IBM Sells Analytics Software for IPhones, BlackBerrys

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp., the largest computer-services provider, unveiled trend-identifying software for smartphones and tablet computers, aiming to expand its billion-dollar analytics business.

The program lets businesses access analytics software on mobile devices and share the data via social networks, IBM said today in a statement. The software, Cognos 10, works on Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and Apple Inc.’s iPad and iPhone.

IBM is betting that analytics software, which identifies and forecasts trends, will help the company boost sales as customers look to be more efficient. IBM’s sales from analytics should climb to $16 billion in the next five years, an increase of almost 80 percent, the company said in May.

The number of mobile workers will top 1.19 billion by 2013, IBM said, giving analytics a wider audience. Hertz Global Holdings Inc., the largest car-rental company, will gather survey data from customers via text messages, and use IBM’s software to analyze responses. Employees can then receive real-time information on potential problems, such as wait times at car-rental locations, and adjust accordingly. Office Depot Inc. also is using the software to gather, analyze and report store-performance data.

IBM, based in Armonk, New York, rose 17 cents to $139.84 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have climbed 6.8 percent this year.

IBM has spent more than $14 billion on analytics acquisitions in the past five years, including business-management software maker Cognos Inc. for about $5 billion, its largest acquisition ever.

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