Monday, August 16, 2010

IBM to Acquire Unica Corporation

Fridays in the summer are typically quiet, but not here in the Tech Hub! This past Friday IBM announced that it intends to acquire Unica, a Waltham-based leader in enterprise marketing management software. I reached out to Joe Perry from IBM's Innovation Center in Waltham and asked him to provide more details on this acquisition, the challenges and opportunities presented for CMOs today, and IBM's acquisition strategy in Massachusetts.

On Friday, August 13, IBM announced its intention to acquire Unica Corporation for $480 Million. Unica's software helps organizations streamline and automate the entire marketing processes -- from relationship marketing, online marketing, and marketing operations - to improve their brand presence and better reach consumers.

IBM's acquisition of Unica will accelerate IBM's efforts to help organizations analyze and predict customer preferences and develop more targeted marketing campaigns. Headquartered in Waltham, Mass., this is IBM's 16th acquisition of a MA-based company since 2003. This year alone, IBM announced its acquisition of Marlborough-based Storwize and officially opened the IBM Mass Lab, IBM's largest software development Lab in Massachusetts. IBM recently stated it would spend $20 billion on acquisitions over the next five years and that the focus in this area would remain on software companies, given its higher margins and is IBM's most profitable business.

The marketing community is evolving, it's moving. CEOs want their marketing teams to be more effective and show more management for the campaigns they are running. According IBM's CEO study, marketing professionals are challenged to meet CEO and business priorities with limited resources. 77% of Chief Marketing Officers believe their CRM systems do not allow accurate profiling and analysis of their customers.

Unica solves this challenge. More than 1,500 clients rely on Unica for marketing and brand campaigns across a wide range of industries including financial services, insurance, retail telecommunications, travel and hospitality. A few examples include Aramark, Best Buy, eBay, ING, Monster, Starwood and US Cellular.

Contributed by Joe Perry, Regional Manager, IBM Innovation Center