IBM Acquisition Boosts Smart Buildings Strategy

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Tririga buy targets sustainable initiatives and capital project management capabilities

IBM has announced plans to acquire Tririga, a real estate management software firm, to help with its smarter-buildings strategy, which is part of IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative.

Aiming to accelerate its smarter buildings initiatives, IBM has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Tririga, a privately held Las Vegas-based provider of facility and real estate management software.

The move aims to add advanced intelligence that improves real estate performance, capital project management and the outcomes of sustainability initiatives. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Complex estate monitoring

Tririga software helps clients make strategic decisions regarding space use, evaluate alternative real estate initiatives, generate higher returns from capital projects and assess environmental impact investments.

According to IBM, Tririga software will provide three core functions, among others: Real Estate Portfolio Management, including strategic portfolio planning and lease management; Capital Project Management, such as condition assessment, budgeting, construction estimating and project management; and Energy and Environmental Sustainability, such as monitoring utility costs and consumption, analysing environmental investments and setting carbon management strategies.

Greater efficiencies around the operations and management of real estate are critical for organisations with multiple facilities, IBM said. Together, property and real estate typically represent the second largest capital expense, after employee compensation. Facilities investments and operating costs can be more than 30 percent of corporate annual spending.

Fifty percent of the lifetime ownership costs of a facility can be driven from its ongoing operation. IBM is working with thousands of organisations globally to optimise the energy use and equipment efficiency in office buildings, campuses, resorts, hospitals and cities using IBM smarter buildings software, which includes analytics, automation and IBM Maximo Asset Management.

Unifying management suite

It said that today, many facilities managers, real-estate managers and C-level executives rely on separate products from multiple vendors to optimise their facility infrastructure, lease administration, utility consumption, space and occupancy and facility-condition assessment. Each product used by different departments holds silos of information, making it difficult, if not impossible, to share across different operating functions. Similarly, business processes that span multiple groups cannot easily be accomplished when those groups are using different products.

“The combination of Tririga and IBM smarter-building solutions will deliver the industry’s most comprehensive capabilities that span the needs of all industries for managing facilities and real estate portfolios,” Florence Hudson, energy and environment executive at IBM, said in a statement. “Having one view of building operations worldwide will be a powerful tool to help organisations control and optimize their second-largest corporate expense – property.”

IBM said more than 200 clients and thousands of users – including over one-third of Fortune 100 corporations across every major industry, as well as seven of the 15 federal executive departments of the US government – use Tririga software to reduce operational costs, increase return on real estate assets and mitigate environmental regulatory risks.

“Together, IBM and Tririga will offer the most comprehensive facility and real estate management solution for clients around the world,” stated George Ahn, president and chief executive of Tririga. “By combining our intellectual capital with the global reach of IBM, we can help clients dramatically improve their buildings’ operations to become more sustainable and cost-efficient.”

IBM will integrate Tririga into its Tivoli software platform and Global Business Services division. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

The acquisition of Tririga, which employs approximately 200 people worldwide, will help accelerate IBM’s growth in the smarter buildings market, a key initiative in IBM’s Smarter Planet work. Earlier this month, IBM said Smarter Planet projects are estimated to drive $10 billion (£6.1bn) in revenue for IBM by 2015.

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