IBM Acquires the Business of iPhrase Systems, Inc.

iPhrase Software Guides Users, Speeds Decision Making and Helps Businesses Take Action on Information

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ARMONK, NY - 01 Nov 2005: IBM today announced it has acquired the business of iPhrase Systems, Inc., a privately held company based in Bedford, Massachusetts. Financial details were not disclosed.

iPhrase develops software that improves e-commerce sales, online service and support, and call center productivity by allowing Web site users to more easily find answers, make purchases and solve problems without expert assistance. For example, retailers use iPhrase technology to help interpret and understand online customer queries, even if they are misspelled or contain jargon, thereby improving their ability to increase sales by delivering pertinent product information. iPhrase software also enables merchandisers to dynamically generate customized Web pages with relevant products and shopping cart links, based on individual customer needs.

This acquisition strengthens IBM's information management software portfolio by broadening its enterprise search and content management capabilities -- key components of IBM's strategy to help clients deliver information as a service. iPhrase software will enable IBM to provide customers and partners with enhanced technologies that quickly discover inherent meaning from a wide variety of data and content, and deliver the right information to the right people at the right time.

"In today's global economy, looking for information online or in an enterprise doesn't always produce the results employees or customers have in mind," said Jon Prial, vice president, IBM content management and discovery. "iPhrase's technology combines a real-time understanding of user queries with application context, guiding people to the most relevant results tailored to their individual needs."

"By incorporating iPhrase's technology, IBM is fueling its effort to help companies deliver their information in context, which ultimately helps consumer and corporate customers make better decisions," said Raymond Lau, iPhrase Systems, Inc., chief technology officer.

iPhrase is the fifteenth software acquisition IBM has made since 2001 in support of its initiative to deliver information as a service. The strategy takes advantage of IBM's storage, server, information and content management software, consulting and Research expertise to help customers free up all kinds of data -- such as e-mails, Web pages, blogs, podcasts, audio, images, video, etc. -- regardless of format or structure, and turn them into useful, industry-specific services that perform business functions.

iPhrase's technology is compliant with Unstructured Information Management Architecture, the emerging standard developed by IBM Research that provides an open framework for the composition of sophisticated analytic applications that discover and leverage meaning from unstructured information.

iPhrase software can tailor information specifically for the industry or domain in which it is used, providing a higher-level understanding of user queries. It adapts findings and results and presents them in a format that is easy to use and understand. iPhrase software complements IBM's existing technology for delivering information in context through search and text analysis of enterprise databases, content management systems, file systems, collaboration systems and external web sites.

The need to access, manage and deliver information more effectively is driving rapid change in the IT marketplace. Companies grappling with increased business demands and government compliance mandates are striving to capture and integrate data in a more seamless, real-time fashion across their enterprises, regardless of the underlying format or structure. IBM's approach combines industry expertise with open standards, advanced storage systems and software to integrate, manage, secure and deliver information in the form of services that perform business functions. For more information, visit


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