Oracle Raises Retention Profile

Proactive enterprise CIOs might have Oracle to thank for saving their companies millions, and even billions, of dollars in the event they’re called to task during civil or criminal litigation.

On Monday, the database software company rolled out Universal Records Management 10g Release 3. The platform includes enhanced retention and management features for e-mail and other files hanging out in corporate datacenters.

Increased regulatory oversight mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley and the like requires records-management software systems to cull data not only from content repositories but also from file stores, archives and a slew of business applications.

“The key thing we look at is organizations have information they need to keep as a matter of record,” Brian Dirking, product director for Oracle’s universal records management group, told “We’re offering something that not only manages the retention and disposition of these records but broadly manages it throughout all of a company’s applications, archives and content management systems.”

Oracle’s new platform allows companies to access content, set the parameters for deleting or archiving files and obtain information using the crawling, indexing and search functionality.

The software can also enforce records-management policies in the background to determine what data to keep or delete while users continue using the various applications rather than requiring them to launch a separate records management application.

Another, and perhaps most important feature of Oracle’s platform is that it helps save companies money. Companies embroiled in litigation or regulatory reviews are painfully aware of the cost of data recovery.

“Anything electronic is recoverable and admissible in court,” Dirking said. “It gets very expensive when you have firms charging more than $1,800 per gigabyte for paralegals to review all your documents in the discovery process ”

Gartner expects 50 percent of Global 2000 companies to implement records-management software by 2010, up from about 25 percent in 2005.

“Litigation and e-discovery will drive demand for records management over the next four or five years,” Kenneth Chin, an analyst at Gartner, told “In the past, records management was mainly targeted at managing physical documents. Now the focus is on electronic documents like e-mail.”

Gartner said worldwide spending for enterprise records management software licenses and maintenance totaled $350 million in 2006 and is projected to increase about 30 percent a year through 2011.

This expected demand is music to the ears of established content management software providers like EMC, IBM and Open Text, as well as emerging players, such as Mimosa Systems and Autonomy, which bought content archiving pioneer Zantaz in July.

Oracle Universal Records Management, a component of its Fusion middleware platform, is priced at $100,000 per processor and includes new adapters for out-of-the-box integration with third-party archiving and storage applications.

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