RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.  — IBM (NYSE: IBM) is acquiring analytics-software maker SPSS (Nasdaq: SPSS) in an all-cash transaction at $50 per share for a deal valued at about $1.2 billion as well as Ounce Labs in Massachusetts.

Further targeting data mining, business intelligence and analytics companies such as Cary-based SAS, IBM also announced Tuesday the creation of a

"Our clients are operating in a competitive environment. In addition to acting fast, they have to be right," said Ambuj Goyal, general manager for IBM Information Management, in a statement. "With the Smart Analytics System, we are helping clients take advantage of analytics faster, more efficiently and at a lower cost, helping them achieve better business results and accelerate their return on investment." The system launches in September.

Earlier this year, IBM unveiled its Business Analytics and Optimization Services. And in January 2008 Big Blue shelled out $5 billion for business intelligence firm Cognos.

IBM says the acquisition of the Chicago-based company is expected to strengthen IBM’s information-agenda initiative, which helps companies turn information into a strategic asset.

software predicts customer reactions to a wide range of fields, including sales pitches and marketing campaigns. Clients include financial firms, telecommunications companies, government agencies and educational institutions.

Shares of IBM fell 67 cent to $116.96 in premarket trading on Tuesday. SPSS shares jumped 41 percent to $49.59 in premarket trading.

“We and IBM view this as a highly-complementary move from both a technology and a market position perspective,” said Jack Noonan, chairman and chief executive officer at SPSS.

“We’re excited about this agreement and the positive prospects that SPSS and IBM can achieve together in continuing to lead an industry that we helped shape,” he added. “The depth and breadth of IBM’s resources, its customer and market reach can only enhance our ability to address the growing market for predictive analytics.”

Also Tuesday, IBM acquired , a privately held software company in Waltham, Mass., for an undisclosed amount. IBM said the company makes software that helps businesses reduce the risk and costs associated with security and compliance concerns.

IBM plans to integrate Ounce Labs technology into its Rational software business.

“As today’s systems become increasingly interconnected, instrumented and intelligent, they are also becoming more complex, forcing organizations to protect themselves from an evolving array of security and compliance risks,” IBM said in a statement.

“The industry-leading Ounce Labs solutions use advanced capabilities to scan software source code and identify potential security and compliance vulnerabilities during the earliest stages of software development, when they are less expensive to correct. Ounce Labs software can also help organizations to rapidly assess and remediate the level of risk posed to their businesses through their legacy applications.”

IBM employs some 10,000 people at its campus in the Triangle.