IBM To Buy OpenPages

Acquisition expands IBM's business analytics capabilities to support compliance and risk management processes

September 16, 2010

4 Min Read


ARMONK, N.Y., - 15 Sep 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire OpenPages, a privately-held company based in Waltham, MA. OpenPages provides software that helps companies more easily identify and manage risk and compliance activities across the enterprise through a single management system. Financial terms were not disclosed.

With growing volumes of data, disconnected systems, constantly changing regulatory compliance challenges and a dynamic business climate, gaining a complete view of an organization's risk exposure is increasing in complexity.

Today, managing risk is a top priority for businesses in all industries including finance, insurance, retail, healthcare and energy and utilities. A recent IBM study of 1900 global CFOs and senior finance leaders revealed that risk management has risen in priority by 93 percent since 2005. The survey also noted that two out of three companies had encountered material risk events within the past three years.

The acquisition of OpenPages expands IBM's business analytics capabilities to support compliance and risk management processes. OpenPages software allows businesses to develop a comprehensive compliance and risk management strategy across a variety of domains including operational risk, financial controls management, IT risk, compliance and internal audits. The result is an aggregated, enterprise-wide picture of all exposures, helping CFOs and CIOs understand how these risks can impact the organization's future performance.

For example, organizations are under increased pressure to ensure their compliance mandates are not geographically siloed. A manufacturer may have aggressive revenue goals for an emerging market, but those goals may generate business risks such as not aligning to regional regulations and unintended costs associated with extending the necessary financial, IT and business controls to a remote location. OpenPages software instantly highlights any inconsistencies in risk and performance goals, giving business leaders a comprehensive view of the business opportunities and risks associated with the expansion.

Business analytics has grown from addressing departmental concerns to enterprise-wide standards spanning business intelligence, performance management, advanced analytics and now risk management requirements. This acquisition will advance IBM's business analytics strategy to help businesses address these complex enterprise-wide risk management and compliance challenges.

"Unforeseen risk can hurt a company's bottom line as well as its brand reputation," said Rob Ashe, general manager, business analytics, IBM. "Integrating risk management systems across once-divided units and functions is essential to seeing the bigger picture. The combination of IBM and OpenPages will provide a holistic and consistent approach to risk management helping companies combine that insight with performance management to drive better decision making."

More than 200 clients across a variety of industries are using OpenPages software to help them tackle their information-related challenges and manage risk and compliance issues. In fact, some of the world's largest financial services and energy and utilities businesses address risk and compliance with OpenPages software. These include Allianz, Barclays, Carnival Corporation, Duke Energy, SunTrust, TIAA CREF and Williams.

IBM and OpenPages deliver Integrated Risk Management solutions that have been successfully deployed for leaders in the banking, financial services and insurance industries. IBM and OpenPages have also partnered to deliver the core data system for the Operational Riskdata eXchange Association (ORX), a consortium of over 55 major banks in 18 countries, based in Switzerland formed with the objective of sharing quality operational risk data on a secure and anonymized basis for the purposes of risk management.

IBM's approach to risk management will help organizations drive better business outcomes, lower the cost of risk management and compliance activities, better allocate resources as needed and reduce risk exposure. When coupled with IBM's services capabilities, systems management, security, information governance and other IT governance capabilities, clients will have an accurate and actionable view of the risks that might otherwise undermine enterprise performance.

"Everyday we hear first hand about the risk and compliance management issues that businesses face, and its clear that a new information architecture is needed to delivery valuable risk intelligence that empowers risk-based decision making said Michael Duffy, president and CEO, OpenPages. "The combination of IBM and OpenPages software, business process insights and industry expertise will address this need, helping businesses tackle their complex risk challenges.

OpenPages client and partner investments in existing IBM and OpenPages technologies will be preserved, allowing customers to take advantage of the broader set of capabilities without the need to replace existing systems.

In just four years, IBM has invested more than $11 billion, dedicated 6 000 consultants and opened seven analytics Centers of Excellence around the world to help clients uncover hidden insights within their data.

The acquisition is subject to applicable regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions. Following the close of the acquisition, IBM intends to integrate OpenPages within IBM's Business Analytics software portfolio.

For more information, visit IBM Business Analytics and Optimization.

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