Progress Software announced it has purchased business process management (BPM) vendor Savvion for approximately US$49 million.

The acquisition comes only weeks after IBM announced plans to purchase Savvion rival, Lombardi.

Savvion has been in business for 15 years. Its software is used to map out business processes, such as how orders are fulfilled or employees are hired. The company also has developed BPM offerings for health care, energy, financial services and other verticals.

The Savvion technology will work alongside Progress's business event processing (BEP) middleware, which monitors system activity in real time, looking for certain patterns or correlations and triggering corrective actions.

Also known as complex event processing (CEP), such software is also sold by IBM, Tibco and other vendors. A financial institution might use it to detect fraud, whereas a utility could monitor its delivery systems.

Progress chose Savvion for a number of reasons, including the fact it is "event-enabled," according to Progress CTO John Bates. In addition, "Savvion can orchestrate processes but can also involve human users in workflow," he wrote in a blog post.

Savvion has also developed a rules engine for its BPM software, which Bates dubbed "a powerful capability"; real-time analytics; and document management functionality.

Buying Savvion was a smart move for Progress, according to analyst Sandy Kemsley.

"The existing suite of Progress products allows for determining what happened within an organisation -- a rear-view mirror approach -- but not much that allows the organisation to quickly change how they're doing things," she wrote in a blog post. "Bringing BPM into the fold allows them to change that."

But a fair amount of integration work will need to be done in order "to really sell this as an integrated suite of tools rather than a 'solution' patched together with professional services," Kemsley added.