EMC has announced that 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 released a new version of its Records Manager software, which was developed by Documentum 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 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, says Lubor Ptacek, a marketing director at EMC.
Peter Weis, CIO at Matson Navigation in Oakland, California, says he's interested in the new functionality for managing financial documents, especially for when his company starts offering shipping services from China.
Matson is a cargo shipper and broker and has annual revenue of about US$1.5 billion. Weis says the company is deploying Documentum products throughout its operations, embedding the software within its accounts payable system and in a new order management system for its truck and rail business.
Ptacek says the unified offering of Records Manager and IRM Services is aimed 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 says. Meanwhile, Records Manager 5.3 was built using service-oriented architecture, making it more modular and easier to integrate with other applications, says Ptacek.
Corporate Express in Broomfield, Colorado, has been using Documentum technology for ten years, according to Bill Morey, director of records management. The US$4.6 billion distributor of office and computer products is now rolling it out enterprise-wide for managing all content on desktop PCs — primarily for compliance reasons.
Morey says he could see his company 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.”
Every major vendor involved in content management is at least thinking about how to incorporate digital rights management technology into their products, says Melissa Webster, an analyst at IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts.
As an example of how the software could be used, Webster says that if a product design company sent information about a planned new product to half a dozen prospective manufacturers, the integrated content and digital rights management tools could ensure that the losing bidders wouldn't be able to make knock-offs based on the original design.