IBM Acquires Sterling Commerce from AT&T for US$1.4bn

IBM and AT&T have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire Sterling Commerce from AT&T for approximately US$1.4bn in cash. The acquisition will expand IBM’s ability to help organisations create more intelligent and dynamic business networks by simplifying and automating the way they connect and communicate with customers, partners and suppliers both on-premise or through cloud computing delivery models.

IBM’s products and services complement the business-to-business (B2B) capabilities of Sterling Commerce and together enable the integration of key business processes through the entire cross-channel solution lifecycle – from marketing and selling to order management and fulfilment. These offerings also give clients the flexibility to manage their networks of business partners through public or private cloud computing environments.

Sterling Commerce offerings complement IBM’s middleware portfolio. By acquiring Sterling Commerce technology and its large trading partner network, IBM anticipates it will be able to deliver powerful new cross-channel solutions to its clients. In addition, Sterling Commerce technology will complement IBM’s industry-focused software offerings, enabling the addition of capabilities to IBM’s frameworks supporting the retail, manufacturing, communications, health care and banking industries.

“Businesses today are operating in a highly competitive global environment in which lines between actions taking place within and outside an organisation’s four walls are blurring,” said Craig Hayman, general manager, WebSphere, IBM. “This acquisition will give IBM new tools to help clients build dynamic business networks that connect partners, suppliers and clients and deliver a consistent customer experience across channels. In addition, the fact that much of this can be done in the cloud will make it compelling to large numbers of our customers.”

IBM plans to continue to support Sterling Commerce clients and enhance Sterling Commerce technologies while allowing these organisations to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio. Following the close of the acquisition, approximately 2,500 Sterling Commerce employees will be integrated into the WebSphere organisation within IBM’s Software Group.

IBM and AT&T expect the transaction to close in the second half of 2010, subject to regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.


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