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IBM has just announced that it is expanding its business analytics yet again, this time with the acquisition of Coremetrics, a web analytics company, in a deal that will add considerably to its existing portfolio.

Predictably, terms of the deal have not been made public but are not that important compared to the added abilities the acquisition will give to IBM (news, site). Coremetrics (news, site) has made a name for itself by offering companies a cloud-based solution for analyzing customer interactions and information for social media-based marketing campaigns.

SaaS Analytics

While IBM is not short of analytics, particularly business-related analytics, this model gives them a SaaS product that should take them deeper into the SMB market, which they have been trying to impress over the past months.

This deal will give IBM web analytics, mobile analytics, targeted email tracking and advertising tracking as well as other reporting tools that will be attractive to smaller businesses at the right price.

The whole deal here is about getting closer to customers and in the process, getting more information out of them. IBM is not hiding the fact this is exactly what this is all about.

IBM And Coremetrics

IBM has been doing a lot of research in this respect and it recently published in a 2010 CEO Study, 88% of CEO’s said they would focus on just this over the next five years, with a further 85% looking for more visibility into their business. It also estimates that 70% of customer’s interaction and reaction to services or products starts online.

And this is where Coremetrics comes in. Already delivering web analytics to over 2100 companies across a large number of verticals, Coremetrics can not only show IBM how to do this kind of analytics -- its 230 employees are to be taken into IBM -- but will also enable them take on these companies as clients including some really big names like Bank of America, Virgin Atlantic, Costco and QVC.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter and once completed, Coremetrics will become part of IBM's application and integration middleware portfolio.

IBM And Analytics

IBM is really pushing its business analytics capabilities. Only last month following the closure of the NISC and Initiate deals that extended its Business Analytics and Optimization products (BPO), it announced new services and products to help companies analyze Big Data.

The new portfolio of products, unveiled at its Information on Demand 2010 conference is called IBM Info Sphere BigInsights. It moves analytics up a notch by enabling them to analyze petabytes of data using Apache Hadoop.

Also in May it upgraded its SPSS predictive analytics tool that enables users to analyze text gathered from social media sources, including Twitter, Facebook, blogs, wikis and RSS feeds. The upgrade represents a considerable advance in the SPSS Modeler data mining and text analytics solution with abilities that stretch as far as detecting the context of the words used.

And if you look back over its recent form you will see a lot more of the same since 2005 with US$ 10 billion spent in 14 strategic acquisitions to build its business analytics portfolio since then. There really doesn’t seem to be any reason why it will stop with this one.

IBM has also said it will continue to support and enhance Coremetrics' technologies and clients while allowing them to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.