IBM has agreed to acquire Sterling Commerce from AT&T, for approximately $1.4bn in cash. Based in Dublin, OH, Sterling provides cross-channel and business-to-business communications software for some 18,000 customers worldwide. It enables more than 1 billion interactions a year for clients in the financial services, retail, manufacturing, communications and distribution industries. IBM said the acquisition will expand its ability to automate the means by which companies communicate with customers, partners and suppliers, through both on-premises software and hosted, or "cloud" computing delivery models. Sterling's technology is expected to complement IBM's frameworks in support of the retail, manufacturing, communications, healthcare and banking industries. IBM said it will continue to support Sterling clients and enhance the vendor's technologies, while allowing them to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio. At the close of the deal, approximately 2,500 Sterling employees will be integrated into the WebSphere organization within IBM's Software Group.
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