IBM catches iPhrase

Big Blue acquires iPhrase Technologies, a privately held company specializing in software for online commerce.

IBM has agreed to acquire privately held software maker iPhrase Technologies.

Bedford, Mass.-based iPhrase makes software that assists e-commerce companies with online sales and support and helps customers find information on Web sites, IBM said. For instance, the software can help companies interpret customer queries even if they are misspelled.

Financial details of the deal, announced Tuesday, were not disclosed.

Big Blue said the acquisition will help it improve its search and content management functions involving the analysis of enterprise databases, file systems, collaboration systems and external Web sites.

iPhrase technology is also compatible with the so-called unstructured information management architecture--a standard developed by IBM for analyzing unstructured information, the company said.

"iPhrase's technology combines a real-time understanding of user queries with application context, guiding people to the most relevant results tailored to their individual needs," Jon Prial, vice president of content management at IBM, said in a statement.