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9/3/2009
03:55 PM
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EMC Acquires Kazeon, Stiffs StoredIQ

The storage giant buys an e-discovery vendor, but not the one I expected.

The storage giant buys an e-discovery vendor, but not the one I expected.Six months ago EMC announced an e-discovery product, SourceOne Discovery Collector, that was powered by software from StoredIQ, a technology partner of the storage giant. At the time, I speculated EMC might cement its relationship with StoredIQ through acquisition, given the growth potential of the e-discovery market, which one consulting firm predicts will reach $4.6 billion by 2010.

Fast forward to September. I was right about the acquisition, but totally wrong about the vendor. On the first day of the month, EMC announced the purchase of Kazeon Systems, a competitor to StoredIQ. EMC wouldn't disclose the purchase amount.

EMC says that going forward, SourceOne Discovery Collector will be powered by Kazeon, not StoredIQ. EMC says it will support the StoredIQ version for current customers, but Kazeon is its platform of choice going forward.

Given the fanfare with which EMC launched its SourceOne product line, which also included a reboot of the company's e-mail archiving platform, the fact that it would swap out a partner on a live product line is significant. So what happened? "Ultimately we decided to go with the best technology in the marketplace," says Whitney Tidmarsh, CMO of the Content Management and Archiving division at EMC.

The e-discovery process requires two general stages. In the first, potentially relevant electronic evidence in the form of e-mails, Word and Excel documents and other files are identified and collected. In the second phase, attorneys and paralegals sort through that information to prepare a legal strategy.

Kazeon is one of a handful of e-discovery vendors to offer products for both phases (others include Recommind and Autonomy), giving EMC a broader reach into the discovery market.

The acquisition also bolster's EMC's enterprise search portfolio, because Kazeon, like other e-discovery products, can tap into a variety of data sources and create searchable indexes of unstructured content. Tidmarsh says the company will look at ways to integrate Kazeon with its current enterprise search platform, which the company acquired in 2004.

In the meantime, the fate of EMC's relationship with StoredIQ is unknown. A statement from StoredIQ says "We still maintain a partner relationship with EMC via the EMC Selects Program and will continue to work on opportunities as they arise. EMC has always valued the breadth and depth of the StoredIQ product and its competitive advantages in the market place as we meet the compliance, governance and legal discovery requirements of the enterprise."

"We haven't had the dialog with StoredIQ on what the partnership will be going forward," says EMC's Tidmarsh. If things turn litigious, EMC will have an opportunity to see how good Kazeon really is.

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