Microsoft Buys Equivio for Data Management - InformationWeek

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1/20/2015
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Microsoft Buys Equivio for Data Management

Microsoft has acquired software startup Equivio with plans to integrate its machine learning technology into Office 365.

 Windows 10: 7 Predictions Of What's Next
Windows 10: 7 Predictions Of What's Next
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Microsoft is buying startup Equivio, a text analytics startup that will enable Redmond to broaden its eDiscovery and information governance offerings that are already available within Office 365. The software giant believes this can help businesses and government organizations better manage their data, according to its Jan. 20 announcement.

"We are making this acquisition to help our customers tackle the legal and compliance challenges inherent in managing large quantities of email and documents," writes Rajesh Jha, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Outlook and Office 365, in the blog post. "Traditional techniques for finding relevant documents are falling behind as the growth of data outpaces peoples’ ability to manually process it."

Equivio produces text analysis software that leverages machine learning capabilities to automatically group related documents and identify those that are unique, in order to better help users find the information they need quickly. The software also helps users sift through massive amounts of unstructured data and perform analyses of data collections.

[More on Microsoft: What’s coming in Windows 10?]

Users can also train the Equivio system to quickly identify documents related to specific subjects, making it a particularly useful tool for businesses handling specific cases or investigations. Current Equivio customers include the US Department of Justice, NASA, Thomson Reuters, and Deloitte, among hundreds of law firms and corporations.

Microsoft has not announced any immediate changes to Equivio’s offerings, but acknowledges that its technology will be used to make the eDiscovery and information governance capabilities in Office 365 "even more intelligent and easy to use in the months ahead," writes Jha in his announcement.  

While neither company has released the financial terms of this transaction, Israeli business publication Globes claims that Equivio was purchased for $150 to $200 million. This information closely aligns with other subsequent reports, including earlier rumors that estimated Microsoft would pay $200 million for the startup.  

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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