IBM Vouches for Venetica

IBM looks to organize unorganized data by acquiring privately held Venetica for an undisclosed sum

August 27, 2004

2 Min Read
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IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) intends to help customers manage unstructured data and announced its acquisition of Venetica Corp. today for an undisclosed sum to further that cause.

The point is to optimize data centers and business processes by organizing files such as multimedia, images, documents, and anything else that doesn't fit neatly in the rows and columns of a traditional database table. IBM will merge the technology into the DB2 database suite and the WebSphere servers.

"It's enabling us to address a growing need of our customers," spokeswoman Lori Friedman says. IBM already has a tool called DB2 Information Integrator, but Venetica helps expand that to manage non-IBM content, she explains.

The integration between Venetica's software, DB2, and WebSphere will occur by the end of this year, according to Friedman. It will be simpler than most acquisition integrations, she notes, because much of the heavy lifting was already done as part of the two companies' existing partnership.

Specifically, Venetica makes three products -- VeniceBridge, for organizing unorganized data; Content Bridges, which help organize workflows; and Application Integrations, which link to external software."There's a convergence and a recognition of the importance of unstructured documents. There's a need to provide a virtual view across all of the data stores," says Andy Warzecha, analyst and senior vice president at Meta Group. "Essentially, what these guys do is provide the metadata mapping and adapters into the unstructured repositories."

The need goes well beyond strategies like datamarts and data warehousing, but Warzecha insists that customers need to understand that it's not a magic-bullet solution. Context Media Inc. and BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) make similar software, he adds.

Venetica opened in 1993 and has about 50 employees. It takes its name from the word Venetic, the fifth-century language of Venice, where disparate tribes merged into one -- analogous, somehow, to managing unstructured data today, officials say. Customers include Allstate, Fleet, GE Capital, Wachovia, the Internal Revenue Service, and Bank of America, while partners include FileNet Corp. (Nasdaq: FILE), FilesX Inc., Interwoven Inc., and iPhrase.

Venetica receives funding from Charles River Ventures and General Catalyst Partners.

Evan Koblentz, Senior Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum0

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