IBM Acquires Tririga: What’s Next for the Facilities Management Market?

March 30, 2011

By Ameeta Soni

A week ago, IBM announced the acquisition of facility and real estate management software provider Tririga. This is news not just for Tririga and IBM, but for the facilities management industry as it draws attention to the importance of strategic facilities capital planning and management, which requires that organizations have accurate and current facility condition data.

According to an IBM press release, organizations spend about 30 percent of their budgets on facilities. This means that buildings account for the second largest expense for organizations, behind only personnel. The most important sentences of that release may have come at the end: “The acquisition of Tririga will help accelerate IBM’s growth in the smarter buildings market, a key initiative in IBM’s Smarter Planet work.”

Good move, but the move by IBM into sustainable facilities management was overdue. Given the importance of facilities, both financially and in terms of supporting organizational missions, and considering the revenue boost IBM anticipates, it’s a surprise that it has taken so long for IBM to enter this market. For years, facilities management software solutions, such as those offered by VFA, have helped organizations cut costs and be strategic in their spending in a way they just can’t contemplate when using spreadsheets.

One factor in this deal that yet to be addressed is that Tririga doesn’t perform facilities condition assessments, which are the foundation for facilities capital planning and management. This begs the question of what IBM will do to offer this critical part of any comprehensive facilities capital planning and management solution.

What’s your take—will the Tririga acquisition provide the bump that IBM expects? Will other IT vendors follow IBM’s lead? If so, whom do you think will make the next move?

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