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IBM Buys Tririga, Bolsters Building Management Software

IBM has announced that it will buy Tririga, a vendor of facility and real estate management software, for an undisclosed sum.

IBM expects the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2011, after which it will integrate Tririga into its Tivoli software and IBM Global Business Services.

Las Vegas-based Tririga sells software that aims to help clients make decisions on space usage, assess environmental investments, evaluate alternative real estate initiatives and generate higher returns from capital projects. It has more than 200 clients including over one-third of Fortune 100 corporations, across every major industry, as well as seven of the 15 executive departments of the federal U.S. government.

In April last year, New York City announced plans to deploy TRIRIGA’s environmental sustainability software, TREES, across more than 4,000 government buildings to help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

IBM said the move will bolster its own building management offerings by adding “advanced intelligence” that improves real estate performance and capital project management. The IT giant has thousands of clients for its smarter buildings software, including analytics, automation and IBM Maximo Asset Management.

IBM said the acquisition will address a common problem faced by many facilities managers, who use separate products from multiple vendors to manage facility infrastructure, lease administration, utility consumption, space and occupancy, and facility condition assessment.

“The combination of TRIRIGA and IBM smarter building solutions will deliver the industry’s most comprehensive capabilities that span the needs of all industries for managing facilities and real estate portfolios,” said Florence Hudson, energy and environment executive, IBM.  “Having one view of building operations worldwide will be a powerful tool to help organizations control and optimize their second-largest corporate expense — property.”

Last November Verdantix ranked Tririga as one of the top ten leaders in the carbon and energy software market (alongside CA Technologies, CarbonSystems, Enablon, Enviance, Hara, IHS, ProcessMAP, SAP, and Verisae), and one of the most likely to benefit from increased spending on sustainable business software in 2011. Verdantix said that it expected Tririga to strengthen its return on investment claims in 2011 with hard data from a growing customer list, which will in turn boost demand.

As with much of the market for environmental and energy management software, consolidation has been frequent in the past few years. Some of the recent deals, according to GreenTech: Siemens acquired SureGrid, Serious Materials bought Valence Energy, and Schneider Electric picked up Vizelia.

But the sector is seeing start-ups, too. The MIT-incubated Retroficiency recently launched a software platform that analyzes the potential benefits of thousands of energy efficiency measures in buildings, on the same day it announces $800,000 in angel funding.

Microsoft is also said to be moving in on the market for energy management in commercial buildings. And Prenova recently launched Energy Point, which the company says is the first application providing centralized control of disparate automation and energy management systems.

Earlier this month IBM was selected to provide software and advisory services for Progress Energy’s development of a smart grid.

Opinion: Environmental Leader columns by Tririga CEO George Ahn can be viewed here.

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