IBM plans to buy RedPill Solutions, a consulting and data-mining services company based in Singapore, for an undisclosed sum.

A privately held company, RedPill Solutions is a specialist customer management services firm founded in 2,000 by a group of experienced marketing and consulting professionals. The company provides advanced customer analytics services to businesses in industries such as financial services, telecommunications, technology and hospitality.

It has engaged leading financial service providers and banks such as MasterCard, BCA, DBS, Bank Danamon, ICICI, SAMBA, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Al Rajhi Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Kasikorn Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, as well as telecom service providers including Tata Indicom, Telekom Malaysia, Celcom, and DTAC.

Part of IBM's Smarter Planet strategy

The deal is beneficial for IBM as analytics services are an integral part of IBM's Smarter Planet strategy, which helps companies turn information into a strategic asset, make smarter business decisions and better understand the outcomes of those decisions, said a company source.

"Our growth roadmap highlights analytics as a core element of Managed Business Process Services," said Randy Walker, general manager, IBM MBPS, growth markets. "RedPill has strong capabilities in research and analytical services in key growth markets that will enhance IBM's analytics services offerings."

"Analytics capability is now a necessity when competing in business process outsourcing deals," said Pavan Vaish, chief executive officer for IBM Daksh. "With this acquisition, IBM is building an advanced analytics capability that will provide a competitive edge and differentiation, particularly in the areas of financial services and telecommunications."

IBM said the deal is subject to required statutory approvals and regulatory reviews and customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close later this year.