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Thursday, October 20, 2005

EMC On A Roll

EMC now has acquired Captiva. The acquisition appears complementary to EMC's 2003 purchase of Documentum. Like Documentum, Captiva is part of an increasingly important niche called document management.The amount of digital data that companies generate and are required to keep grows exponentially. Input management software - which provides for the conversion of paper-based information to digital formats - has become increasingly strategic as companies electronically capture, digitize and categorize more of their information. This transforms costly and inaccessible paper records into instantly usable electronic business information, resulting in faster business processes and more accurate and timely response in regulatory compliance situations. Through this process, organizations gain a richer understanding of their information and become better equipped to classify it, create policy based workflow and automate information lifecycle management. This acquisition represents a natural extension to the EMC Documentum ECM platform and adds existing integrated technology to the EMC software portfolio. Captiva focuses on the early stages of information lifecycle management - information capture, digitization and categorization. I clearly see the syndegy here - as these together enable customers to either eliminate paper or automate its digital capture and integrate the information with electronic business processing for competitive advantage EMC will now offer customers the ability to move massive amounts of paper-based data into files manageable by Documentum's software and store and retrieve it using EMC hardware. Interestingly post acquisition of Documentum and Legato, EMC's dependence on its core hardware business has lessened considerably. (Disclosure : I work closely as part of my work with almost all the companies mentioned in this post.)Documentum is proving to be an asset to EMC in ways that aren't immediately apparent on the income statement. The two year old takeout has become something of a template for a wave of top line-driven acquisitions in the software industry that are presenting new opportunities for investors.SAP may see a fit and acquire i2, Manugistics, Aspen. Dave Dewalt, EMC software president, whom I recently met feels that the entry of players like EMC into the document management space and Oracle into logistics could well force the surviving smaller players to consolidate and predicts that the document management space may see only two/three players. DeWalt figures that IBM and Oracle will jump into the space, but are likely to build rather than buy a solution. I had been writing about the imminent consolidation in the enteprise software space. Predictions Galore- Interwoven may be seen as a good fit for Sun or Microsoft.

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