IBM buys trading data vendor InfoDyne

IBM has scooped up InfoDyne, a privately held maker of software that quickly crunches hundreds of market data sources together into a standardized form for the trading industry, it said Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The purchase marks the 69th acquisition by IBM since 2003.

“This is really a big play for us in the low-latency space,” said Tom Rosamilia, general manager of IBM WebSphere during a conference call Tuesday, referring to the technologies that enable algorithmic trading, where computers make buying and selling decisions by analyzing vast amounts of real-time market data. “InfoDyne has been in a leader in this space, both with its platform and connections to data feeds out there.”

InfoDyne’s technology will be moved under IBM’s WebSphere brand. WebSphere already includes products like Front Office for Financial Markets, which serves a similar purpose to InfoDyne’s technology.

“We were in this space,” Rosamilia acknowledged, but added, “this gives us a real acceleration on what we were doing.”

The companies have worked together in the past, but “this gives us really a chance to take it to the next level,” Rosamilia said at another point. “What we have not done, but are very quickly doing is combining the technologies so we can get the best of both worlds. … We’ve got plans before the end of the year for different levels of integration that would give us the ability to exploit other parts of the WebSphere portfolio.”

But IBM is not out to get existing customers to migrate to WebSphere, he asserted. “We integrate with what people have today. There are no forced migrations. WebSphere by nature is about integration. No intention to force people on the WebSphere platform.”

“The industry is keen on plug-and-play capabilities. It’s important to retain that,” added Guy Tagliavia, CEO of InfoDyne.

Moving forward, IBM will compete with the likes of TIBCO as well as technologies companies have developed in-house, Rosamilia said: “The value proposition to customers is that we can do this for less.”

He declined to say whether IBM had been in negotiations to buy other companies in InfoDyne’s space, such as Wombat Financial Software, which NYSE Euronext recently bought for US$200 million.

Rosamilia also declined to comment on the size of the InfoDyne deal or its potential impact on IBM’s bottom line.

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