EMC Acquires Authentica

Makes latest M&A foray with the acquisition of security vendor Authentica

March 7, 2006

3 Min Read
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EMC has snapped up privately held security software specialist Authentica Inc.for an undisclosed fee as the vendor adds flesh to the bones of its Documentum product line.

The move is part of a long-running EMC effort to expand its software presence. (See EMC Swings Into Software Big Leagues and EMC Earnings Credit ILM Uptick.) And it continues a large-scale project to beef up data and document management, begun last year as EMC stumped up over $500 million to get its paws on Captiva, Smarts, and Acartus. (See EMC to Acquire Captiva , EMC Captures Captiva, EMC Gets Smarts, and EMC Acquires Acartus .)

But the Authentica deal also signifies a new focus on external storage security. Whereas Captiva targets ILM and Acartus archives large volumes of content, Authentica offers software for securing email documents and data on mobile devices.

Authentica, which was founded in 1999, has already racked up a slew of high-profile customers, particularly in the U.S government. These include the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Treasury. In the enterprise space, Authentica has also clinched deals with the Ford Motor Company and TRW Automotive.

By tying Authentica and Documentum together, EMC hopes to add an additional layer of security to users' documents. An EMC spokesman tells Byte and Switch that the startup's software will let Documentum users apply rights management policies to content, both inside and outside corporate firewalls.The spokesman adds that the two product lines eventually will speak directly to each other. "Right now there is integration between the technologies through third parties, but we will be doing tighter integration in the near term," he says. Integrators such as Matrix Logic Corp. and SynApps Solutions offer software and services to link Documentum and Authentica wares.

Byron Dagley, CEO of employee benefits firm USAdmin Services LLC, which uses Authentica to secure email communications with its clients and partners, tells Byte and Switch that he likes the sound of a link-up between Authentica and Documentum. "We're using third-party tools to handle our confidential document storage, so the possibility of integration there is appealing," he says.

Dagley also wants to see EMC match the startup's support levels. "We don't care who owns Authentica. The only thing that I am looking for is the same level of service and the same level of product enhancement that [Authentica] has today."

Another EMC customer from the government sector, who asked not to be named, told Byte and Switch that it's about time EMC added to Documentum's records management story. "It's a good move," he says. "I think that it's a hole that needs to filled."

EMC has come under fire in the past for playing its roadmap cards close to its chest, although the vendor has made a number of Documentum announcements over recent months, including a partnership with Google. (See York Saves With Content Management , EMC Offers New Documentum, EMC Adds Customer Service, EMC Enhances Colloboration, and EMC Googles Documentum.)The storage giant is not the only vendor making moves in this space at the moment. Rival HP, for example, is also planning more M&A, and smaller vendors Vignette and Interwoven are also making their presence felt. (See HP Plans HW/SW Upgrades, Vignette Helps Connecticut, Vignette, Sun, DaimlerChrysler Team, Interwoven Acquires Scrittura, and Interwoven Delivers Content Storage .)

The EMC spokesman confirmed that all 23 Authentica employees, including CEO John Bruce, will be moving over to the storage vendor, although the startup's headquarters in Lexington, Mass., will be closed: "They will be brought into EMC facilities."

James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • Acartus Inc.

  • Captiva Software Corp.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • EMC Smarts

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Interwoven Inc.

  • Vignette Corp.

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