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Sun 20 Aug 2006 04:00 AM

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August sales spree

August is traditionally the month when the IT industry slows down, but this year it has witnessed a spending spree, with several big money acquisitions having already been announced.

August is traditionally the month when the IT industry slows down, but this year it has witnessed a spending spree, with several big money acquisitions having already been announced.

Leading the charge to the checkbook has been IBM. The industry giant splashed out over US$2.3 billion on three firms in just eight days, with the purchase of privately held Webify Solutions, followed by a US$740million deal for US asset management software vendor MRO Software. It then topped that with the US$1.6 billion acquisition of business process and content management software provider FileNet.

The purchases reflect efforts by IBM CEO Sam Palmisano to expand the firm’s software unit — its only business to deliver sales growth in the second quarter.

“Our performance was led by our software business…and is a significant part of our integrated portfolio,” Palmisano said in a recent statement reporting Q2 financial results.

The FileNet capture makes IBM the number one provider in the content management software market. That market saw further consolidation this month, with Open Text acquiring rival Hummingbird for US$489million.

In other deals this month, Brocade shelled out US$713million for McData and accounting software firm Sage entered the healthcare sector, spending US$565million on Emdeon Practice Services (EPS).

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