San Jose, Calif.-based business intelligence vendor Business Objects has acquired enterprise performance optimizations solution provider Armstrong Laing Limited (ALG Software) strengthening its European insurance customer base and enhancing its activity based costing, strategic planning and predictive modeling capabilities.
Business Objects bought the Cheshire, England-based vendor through an all-cash transaction for all outstanding shares of ALG Software by Business Objects (U.K.) Ltd., a wholly owned U.K. subsidiary of Business Objects. ALG has sold its solutions to over 800 companies, including many large European financial service industry firms-such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyd's of London, HSBC and Direct Line Financial Services-and had total 2005 revenue of approximately $56 million.
The acquisition enables Business Objects to expand its enterprise performance management software portfolio with solutions for profitability management, activity based costing, predictive planning and strategic performance measurement, according to the vendor.
The acquisition is calculated to give Business Objects an edge in the growing performance management space by anticipating the next level of market expectations, according to Pat Saporito, director, insurance solutions, Business Objects America. "We have repeatedly shown the tremendous value in process efficiencies and strategic and operational alignment that driver-based planning has for insurance finance," she asserts. "The next phase of enterprise performance management is dynamic performance management, using predictive planning for competitive differentiation."
Current regulatory compliance pressures help to further justify the acquisition, according to Matthew Josefowicz, New York-based manager of Celent's insurance group. "The acquisition of ALG Software makes sense for Business Objects across verticals, since corporate performance management has a fair amount of momentum in a post-SOX world," Josefowicz says. "Business Objects' leading competitor, Cognos [Ottawa, Ontario], has already started emphasizing their CPM solutions."
Regarding the insurance industry specifically, Josefowicz adds that, "ALG brings several leading European insurers into Business Objects' customer base."
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio