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IBM Makes Bigger Industrial IoT Play With Oniqua Acquisition

"Clients are moving from legacy, on-premise offerings to new cloud-based predictive analytics and prescriptive maintenance offerings. But without instant access to the right data, they are still susceptible to critical equipment breakdowns that can cripple their businesses," Jay Bellissimo of IBM Global Business Services said.

IBM is making a larger play in the industrial Internet of Things space with its acquisition of Oniqua Holdings Pty Ltd., a Denver-based provider of maintenance, repair and operations inventory optimization software for manufacturing, mining and other asset-intensive industries.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based company announced the acquisition Friday, saying it will help expand IBM Asset Optimization Practice, which includes Big Blue's enterprise asset management system Maximo, by increasing its capabilities for predictive maintenance.

"Clients are moving from legacy, on-premise offerings to new cloud-based predictive analytics and prescriptive maintenance offerings. But without instant access to the right data, they are still susceptible to critical equipment breakdowns that can cripple their businesses," Jay Bellissimo , a general manager at IBM Global Business Services, said in a statement.

The deal will give IBM Services, the company's solution provider arm, a team of professionals from Oniqua who are experts in maintenance, repair and operations inventory optimization, as well as data engineering, data science and predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBM said Oniqua's software is used by more than 50 of the "world's leading companies" for the management of spare part inventory, a critical space for asset-intensive industries like oil and gas, transportation and utilities. Underlining the importance of maintenance, repair and operations inventory optimization, IBM cited a report from Aberdeen Group stating that 50 percent of annual unscheduled asset downtime happens due to the lack of spare parts.

With Oniqua's software, industrial companies are given a single view for spare parts inventory, allowing them to analyze the data and use insights to ensure that the spare parts and other materials are properly stocked to lower downtime. IBM said Oniqua's software will integrate with Maximo and Tririga, the company's workplace management system, to provide consistent and accessible data across the business.

"By combining the world's leading asset optimization solution Maximo with the leading MRO Inventory Optimization solution from Oniqua, we will offer a next-generation 'solutions as-a-service' that let businesses easily connect with the data they need so they can forecast equipment failures, optimize spare parts, reduce unplanned downtime and optimize asset maintenance," Bellissimo said.

IBM's main IoT offerings are based around the company's Watson IoT platform, which serves the automotive, electronics, energy and utilities, insurance, manufacturing, retail and federal government verticals. In March, the company introduced its own take on a virtual assistant with Watson Assistant, which combines artificial intelligence, cloud and IoT to bring text and voice interactions to a variety of devices.

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