Extending its information management and enterprise content management capabilities once again, IBM (news, site)  has just announced the acquisition of Initiate Systems, a provider of data integrity software for information sharing among healthcare and government organizations.

The company, based in Chicago, provides a cost-effective way to manage healthcare information giving users access to patient and clinical information easily by speeding the adoption and exchange of electronic medical records.

Health Information Management

Initiate provides systems that give users in health a birds-eye view of all information relating to a particular case. It pulls information from hospitals, doctors offices and insurers and enables the speedy exchange of that information.

However, this is not just for the management of files in a given location -- although it has built systems for 2,400 different health care sites -- it has also developed health information exchanges and systems for government health services all over the world.

Although healthcare is its primary area, it has also extended these information management systems to other government bodies to combine information from multiple agencies such as child welfare and veterans' programs.

For clients who have been using Initiate systems to date, the deal will mean additional information management abilities including analytics, data warehousing information discovery and transformation, as well as business intelligence.

IBM Expands BAO Capabilities

This is the 30th such acquisition for IBM and adds yet another element to its business analytics capabilities including those that come under its Business Analytics and Optimization (BAO) consulting umbrella. BAO is the recently developed strategy from IBM of applying advanced analytics to help organizations predict the likely impact of actions to improve decision-making.

It manages five core areas, including strategy, business intelligence and business performance management, advance analytics and optimization, enterprise information management and content management.

According to IBM, typically companies manage their unstructured data separately from their structured data (the kind that resides in applications and databases). The solution proposed by IBM is to look at those two types of data in a unified way and analyze them both in order to change the way companies do business.

The development of their analytics capabilities has been ongoing for some time and includes the acquisition of Cognos nearly three years ago and SPSS last year. In practical terms this means reducing the time and proving the ability to process unstructured information including, but not limited to scanned content, e-mails, knowledge bases and service agreements.

Financial details of the deal were not released, but it is expected to be finalized by the end of the first quarter after which Initiate will be integrated with IBM’s information management business.