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IBM Expands Ways to Get a Grip on Data

IBM Expands Ways to Get a Grip on Data

IBM is pushing out three new products that promise greater control and stronger management of unstructured data and provide faster data search and retrieval processes.

The Content Collection and Archiving software packages collect, classify and archive data whether it's file systems, instant messaging or email.

The goal? Shoring up e-discovery efforts and gaining efficiency around records management in light of increasing compliance mandates that require enterprises to produce specific data files, IBM said.

The new tools hit the marketplace as enterprises grapple with an ever-expanding pile of data to manage during its lifecycle, as well as more stringent data protection rules.

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A recent study by Enterprise Strategy Group found that businesses' archived data could exceed more than 30 petabytes by 2012, or more than 30 million gigabytes.

Compliance mandates to better document business interactions are helping to more than triple the $1.7 billion market for e-mail archiving technology by 2012, according to a March Radicati study. As one pundit related one legal e-discovery effort to provide one employee's email files, for example, could easily cost $50,000 to $100,00.

Many organizations' needs have outgrown the limited business value of e-mail archiving as they seek better control and management of their content in support of their business goals, said Ken Bisconti, a product and strategy VP with IBM's Enterprise Content Management (ECM) group.

Enterprise content management software lets companies manage their unstructured content, which includes anything from electronic documents such as Web pages and spreadsheets to medical records and audio/video content.

The three products, which integrate with IBM's ECM platform, include Content Collector for Email, Content Collector for File Systems and a Content Collector Enterprise Bundle that collects and manages a mix of content from e-mail and file systems such as Windows NTFS and SharePoint and can work on existing non-IBM ECM systems as well.

"E-mail still makes the business world go around but unstructured data is under scrutiny, given compliance regs, said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT Research. "IBM is building on what it's done with its ECM platform to increase the granularity of data it can handle. Content management is a growing concern and IBM sees value in providing a flexible and powerful content management platform."

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