The growing number of regulations requiring businesses to retain records is producing a wave of products to help deal with those rules. The latest comes from Documentum Inc., which has launched a suite of content-management and records-retention products.
Businesses increasingly are finding that industry-specific regulations from the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Defense, and other government agencies are forcing them to upgrade their approaches to access control, storage management, authentication, data archiving and retrieval, and audit trails. The Documentum suite includes modules for managing these processes. It comes on the heels of IBM's introduction of TotalStorage Data Retention 450, a hardware-software package combining content management and data life-cycle management.
The Documentum suite is linked to Centera, a data life-cycle management system from EMC Corp., which acquired Documentum last year. The need to link content-management and data life-cycle management has become more acute with the sharp increase in unstructured content such as E-mail, instant messages, and documents.
York International Corp., a maker of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment, uses the Documentum system to track manufacturing-design changes. In the past, such changes, including things as simple as replacing a valve, would have taken weeks of messy paperwork; now it can be done in days.
What's more, auditors can certify that the company is meeting Defense Department regulations, as well as others such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, says Tim Fives, manager of Documentum applications at York. "We're closer to being compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley's section 404 than anyone had thought." Section 404 governs the effectiveness of controls over financial reporting.
The suite lets the company share financial-management best practices among its manufacturing centers in the United States, China, and Europe, Fives says. "Financial controls are being leveraged, so we're not reinventing the wheel."