RealTime IT News

EMC Buys Into Rights Management

EMC has acquired Authentica, a privately held maker of security software that helps companies and government agencies protect critical information.

Authentica makes the Active Rights Management platform, which lets companies control and manage information housed on anything from e-mail to Microsoft Office documents and Adobe PDF files. The software is often used within a workgroup, departments or agencies, or with remote partners and suppliers.

Authentica, based in Lexington, Mass., employs around 23 people and caters to more than 250 customers from different markets, including Ford, Corning, the Department of Defense and Merck.

An EMC spokesperson confirmed the purchase and said Authentica's staff, including CEO John Bruce, report to EMC Software Group President Dave DeWalt. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The spokesperson called the buy a natural extension to EMC's Documentum content management platform for creating, tracking and distributing content.

"Authentica augments these industry-leading security capabilities and will allow Documentum and eRoom users to maintain the same control over -- and audit access to -- content distributed outside the Documentum environment and over the Internet," the spokesperson said in an e-mail to internetnews.com.

EMC bought Documentum to pad its information lifecycle management strategy for helping customers retain and retrieve info from its creation to its disposal.

Many storage vendors are embarking on such strategies to get away from point products and market more cohesive solutions to the data glut.

Financial research firm Baird approved of the purchase, which it said could be worth $75 million.

"We believe this software acquisition is consistent with EMC's strategy of providing a wide breadth of storage hardware, software and services," Baird researchers said in a note. "Authentica modestly broadens EMC's enterprise content management portfolio."

Baird also kept its "outperform" rating on EMC's stock.

"We believe EMC is well positioned in the data storage industry with a large installed base, broad technology assets, brand awareness, and seasoned management team," the research firm said. "EMC appears to be executing well in a strengthening storage market."

Bellwethers such as EMC are often a good measuring stick for how the market is going.

IDC said last week that the storage sector posted its strongest growth in years in the fourth quarter of 2005, with external storage system sales growing 17.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

In other EMC news, the company today released the Celerra NS350 and Celerra NS704, network attached storage (NAS) boxes for the mid-market.

The Celerra NS350 stores 10 terabytes and supports online upgrades from single to dual Data Mover configurations. The Celerra NS704 system is a hybrid box consisting of the Celerra NS704 NAS system and the EMC Clariion CX700 SAN array and houses up to 48 terabytes of capacity.