the shares of ILOG (NASDAQ: ILOG) (PARIS: ILO) (ISIN: FR0004042364). The tender offer, announced July 28, 2008, was finalized after IBM acquired all outstanding stock in ILOG and satisfied the other conditions of the offer.

The justification for the purchase is quite interesting (they work on the wording with each news release):

ILOG technology will add significant capability across IBM’s software platform and the addition of BRMS [business rules management system] will provide another dimension of leadership for the IBM BPM portfolio. This includes improved rules and business optimization for WebSphere and Information Management offerings, better visualization for WebSphere, Lotus and Tivoli products and solutions, as well as enhanced optimization and efficient supply chain management assets for planning and scheduling within a service oriented architecture (SOA).

The ILOG BRMS products help businesses increase the agility of their decision making by letting them adapt and respond dynamically. Based on applied mathematics and computer science, the ILOG optimization products allow enterprises to cope with many operating constraints. The software enables them to transform business objectives, resources and operational constraints into best possible action plans and schedules to enhance service, revenue and profits.

It is very nice to see the prominent place optimization now holds in the press releases. ILOG will be part of IBM’s Websphere, the group most interested in the business rules aspect of the acquisition.

The “Service Oriented Architecture”  emphasis is interesting.  SOA has been part of the previous releases, but this release really emphasizes that aspect.   The final line of the acquisition news release goes so far as to say:

For more information, visit [the SOA page of IBM.]

though I am not sure where that “more information is”, since the ILOG acquisition does not appear on that page, nor even on the “news release” area of that page (but maybe that is in process).  I had whined before when news releases pointed to Websphere, but I guess this is an improvement.  Certainly some of the leaders in our field believe SOA is a huge opportunity for operations research.

Welcome to “ILOG, an IBM Company”.  Great to see that you will keep your identity, and may you continue to broadly advance the use of operations research in practice.

Added Jan 6, 8PM: The IBM SOA page now has a link to some more information about the acquisition with the link now under “Business Process Management” with ILOG described in the first line as “ILOG, a recognized industry leader in Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS), strengthens IBM value for customers and partners.”  Sigh….