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Microsoft And EMC In Joint Document Management Software Deal

Microsoft and storage company EMC said Tuesday they've jointly designed software that EMC will sell next year to more closely integrate Microsoft's Office suite with EMC's software for managing the storage of files on companies' servers.

EMC, which sells software that helps large companies store and organize documents, images, and multimedia files through its Documentum unit, plans to deliver three products early next year that will let business PC users manage files stored in Documentum using Microsoft's SharePoint Server 2007 software. The new version of SharePoint, which can manage storing and searching for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, will be available as part of Microsoft's Office 2007 suite, due in the first quarter of next year.

Microsoft and EMC have worked together in the past to let users interface with Documentum systems directly from everyday Office apps. The SharePoint deal is an attempt to expand the market for so-called content management software to the desktops of casual users, says John McCormick, EMC's VP of product management. Companies can pay millions of dollars for Documentum installations, used to assign handling rights to PC files and store them for compliance with government and industry regulations.

Microsoft General Manager Robert Bernard says the agreement is another example of Microsoft positioning Office as a product for managing the flow of documents within companies. In May, Microsoft and SAP said they would start selling software called Duet that can link SAP's accounting, human resources, and inventory software systems to Microsoft's Outlook e-mail program.

During the first quarter of next year, EMC will begin selling three new products. Content Services For SharePoint would let users check documents in and out of Documentum servers using a Web-based SharePoint user interface. Archive Services For SharePoint would let users place files into Documentum directly from SharePoint, or do so automatically based on rules. It's targeted at helping companies comply with document retention regulations. And EMC will ship a software adapter that will let Documentum search for files on SharePoint servers.

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