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IBM Wraps Up $1.4-Billion Sterling Commerce Acquisition

IBM will combine the company's supply chain and B2B applications with its Coremetrics and Unica acquisitions to offer a potent marketing software lineup.

IBM is acquiring Dublin, Ohio-based Sterling Commerce from AT&T under the deal, which was announced May 24. Sterling Commerce and its 2,500 employees will be merged into IBM's WebSphere organization within the company's Software Group.

Since announcing the acquisition, IBM has also bought Coremetrics, a developer of Web analytics and integrated marketing software, for an undisclosed sum and is in the process of buying Unica, a developer of interactive marketing, brand management and Web analytics applications, for $480 million.

Sterling Commerce's software helps businesses develop networks of business partners, suppliers and customers and manage electronic transactions between them. The combination of Sterling Commerce, Coremetrics and Unica, integrated with IBM's WebSphere Commerce platform, creates an extensive product lineup for managing and automating business processes across marketing, selling, order management and fulfillment.

"We now offer a complete platform for multi-enterprise business transactions," said Craig Hayman, general manager of IBM Industry Solutions, in a statement. IBM said the Sterling Commerce acquisition also complements the company's industry-focused software frameworks that support the retail, manufacturing, communications, health care and banking industries.

IBM has made a dozen acquisitions already this year, most of them software vendors, as part of what is expected to be a spending spree of as much as $20 billion in acquisitions during the next five years.

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