IBM Snaps Up Britain’s i2 For Analytics Expertise

Big DataData StorageSecuritySoftwareWorkspace

IBM is acquiring UK-based analytic tools specialist i2 in order to beef up its security expertise

IBM is to acquire UK-based i2 in order to accelerate its business analytics initiatives, as well as help clients in the public and private sectors address crime, fraud and security threats.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

i2, with more than 4,500 customers in 150 countries, is a provider of intelligence analytics for crime and fraud prevention based in Cambridge, UK, with US headquarters in McLean, Virginia.

Big Data Challenge

i2’s clients span multiple sectors globally such as banking, defence, health care, insurance, law enforcement, national security and retail. i2’s solutions are currently used by 12 of the top 20 retail banks globally and eight of the top 10 largest companies in the world.

IBM officials said organisations in both the public and private sectors today are facing an exponential increase in “big data” – information and intelligence coming from disparate and unstructured sources, including social media, biometrics and criminal databases. When it is accessible to the people who need it, this information can be used to anticipate potential problems; make better, faster decisions; and coordinate resources to deliver exceptional service to citizens and customers.

IBM has focused on and invested heavily in shoring up its resources in this arena.

This i2 acquisition will extend IBM’s leadership in helping clients harness this data through the addition of i2’s intelligence analysis and tactical lead generation capabilities, which help cities, nations, international bodies and private enterprises combat fraud and security threats.

Ongoing Threats

Fraud and security threat reduction is of strategic importance across all industries today. According to FBI statistics, in 2009 there were 1.3 million violent crimes, 9.3 million property crimes, and 6.3 million larceny and thefts in the United States. Consumer-facing fraud for retailers alone costs $100 billion (£63 billion) a year in the United States.

In response to these threats, businesses and government agencies are seeking to empower public safety officers, analysts, managers, detectives and investigators with industry-specific intelligence analysis and operational insight solutions. For example, government agencies today are concerned with increased threats to public safety, which are driving the need for secure information sharing.

“IBM’s goal is to better equip public safety officials and businesses with the information and tools they need to ensure safer cities,” said Craig Hayman, general manager of Industry Solutions at IBM, in a statement. “The combined capabilities of IBM and i2 will help customers uncover patterns and trends that will allow them to more effectively protect the privacy and safety of citizens, businesses and governments.”

i2 Integration

“The combination of i2’s products and IBM’s advanced data collection and warehousing technologies will be compelling for clients seeking to enhance situational awareness and make connections between seemingly unrelated information from oceans of data,” said Robert Griffin, CEO of i2, also in a statement. “i2’s existing clients will be at home with IBM, a company known for its ability to help organisations make the most of their data assets.”

With IBM and i2, clients will have access to a comprehensive range of visualisation and multidimensional analytics for the timely delivery of intelligence, including threat and fraud analytics. These tools will help analysts quickly identify connections, patterns and trends in complex data sets and easily model data in the way they think, in a single environment yielding faster analysis results, strategic reports and bulletins.

i2 will be integrated into IBM’s Software Group, which is a key driver of growth and profitability for the company, IBM officials said.

Headquartered in the UK, i2 has 350 employees and additional offices in McLean, ,Tucson, Ottawa, and Canberra in Australia. The acquisition is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and applicable regulatory reviews.

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