Storage giant EMC has moved into the enterprise software space with a shock £1bn acquisition of document management specialist Documentum.
Documentum’s enterprise software offerings let users manage a wide range of content, from electronic documents such as web pages and spreadsheets, to medical records and audio/video content. EMC executives said the deal will enable users to better align their content with their information infrastructure.
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Documentum boasts a blue-chip customer list, including the Foreign Office, British Aerospace, Cathay Pacific Airways, Ford, Toyota, Abbey National, National Westminster and Goldman Sachs.
Sue Clarke, senior research analyst at Butler Group, expressed surprise at the move, but said, “EMC can now offer a complete end-to-end solution for content, from content-based applications to storage.”
Ovum analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe was also surprised by EMC's bid for Documentum. "The most likely suitor had appeared to be Oracle," he said.
Pelz-Sharpe was concerned that EMC had no history of content or document management. He suggested that EMC should allow Documentum to operate as a subsidiary rather than simply merging it into its new parent.
"Documentum remains a flagship vendor and their track record of benchmark activity and development will have to be handled with great care," Pelz-Sharpe added.
EMC president Joe Tucci said, “Software is central to our strategy of delivering comprehensive information lifecycle management solutions that allow customers to select the appropriate levels of availability, protection and speed of access at every point in the information lifecycle, at the lowest total cost.”
In July, EMC bid £800m for backup and recovery software manufacturer Legato but the deal is yet to be completed.
EMC and Documentum have worked together since the launch in April 2002 of the EMC Centera content addressed storage product.