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4/2/2009
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EMC Reboots Archiving Software

New SourceOne platform takes a modular approach to archiving content and focuses strongly on electronic discovery.

New SourceOne platform takes a modular approach to archiving content and focuses strongly on electronic discovery.Today EMC unveiled a new software platform, dubbed SourceOne, that aims be a unified system for archiving, retention and electronic discovery.

The company announced three software products under the SourceOne brand: Email Management, Discovery Manager and Discovery Collector. Over the next year or two, EMC says it will release archiving software modules for SharePoint and other file types.

Email Management is a reboot of the company's previous e-mail archiving product, EmailExtender, which is being discontinued.

Why ditch EmailXtender? Three reasons. First, e-discovery costs are killing enterprises, and more organizations are looking to control those costs by bringing as much of the process in-house as possible. And because e-mail makes up the bulk of discoverable information, EMC wants to come to market with a tightly-integrated software package.

Thus, Email Management is built expressly to work with Discovery Manager, another new software platform EMC announced today. Discovery Manager aims to help companies identify, preserve and perform preliminary analysis on electronically stored information, including mail archived in Email Management. Discovery Manager also lets companies place legal holds on e-mail. It will compete against discovery products from Kazeon, Recommind and Autonomy, among others.

Second, the reboot comes without much risk. EMC owns just a little over 5 percent of the e-mail archiving marketplace, according to IDC (the numbers are from 2007, its most recent marketshare report). That's an embarrassing slice compared to Symantec and Autonomy, each of which commands around 20 percent. EMC has little to lose in abandoning a legacy software platform in favor of a major refresh that plays well with new discovery software.

Third, EMC hopes the new software will help it move down market, where there's more room for growth. I'm sure EMC thinks it will be easier to muscle into this turf, which is dominated by companies like Mimosa Systems.

I asked about an archiving service, which I think is where the real growth potential exists. EMC says it has "intentions", but wouldn't elaborate.

So what if you're already an EmailXtender customer? EMC says Email Management is built on the same indexing engine from Isys, and that archived content in EmailXtender can be mapped to Email Management.

The third software piece released today is Discovery Collector. It connects to third-party repositories to find and gather electronically stored information relevant to a discovery request. The software comes from EMC's partnership with StoredIQ, which sells an e-discovery appliance. EMC has essentially disaggregated StoredIQ's software from the appliance form factor to sell as a separate software package under the EMC brand. The company says it has plans to resell the appliance as well, and also offer a cloud version. One wonders if an acquisition is imminent.

THE MARKET EMC's approach sounds a lot like CA's strategy of an Information Governance suite, which includes software packages (CA Message Manager, CA File Manager, CA Records Manager) that can be wrapped around a module for retention and discovery. Meanwhile HP is also pushing into the space with the Integrated Archive Platform, a hardware/software archiving combo with a strong focus on retention and discovery.

In the midmarket, there's a strong push to cloud-based archiving. Dell, Google, Microsoft and Symantec all offer cloud-based e-mail archiving services.

In the enterprise space, the companies to beat in archiving remain Symantec and Autonomy.

For more on e-mail archiving, check out my analyst report, which includes over 30 vendor profiles and original research on market drivers.

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When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
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