IBM buys risk management specialist OpenPages

Analytics arm can now assist with compliance issues.

Open Pages logo

IBM is buying its way into risk management and compliance software with the acquisition of OpenPages.

The addition of the OpenPages products is intended to strengthen IBM's hand in an area where there is increasing interest. As company's have tightened their control to recover from the recession, risk management has become a lucrative market.

"Unforeseen risk can hurt a company's bottom line as well as its brand reputation," said Rob Ashe, general manager for business analytics at IBM. "Integrating risk management systems across once-divided units and functions is essential to seeing the bigger picture."

He added: "The combination of IBM and OpenPages will provide an holistic and consistent approach to risk management helping companies combine that insight with performance management to drive better decision making."

The OpenPages products will be merged into IBM's business analytics portfiolio. The applications will retain their independence, at least for the time being.

OpenPages products are designed to help companies manage risk and compliance across multiple regulations, including Basel II, SOX and other SOX-like requirements around the world. The acquisition will help IBM's enterprise customers to gain a greater understanding of the interdependencies between risks and controls across processes, departments, business units and geographies.

IBM and OpenPages are not strangers and have collaborated in the past. A major project was the development of a core data system for a consortium of 55 major banks, the Operational Riskdata eXchange Association (ORX).

IBM is making a massive drive into the analytics market. In just four years, it has invested more than $11 billion (7 billion) to support the strategy. Apart from several acquisitions it has put in place 6,000 consultants and opened seven analytics Centres of Excellence around the world.

The financial details of the OpenPages acquisition have not been made public and it is still subject to approval.

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