RealTime IT News

Green Pastures Now in Big Blue's ECM Turf

In a move to bolster its content management portfolio of services, IBM has purchased Green Pastures Software, a specialist in enterprise content management tools.

The privately-held firm, which is based in Oregon, provides document management software that helps businesses collaborate, edit and manage multiple documents online and in real-time.

Such documents include spreadsheets, multimedia files and computer aided design (CAD) references, which may be used in financial reports and product manuals.

Terms of the purchase were not announced. Green Pasture's operations and 17 employees will be integrated into IBM's business and Green Pasture products will be available immediately from IBM, the companies said Wednesday.

The purchase helps IBM further position enterprise content management (ECM) as a segment within its DB2 Information Management portfolio. The software is geared to help customers develop and corral their business documents from creation to disposal.

Content management has become increasingly important in the last two years. After the fallout of accounting scandals of Enron and Worldcom, and the new government regulations that followed in their wake, companies are increasingly required to improve their record-keeping assets and content management systems.

The federal requirements, which span government, financial services, pharmaceutical and other regulated industries, are fueling acquisitions and partnerships in the ECM space.

In October, storage systems giant EMC moved to acquire Documentum for $1.7 billion to bulk up its information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy for managing data creation from its inception until it may be disposed. Open Text followed a week later by bidding about $250 million for IXOS Software.

IBM is well-entrenched in the ECM space, which research firm Meta Group places in the $9 billion range. The purchase of Green Pasture marks the third such purchase for Big Blue in the space since 2002. IBM purchased Tarian's records management software in November 2002 and Aptrix's Web content management software in July 2003.

Gartner Dataquest recently named IBM as the worldwide market share leader in this space with 34 percent growth in new license revenue, leading other large ECM providers such as FileNet, Interwoven and Open Text.