Iron Mountain announced today that it has acquired privately-held archiving vendor Mimosa Systems. The approximately $112 million deal significantly bolsters Iron Mountain’s archiving portfolio with on-premises software for email, file and SharePoint archiving. With the purchase, Iron Mountain also picks up just over a thousand existing Mimosa customers and a good talent pool with expertise in archiving and eDiscovery.
My preliminary perspective is that this acquisition will entail some near- and mid-term bumps for Iron Mountain customers and prospects, but will ultimately prove positive. The three main reasons:
Message archiving remains critically important. Over the past decade, tens of thousands of organizations have adopted message archiving solutions. An array of vendors, providing archiving offerings for Exchange, Notes Domino, and other messaging systems, have helped these buyers comply with regulations, mitigate legal risk, and improve operational efficiency. While the message archiving market is mature, it’s changing and growing at a rapid clip. Although Mimosa made an impressive initial entry into SharePoint archiving last year, message archiving accounts for most of new customers the vendor signed in the last 12 months. With this acquisition, Iron Mountain demonstrates that it understands how important message archiving is to prospective buyers and its strong intent to capitalize on the opportunity.
Gene briefly explores the misunderstanding between “Enterprise IA” and “User Experience IA.” This tension was well characterized by Peter Morville almost 10 years ago (See “Big Architect, Little Architect.” Personally I think it’s clear that content is always in motion, and unsupported efforts to dominate and control it are doomed. People are a critical element of a successful IA project, since those who create and use information are in the best position to judge and improve its quality. Many hands make light work, as the saying goes.
For example, if you want a rich interactive search results page, you need to add some structure to your content. This can happen anytime from before the content is created (using pre-defined templates) to when it is presented to a user on the search results page. Content is different than data, a theme Rob Karel and I explored in our research on Data and Content Classification. For this reason, IA is both a “Back end” and a “Front end” initiative.