IBM has reached agreement with AT&T to acquire Sterling Commerce, the supply chain software specialist, for about $1.4 billion in cash.
IBM believes Sterling’s products complement IBM’s middleware portfolio. By acquiring Sterling’s technology and its trading partner network, IBM reckons it will be able to deliver new cross-channel solutions to its clients.
IBM plans to continue to support Sterling’s clients and enhance its technologies. Following the close of the acquisition, some 2,500 Sterling employees will be integrated into the WebSphere organisation within IBM’s Software Group.
Craig Hayman, general manager of WebSphere at IBM, said: “This acquisition will give IBM new tools to help clients build dynamic business networks that connect partners, suppliers and clients and deliver a consistent customer experience across channels. In addition, the fact that much of this can be done in the cloud will make it compelling to large numbers of our customers.”
Bob Irwin, chief executive of Sterling Commerce, said: “The combination of IBM’s products, services and skills with the Sterling Commerce B2B integration and cross-channel capabilities resulting from this acquisition is unparalleled.”