IBM buys back its web analytics business

IBM has revealed that it intends to acquire Coremetrics, a company whose technology allows website operators to monitor and analyse their visitor traffic.

If it receives regulatory approval, the deal will see the IT giant reverse a decision in 2006 to sell its SurfAid web analytics divisions to the smaller vendor.

At the time observers estimated that Coremetrics acquired SurfAid, which then employed around 55 people, for an ‘eight figure sum’. It is not known how much IBM now intends to pay for Coremetrics, which is a privately held company.

The acquisition extends IBM’s current emphasis on analytics technology. As well as traditional web analytics, Coremetrics brings with it social media analytics technology.

When Google launched its free web analytics offering in 2005, many believed the incumbent suppliers’ days were numbered. However, Coremetrics’ key competitor Omniture was acquired by document software provider Adobe in 2009 for $1.8 billion, and Coremetrics says its revenues grew by 20% in 2009, a difficult year for most software companies.

This is the second acquisition in as many months that sees IBM reentering a market it previously vacated. In May, the company acquired Sterling Commerce, a payments transaction technology provider whose tools are analogous to those of the Business Exchange division IBM sold in 2006.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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