IBM Acquisition Extends Company's 'Smarter Building' Initiative

IBM said Tuesday that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Las Vegas-based Tririga, but did not disclose the financial terms. IBM expects to complete the acquisition sometime in the second quarter.

"The combination of Tririga and IBM smarter building solutions will deliver the industry’s most comprehensive capabilities that span the needs of all industries for managing facilities and real estate portfolios," said Florence Hudson, IBM energy and environment executive, in a statement. "Having one view of building operations worldwide will be a powerful tool to help organizations control and optimize their second-largest corporate expense – property."

Smarter buildings is one of IBM's Smarter Planet initiatives which aim to build IT management and analysis capabilities into everything from electric grids, to municipal water systems, to traffic control systems. IBM has said that Smarter Planet projects are expected to drive $10 billion in annual sales for the company by 2015.

IBM launched its smarter building effort in February 2010 and has established joint initiatives with building automation technology companies Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric and Honeywell's Tridium unit. IBM said the worldwide market for smarter building capabilities is expected to grow 25 annually from $3.9 billion this year.

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The addition of Tririga's applications to IBM's product lineup will help customers manage, maintain, and deliver intelligence to building systems and assets, the company said. Today facilities managers, real estate managers and company executives often use disparate products from multiple vendors to handle the real estate portfolio, capital project and facility energy management tasks handled by the integrated Tririga software.

Tririga's customers include Nokia, General Electric, Gap and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

IBM will merge Tririga into its software group and its software will be integrated with IBM Tivoli software and IBM Global Business Services.

Tririga is the latest of 70 software companies IBM has acquired since 2003. Last year CEO Sam Palmisano said the company would spend $20 billion over the next five years on acquisitions.