IBM has agreed to buy French software company Ilog for around €215 million (NZ$457 million). IBM plans to combine Ilog's business rules management systems with its own business process management and business optimisation tools.
Business process automation systems can replicate the paper-shuffling aspect of a company's systems, but do less well with decisions that rely on human judgment, such as which customers deserve priority treatment, or whether an expense claim conforms to company policy. Business rules management systems seek to handle that dimension.
The deal requires regulatory approval in the US and France, and acceptance from holders of two-thirds of the shares, to go ahead.