Published: April 25, 2012

IBM Acquires Vivisimo as Big Data Search Buys Heat Up

IBM announced plans to buy enterprise search company Vivisimo today. According to statements from Big Blue, the acquisition is aimed at bolstering IBM's already sizeable investment in Big Data analytics with Vivisimo's added federation capabilities.

Spun out of Carnegie Mellon University in 2000, Vivisimo is known for its clustering, federation, and social search. The company provides both standalone and OEM versions of its product line, as well as services for information governance.  In fact, its Velocity engine is an OEM in several popular archives and review tools common in the e-discovery space.

Market-wise, the deal is also interesting in that it comes on the tail of 23-year veteran search rival ISYS's acquisition in March by Lexmark, known for printers and hardcopy technology - another buy citing the "big data" opportunity. In addition to its own direct and indirect search business, ISYS has a document filter OEM channel, competing with Autonomy KeyView (Autonomy of course was snapped up by HP for $10 Billion in October last year). (Edited to add: the same month Oracle bought search and analytics player Endeca)

Financials of the Vivisimo acquisition have not been disclosed. Given Vivisimo's expanding OEM reach in the last few years, the deal seems valuable to IBM not only for its own products and channel, but perhaps its competitive strategy. More details on road-map plans are expected later today.

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Katey Wood covers the e-discovery, archiving, content and records management, enterprise search, and text analytics markets. In this role, Katey produces qualitative and quantitative research including economic validations, technology validations, and user surveys regarding legal and IT systems maturity. She also advises users, software vendors, service providers, and financiers on strategic technology and business initiatives.

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