IBM is to buy business process and enterprise content management specialist FileNet. It's the latest in a series of SOA-related acquisitions.

FileNet's technology can be integrated into IBM's existing SOA systems for business process management and information lifecycle management, IBM said.

Upon completion of the deal, which was for US$1.6 billion in cash, IBM plans to fold FileNet's activities into its own enterprise content management (ECM) business, but will continue to support both platforms. It also plans to integrate its business process management (BPM) and SOA technologies with FileNet's software, it said.

For IBM, the deal is another in a line of recent SOA purchases. Last week, it agreed to buy Webify for an undisclosed sum, and service management company MRO Software for $740 million in cash.

Webify develops tools for linking business processes in an SOA, optimised for IBM's software platforms and aimed at four vertical markets. MRO Software develops software for managing services and assets, including IT assets.

IBM and FileNet expect the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter, subject to approval by regulators and FileNet shareholders.