Microsoft to Resell IBM E-mail Archiving System

IBM  and Microsoft  don’t
typically come to mind when you think of companies that work together on
storage products.

Dell and EMC? Sure. But IBM and Microsoft? High-tech is full of surprises.

IBM and Microsoft said they will sell their customers IBM’s System Storage
DS4200 Express pre-loaded with IBM’s System Storage Archive Manager software
and Windows Server software as a fully functional e-mail archiving system.

The system will allow medium to large-sized businesses to store e-mail for
long periods of time, an important chore at a time when regulations are
forcing more stringent rules about retaining e-mails and other files.

IBM will be able to tap into Microsoft’s partner network to install its
storage and e-mail archiving software in Windows customer environments, said
Gordon Arnold, a senior technical staff member for IBM storage software.

Reynolds said this is the first of what could be many pieces of fruit the
companies will offer customers seeking help controlling and housing their

“We aren’t ready to talk about it but there’s a lot more that we’ll be doing
with Microsoft,” Arnold said. “What Microsoft and IBM see together is: for
a customer that has all Windows [systems], we can do better management
integration, security integration and applications integration.”

The DS4200 can be ordered in a 4 terabyte  or 8
terabyte option and can be expanded via expansion modules.

The system will be available from IBM and its business partners in the first
quarter of 2007, starting at $55,000, with optional IBM e-mail search for an
additional $2,000.

Other financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

For IBM, it’s business as usual. The company has no problem letting
companies who can’t or don’t want to build their own products to resell Big Blue’s.

Though it competes with Microsoft on many fronts, IBM recognizes the
wide-ranging opportunities to sell into Microsoft shops.

The latest move also reflects Microsoft’s desire to move delve further into
the lucrative storage market. After all, there is money to made selling
software that helps companies sock away and manage their corporate data in
an age of disparate data retention.

IDC said e-mail archiving revenue notched $318 million worldwide in 2005, up
59 percent from the prior year. The research firm believes it will reach
$471 million in 2006 and continue to grow to $1 billion by 2010.

Microsoft is engaging other data management specialists, as well.

Earlier this month, Microsoft teamed
with EMC
 on new services to make it easier for customers to
manage unstructured records, such as e-mails and images, and business

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