nuBridges Bought by Liaison Technologies
April 5, 2011 Alex Woodie
IBM i software vendor nuBridges has been acquired by a fellow Atlanta, Georgia-based company, Liaison Technologies, a provider of application and data integration software and services. Liaison coveted nuBridges for its cloud-based offerings, including nuBridges’ tokenization as a service (TaaS) offering and its managed file transfer (MFT) software, which Liaison will use to bolster its position in the emerging market for cloud B2B software and services.
nuBridges developed data integration and security tools for IBM i, Windows, Linux, Unix, z/OS, and other platforms. The company claimed more than 3,000 customers of its data encryption, data tokenization, key management, managed file transfer (MFT), and electronic data interchange (EDI) products. It also provides VAN EDI services.
nuBridges has been a well-respected developer of IBM i security solutions. The company, which obtained its IBM i expertise with the 2004 acquisition of TrailBlazer, has two native IBM i products in its stable, including a data encryption and tokenization offering called nuBridges Protect, and Exchange i, which provides MFT and EDI capabilities.
Liaison was founded in 2000 to provide data integration software and services to specific vertical markets. Since then the company has dropped the vertical approach, and now targets mid-size and large companies with its range of data integration products and services in the realms of application integration and data management. The company claims 6,000 customers in 35 countries.
The combined company will have 250 employees and 9,000 customers in North America and Europe in the healthcare, life science, financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, and retail industries. The acquisition will increase Liaison’s total annual revenue by about 30 percent, Liaison CEO Bob Renner says in a FAQ on the Liaison website.
The acquisition also positions Liaison as the third largest cloud B2B provider, behind IBM–Sterling Commerce and GXS, which recently bought Inovis. Former nuBridges CEO Paul Olson was a founding executive officer at Sterling, and led the effort to be acquired by SBC Communications (AT&T) before the unit was acquired by IBM nearly a year ago. Both Sterling and Inovis, which was acquired by GXS 15 months ago, have a large number of IBM i EDI customers.
Liaison says the deal is a good thing for nuBridges customers because it provides the backing of a larger company with a bigger R&D and customer support budgets. However, the company left open the possibility that some products may be dropped. “Any sunsetting or discontinuation of nuBridges products or services is currently being evaluated and will be communicated at a later date,” the company says in its FAQ.
Liaison evidentially liked what it saw in nuBridges Protect Tokenization as a Service (TaaS), a hosted tokenization offering that was launched in February with Verizon Business. The service is designed to alleviate customers’ data security concerns by replacing sensitive data with tokens, while the real data is stored in Verizon’s cloud data center. When a customer requires the clear-text version of a piece of sensitive data, the encrypted data is sent to the customer upon authentication. nuBridges’ MFT offering, Exchange, was also singled out by Liaison for its ability to move large amounts of data.
“More and more companies are moving their business-critical applications and data to the cloud, a trend Liaison began preparing for years ago when it introduced its cloud-based integration and data management products and services,” Renner says in the FAQ. “It’s not surprising that the main concern companies have when considering integration-in-the-cloud solutions and moving their data and business functions to them is security.”
Some staff reductions were expected as a result of the deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, as both companies are private.
This article has been corrected. The acquisition of nuBridges will increase Liaison’s revenues by about 30 percent, not nearly 50 percent as originally stated.