IBM this week announced plans to purchase Tealeaf Technology, a provider of customer experience analytics software that helps organizations access and make sense of information related to consumer Web experiences. It’s the third CRM-related acquisition by Big Blue in as many weeks, following its other acquisitions of Vivisimo, a provider of enterprise search technology, and Varicent, a sales data analytics company.
The Tealeaf acquisition is part of IBM’s effort to build up its Smarter Commerce initiative. Tealeaf’s products will be integrated into IBM’s Enterprise Marketing and Management Group, which includes assets it previously acquired in deals to buy Coremetrics, Unica, and DemandTec, among others.
IBM is investing heavily in commerce software as a whole, and it’s no wonder given that the company has reportedly identified the market for its Smarter Commerce initiative as a $20 billion market opportunity. Apparently there’s big money to be made in helping companies identify and respond to shifting customer buying patterns.
It’s also becoming evident that IBM is betting big on Big Data and the analytics to make sense of it all. A recent New York Times article points out Big Blue has spent some $14 billion in the past five years purchasing analytics companies.
I suspect this is just the beginning, given the company’s penchant for acquisitions and its deep pockets. According to the company’s own financial reports, it spent $1.5 billion to acquire five companies in its last fiscal quarter. It just might have some more to spend.