IBM Buys Into Project Portfolio Management

The purchase of System, Montreal, should close in 30 days, said Roger Oberg, vice president of marketing for IBM's Rational Software division. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal, which will move System's 70 employees to an IBM office in Montreal and add System's PMOffice software to the IBM Rational suite.

Project portfolio management software enables business managers and IT project managers to keep track of large development projects by defining the resources required to complete the project, lay out a development schedule, track the costs of the project and coordinate other business tasks with the development cycle.

These functions help systems integrators carefully manage large IT projects. This is becoming more important as customers become more concerned with the time and financial considerations of such projects, Oberg said.

"Software development as an activity is increasingly being recognized as a business process," Oberg said. "Customers are very concerned that the investments they make in development activities reflect the priorities of the business."

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IBM chose to buy System because PMOffice was built on IBM software and already is being used by IBM Global Services to manage large-scale IT projects, he said. Oberg also cited System's "deep expertise" in the project portfolio management.

PMOffice is complementary to IBM's existing portfolio of Rational software because there currently is very little portfolio or project management functionality in the product set, he said. Oberg would not discuss the specifics of how PMOffice will be integrated into the IBM Rational Software development platform. Those details will be released once the deal is closed, he said.