Documentum Gets Into Compliance

Catches up with parent EMC's info lifecycle agenda, borrows some spare parts from Legato

March 5, 2004

2 Min Read
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Documentum next week will launch a Web-based Compliance Manager, its first product since being acquired by EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC).

Compliance Manager will be a big part of EMC's information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy. Such products are key to the strategy and a big requirement for enterprise content management (ECM).

Compliance Manager is designed to help companies manage and audit information in accord with new federal regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and others from agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission and Food and Drug Administration. These regulations often call for storing records for a minimum amount of time -- sometimes 30 years or longer -- and making them available for speedy audits.

Even before EMC bought Documentum for $1.7 billion last fall, Documentums ECM software was integrated with EMC’s Centera Content Addressed Storage (CAS) product (see EMC Swings Into Software Big Leagues). Given Centera’s position as a leading hardware platform for compliance, it only makes sense for Documentum to beef up its own compliance features in order to get in sync with its parent company's sofware (see IBM's Compliance in a Cabinet).

Yet, EMC wasn’t the only driving force. Bob Markham, senior industry analyst at Forrester Research Inc., points out that ECM has been headed in that direction anyway. Documentum rivals FileNet Corp. USA and Interwoven Inc. already have compliance products. So Documentum’s compliance app is driven as much by ECM as by EMC.“This is the best direction for ECM to go,” Markham says. “With ECM, you can integrate collaboration, records management, and document management directly into the repository. ECM will provide the framework that will allow the integration of specific [compliance] services.”

Then again, don’t overlook EMC’s hand in this either, given its rabid push for ILM as a compliance solution (see EMC Pounds ILM Pulpit).

“EMC has a whole back-end storage heritage, and they bring that to Documentum,” Markham says.

Documentum marketing VP Jerry Magee says the application automates procedures that users previously had to program themselves. The application includes a Web compliance segment that allows the same monitoring and audit features to be applied to Web content -- which is often overlooked in compliance applications.

Documentum also made use of Application Xtender -- a document imaging and management application -- from Legato, another software company that became an EMC division through acquisition. The app is now built on Microsoft's .NET programming platform and rechristened Documentum AX5 for Windows.Magee says Application Xtender was shifted to Documentum’s product line because it is a better fit for Documentum than Legato. He says this was an isolated decision, insisting that the Documentum and Legato product lines will remain distinct. Legato will concentrate on its core backup and recovery applications. EMC paid $1.3 billion for Legato during its 2003 software shopping spree (see EMC Closes Legato Acquisition).

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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