ARMONK, New York ( TheStreet) -- IBM ( IBM) is buying marketing software company Unica ( UNCA) for $480 million, as the tech giant ramps up its enterprise software efforts.

Unica's software is used to streamline and automate firms' marketing processes, and the Waltham, Mass.-based company lists Ford ( IBM), Geico and Cisco ( CSCO) amongst its customers.

In a statement released before market open, IBM said that the Unica deal will support its recent acquisition of Coremetrics and Sterling Commerce, AT&T's ( T ) business software division.

"This expanding portfolio, combined with IBM's WebSphere Commerce software, aims to help companies automate, manage, and accelerate core business processes," it said. This encompasses areas such as marketing, demand generation, sales, order processing and fulfillment, added the tech giant.

IBM has proved adept at squeezing profit out of high-margin areas such as software, helping the firm side-step the worst of the recession. IBM recently stated it would spend $20 billion on acquisitions over the next five years, with software companies as the main focus of its M&A effort.

IBM shares were down 3 cents, or 0.02%, to $128.27 in pre-market trading.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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