Technology giant IBM is to acquire cloud and on-premise analytics software provider Emptoris as part of its Smarter Commerce initiative.
The initiative launched in March and aims to help enterprises respond to customer shifts in buying patterns.
Emptoris has a suite of supply chain management tools that help it to manage the procurement of goods and materials.
It can automate the selection of vendor, negotiation, management and compliance. It can do this using different languages and currencies to ensure it is adaptable.
IBM says that Emptoris will help procurement and sourcing professionals to lower sourcing costs and risks by using its supplier management, spend analysis and contract management solutions.
"Adding Emptoris strengthens the comprehensive capabilities we deliver and enables IBM to meet the specific needs of chief procurement officers," Craig Hayman, IBM's general manager of industry solutions said in a statement.
Ovum analyst Tim Wellings agrees with Hayman that the acquisition strengthens IBM's capabilities: "Currently there is no one better in commerce than IBM. Oracle has made some acquisitions this year, but it doesn't have the building blocks or level of integration that IBM has," he said.
Wellings goes on to say that IBM is in the same league as SAP and Oracle in terms of being an application provider.
"Although IBM does not market itself as an application vendor it is still similar to SAP and Oracle in that they are the three biggest business application providers today," he said.
The acquisition will be finalised in the first quarter of 2012.