IBM to Acquire Tririga, Boosting Smarter Buildings Software Platform

ARMONK, NY — IBM has set its sights in a big way on the ability for IT to make a big impact on global sustainability efforts -- and at the same time crack open big new markets for its offerings.

The company today has announced its latest step in expanding those offerings, with the planned acquisition of Tririga, a real estate and facility management software company.

IBM's purchase of Tririga, for an undisclosed amount, will allow the IT giant to further expand its Smarter Buildings initiative, while also moving the company toward its goal of earning half its profits from software by 2015.

Danny Sabbah, the general manager of IBM Tivoli, explained in a press conference this morning that the software business -- especially Smarter Buildings -- will be a key focus for IBM in the coming years, as it has been in recent months. Because software offers higher margins and profitability, the company will spend $20 billion in acquisitions of companies in the software space.

"Our software strategy is to help clients use IT to build intelligence into the systems that affect the ways in which we live and work every day. Clearly, Tririga is exactly down this particular line and fits in line directly with that strategy," Sabbah said. "Sustainable buildings are not only good for the environment, they drive economic efficiencies and they monitor and manage their expenditure and resources directly in line with our Smarter Planet initiatives."

Tririga's software lets companies that own or operate multiple facilities control every aspect of their real estate holdings. It can not only track operating costs and lease terms, but can optimize current building occupancy as well as future space requirements, helping companies plan their needs and expenses into the future.

Tririga also helps companies drive down those costs, by tracking and managing electricity, water and wastewater usage, and can monitor the greenhouse gas footprint of a building portfolio as well.

Tririga CEO George Ahn, who has written a number of articles for GreenBiz.com, laid out a couple of brief case studies during the press conference this morning, including Tririga's work with New York City, where the company is helping the city achieve is GHG reduction goals and cut its $800 million energy bill.

Tririga estimates that its software can drive down the total lifetime ownership costs of a facility by 50 percent.

Tririga has a large roster of clients in both the public and private sectors, and IBM of course has been putting its Smarter Buildings software to work for some time, with some current locations including universities, national laboratories and IBM's own facilities in Armonk, N.Y. and Rochester, Minn.

IBM says that its Smarter Buildings efforts have to date cut $370 million in power costs since 2009 across IBM's 1,700 offices, factories and campuses around the world.