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IBM buys into project management

Big Blue plans to beef up its Rational suite of development tools with technology it will gain through its acquisition of Systemcorp.

IBM is seeking to beef up its software tools portfolio, announcing on Tuesday plans to acquire Systemcorp, which makes project-management applications.

The acquisition is expected to be complete in 30 days. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Privately held Systemcorp, which is based in Montreal, makes programs for managing projects, such as application development, and for setting priorities among different tasks in IT organizations. Big Blue said it will incorporate Systemcorp's software into its Rational development tools suite within 30 days.

Systemcorp is already a partner with IBM; in that sense, the deal follows a pattern of other software-related acquisitions by Big Blue. Systemcorp uses IBM's WebSphere portal software to present information to project managers. IBM's services arm, IBM Global Services, sells Systemcorp's applications.

Systemcorp, which was founded in 1993, has about 70 employees. It primarily competes with a number of niche project-management application providers, according to analysts.

When the acquisition is complete, IBM intends to offer employment to most of Systemcorp's current employees, according to an IBM representative.

A recent Forrester Research report recommended that IT organizations investigate project-management applications, which are designed to better manage costs and meet business goals.