IBM to acquire HR software company Kenexa for $1.3 billion

Armonk, N.Y. -- IBM has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kenexa, a provider of human resources software and consulting services for approximately $1.3 billion in cash.

The acquisition helps make the Armonk, N.Y., company more competitive with database maker Oracle Corp. and German business software maker SAP AG, said Rick Sherlund of Nomura Equity Research, Kenexa’s software is intended to help companies recruit and manage talent through online social networking, collaboration and consulting tools.

IBM said the acquisition will bolster its leadership in helping clients embrace social business capabilities while gaining actionable insights from the enormous streams of information generated from social networks every day.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” stated Alistair Rennie, general manager of IBM’s social business division. “IBM. is uniquely positioned to help clients generate real returns from their social business investments, while helping them gain intelligence into the data being generated in these networks to be more competitive in their markets.”

Industry analysts said the acquisition helps IBM more competitive with database maker Oracle Corp. and German business software maker SAP AG. Earlier this year, Oracle bought HR software maker Taleo Corp., and last December SAP purchased SuccessFactors Inc.