Business Objects has expanded the international coverage of its data quality suite by acquiring privately-held German firm Fuzzy Informatik.
The move builds on Business Objects’ $69m acquisition of US data quality provider Firstlogic early last year. Financial terms of the Fuzzy Informatik deal have not been disclosed.
Fuzzy Informatik’s software, called Fuzzy, provides data quality for customer, product, and regional data mainly for European customers.
The software will strengthen Business Objects existing data quality portfolio with European address and directory data content that help companies with classic name-address cleansing — i.e. weeding out incorrect titles, names and addresses and de-duping multiple entries for the same customer.
Fuzzy Informatik also provides integration kits for SAP and Oracle/Siebel applications, on-demand address cleansing, and vertical content for industry sectors like financial services and postal services.
Fuzzy Informatik, like Firstlogic, will find a home in Business Objects’ growing Enterprise Information Management (EIM) suite that also includes data integration, metadata management, and data federation tools.
Business Objects, which maintains dual headquarters in Paris, France and San Jose, California, expects to close the transaction sometime in October 2007.
There is some degree of functional overlap with Firstlogic’s built-in name and address cleansing tools. But according to Pascal Clement, vice president of EIM at Business Objects, Fuzzy gives the data quality platform a more international flavor. When we acquired Firstlogic last year we bought the number one software vendor in that space. But 95% of its revenue was coming from the US. The needs of data quality however extend worldwide, he said. With Fuzzy we’ll improve our capabilities for the European market with a more appropriate engine that integrates data quality and address directories all over Europe.
Previously, Business Objects had relied on OEMing an external address engine from UK-based Indentex, an arrangement it inherited from Firstlogic. That OEM arrangement is now likely to come to an end, though Clement did not specifically say so. We’ll use Fuzzy as the engine for every address directory outside of the US, he said.
Clement noted that Fuzzy offered more than just name and address cleansing software. It’s also about adding more than 50 European specialists to our data quality team.
Once the acquisition closes, Business Objects will be working to integrate the Fuzzy engine into the Data Quality XI (Firstlogic) component of its EIM suite to remove any potential overlaps. That will happen very quickly, in fact nearly immediately, Clement said.
He also said that Business Objects is also working hard to finalize the integration of all the different EIM components as well. The integration of our Firstlogic data quality software with our Data Integrator XI product will be done in the beginning of 2008. After that we’ll have one user interface, one repository and one platform.
Founded in 1994 and privately-held, Fuzzy Informatik is headquartered near Stuttgart and employs 50 staff. The company is a spin-off of the former DaimlerBenz (now owned called DaimlerChrysler). Fuzzy was developed for internal data quality at the German car maker and the development team that created it decided to commercialize the research. Other Fuzzy customers include BMW, Deutsche Post, and O2.