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IBM acquires data integration company

Big Blue hopes that buying DWL will help bolster its information management portfolio.

IBM announced Tuesday that it plans to acquire DWL, a maker of customer data integration software, in move aimed at bolstering its information management group.

Big Blue has dramatically increased its acquisitions in information management in the past year, with DWL representing the fifth such deal in that span. Over the past four years, Big Blue has acquired nine companies in this market.

DWL develops middleware that pulls together records in real time about a single customer, or prospective customer, from a number of data areas within a company.

"The ability to cut through complexity and provide an accurate view of the customer is one of the most important aspects of information management today," Janet Perna, IBM's information management general manager, said in a statement.

DWL previously served as a strategic partner to IBM and will now be folded into the tech giant's information management group. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close in late 2005, were not disclosed.

"The pieces of the puzzle are really coming together," said Christopher Rubsamen, an IBM spokesman. "Ascential was also a strategic business partner and its acquisition closed in June...Both companies work well with our information management and on-demand strategy."

Ascential Software makes data integration products that help companies transport and format data files. The DWL technology will drill down for specific records and track them in real time, Rubsamen added.

Information integration is becoming a high priority for corporate America, as companies seek to combine information from a variety of sources or systems to monitor how the organization is running.