EMC links security, content management

It's looking to give companies more control over data

EMC Corp. this week said it has integrated content and digital rights management software from two of its acquisitions in an effort to give companies better control over their data, even if the information is sent to someone outside the corporate firewall.

EMC announced a new version of its Records Manager software, which was originally developed by Documentum Inc. before it was acquired by the storage vendor in late 2003. EMC also added a package combining content management capabilities with digital rights management technology that it obtained through its acquisition of Authentica Inc. in February.

Records Manager 5.3 and the Information Rights Management (IRM) Services offering can be used together to apply security protections and permissions to unstructured data stored in a Documentum repository, said Lubor Ptacek, a marketing director at EMC.

Peter Weis, CIO at Matson Navigation Co. in Oakland, Calif., said he would be interested in the new functionality for managing financial documents, especially when his company starts offering shipping services from China.

Matson is a cargo shipper and broker that moves goods by boat, truck and rail and has an annual revenue of about $1.5 billion. Weis said the company is deploying Documentum products throughout its operations, embedding the software within its accounts payable system, as well as a new order management system for its truck and rail business.

Ptacek said the unified offering of Records Manager and IRM Services is aimed particularly at companies that not only store data for regulatory compliance purposes but also continue to use the information and want to ensure that it is destroyed when the required retention period is over. IRM Services enables content owners to control access to data and how it is used, while maintaining a full audit trail of document activity, EMC said.

Meanwhile, Records Manager 5.3 was built using a service-oriented architecture, making it more modular and easier to integrate with other applications, according to Ptacek.

Bill Morey, director of records management at Corporate Express Inc. in Broomfield, Colo., said the $4.6 billion distributor of office and computer products has been using Documentum technology for 10 years and is now rolling it out enterprisewide for managing all content on desktop PCs -- primarily for compliance reasons.

Morey said he could see adding a product like IRM Services in the future. "Further down the road, we'll be looking at solutions such as IRM where you can wrap security requirements and controls around content," he said.

Every major vendor involved in content management is at least thinking about how to incorporate digital rights management technology into their products, said Melissa Webster, an analyst at IDC in Framingham, Mass.

As an example of how the software could be used, Webster said that a product design company might send information about a planned new product to a half-dozen prospective manufacturers. The integrated content and digital rights management tools could be used to ensure that the losing bidders can't make knockoffs based on the original design.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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