RealTime IT News

HP Climbs Tower For Records Management

HP waited until after the market closed today to announce its acquisition of Australian-based Tower Software, a leading provider of document and records management software. Terms of the deal, expected to close in the second quarter of this calendar year, were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Tower would seem a good complement to HP current e-discovery and compliance portfolio of products. In fact, the deal cements an existing partnership between the firms, as HP (NYSE: HPQ) already integrates Tower's TRIM Context with the HP Integrated Archive Platform for a combined records management and compliance solution.

Trim Context is a records management solution designed to help companies differentiate between business records and business correspondence, and, when used as part of HP's archive solution, provide one searchable database.

Tower CEO Martin Howard said in a teleconference announcing the deal that the acquisition will greatly expand his company's opportunity to grow. "I'm absolutely thrilled and excited by the acquisition," he said. "From Tower's perspective, this alliance will open global markets that Tower could never do on its own."

Which is not to say Tower's been floundering. Howard said Tower's been growing faster the rest of the records management market at about 25-28 percent annually, versus an industry average of 15-18 percent.

Tower has more than a thousand customers and some 780,000 users worldwide in such industries as energy, life sciences, healthcare and legal. Market research firm Forrester expects North American businesses and government organizations to spend more than $5 billion on e-discovery over the next five years.

Robin Purohit, vice president and general manager of HP's Information Management Software group, said the deal presents HP with a huge opportunity to gain ground in the fast-growing records management market that he said has no clear leader.

He said with increasing government and industry regulations, demand for better records management and easy access to documents for legal and other matters, has never been stronger.

"The combination of the HP and Tower software portfolios is expected to be hugely beneficial to the legal and IT organizations of businesses all over the world," said Purohit.

Tower has more than 22 years of paper and electronic records management experience and has U.S. offices in Reston, Virginia. The company has about 240 employees globally – about half in the U.S. and outside of Australia. Howard said the company's largest contract to date in the U.S. involved some 360,000 users as part of a deal with IT services firm EDS for the Navy and Marine Corps.