Brief: Groove linking to Documentum

Groove Networks Inc. and Documentum Inc. have linked their products so users can share documents in a real-time collaborative application, then store the documents to a content repository.

Today's announcement consists of a connector between Documentum's ECM software and peer-to-peer collaboration software from Groove. The link will allow end users with permission to access documents to pull them from the Documentum store into a Groove online meeting session, then save those documents back to the ECM repository, preserving changes from meeting to meeting.

Groove is the Beverly, Mass.-based company founded by Ray Ozzie, who also created the Notes e-mail software now owned by IBM subsidiary Lotus Software Group. Last year, Microsoft Corp. bought a $51 million stake in Groove, which was launched in late 2000.

Groove makes decentralized collaboration software through which users can chat, send and receive video and share applications in real time. The difference between Groove and some other online meeting tools is that Groove uses peer-to-peer technology that stores information on the end user's PC, rather than relying on a server to manage the data. However, the company announced about six months ago that it had added features to give IT administrators more central control over the use and deployment of the real-time collaboration tool.

Documentum, in Pleasanton, Calif., makes document management software, which includes Web content management workflow programs.

According to analyst Dana Gardner at Aberdeen Group Inc. in Boston, the deal is "sort of like a Reese's cup."

It offers the best of both products, because the connection gives users access to Documentum's secure document store, "without being tied to the mother net," since Groove can manage "secure distribution and sharing, regardless of the location of the individual," he said. All a participant needs is access to an Internet connection.

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