Analysts cautious about savings for users from EMC's acquisition of Documentum

Users increasingly view storage as a smart way of meeting business challenges. James Rogers talked to users and suppliers at...

Users increasingly view storage as a smart way of meeting business challenges. James Rogers talked to users and suppliers at Storage Expo 2003 in London last week

Analysts have given a cautious welcome to EMC's £1bn acquisition of content management supplier Documentum.

Sue Clarke, senior research analyst at Butler Group, said cost savings promised by EMC might be difficult to achieve. "Reducing the total cost of ownership depends on the individual requirements of the customer," she said.

"There could be benefits if you are looking for a total package of storage as well as the document management application," she said, but not all companies will look to use hardware from a specific supplier to support their document management.

"A company looking to implement an enterprise content-management solution may not be looking to implement storage hardware at the same time."

Enterprise software products from Documentum let users manage a range of content, from electronic documents to medical records and audio/video content.

The document-management specialist is the leader in its market and already boasts a blue-chip customer list including the Foreign Office, British Aerospace, Cathay Pacific, Ford, Toyota, Abbey and Goldman Sachs.

Forrester Research said the deal is good news for users, with EMC moving quickly to integrate enterprise content management, data management and storage management.

EMC said the takeover would make it cheaper for users to transfer documents to storage systems. Chris Gahagan, senior vice-president at EMC, said users would be able to save money by moving documents across a range of EMC systems.

"You have choice about how long you want to retain the data with Documentum, but with EMC you also have a choice of how much you are willing to spend for storage [availability] and performance," he said.

Gahagan also reassured users that EMC had no plans to sideline Documentum products and would continue to invest in them. "Documentum customers should be completely at ease that whatever they have today will move forward." he said.

EMC has more than 2,000 UKcustomers, including GlaxoSmithKline, Norwich Union and Nationwide.

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