President Obama Cares About Records Management – Do You?

Last week, following on President Obama’s memorandum on managing government records, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issued a records management (RM) directive. The directive affects all US government executive departments and agencies and applies to all federal records.

This significant effort to reform RM policies and practices includes a focus on digital government with a requirement to eliminate paper and use electronic recordkeeping where feasible, manage both permanent and temporary email records electronically, and take steps to demonstrate compliance with federal RM statutes and regulations such as designating a senior official to oversee RM programs and proving appropriate training.

The directive also identifies specific actions that will be taken by NARA and other agencies to support federal government records management programs. Critically, these include revised guidance for transferring permanent electronic records; email guidance; research into automated management of email, social media, and other types of digital record content; and embedding RM needs into cloud architectures. Further, it calls for investigating secure cloud-based service options to store and manage unclassified electronic records, and a series of steps to promote partnerships and better serve agencies.

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Symantec Scoops Up LiveOffice

Symantec today announced that it has purchased LiveOffice, a privately-held cloud-based archiving vendor, for approximately $115 million. With nearly 20,000 customers, LiveOffice has historically marketed to small- and mid-sized financial services firms. Over the past couple of years, however, the vendor has steadily bolstered its archiving and broader information governance functionality, lined up productive partnerships with major technology vendors, and met with success in selling to larger organizations across a wider set of vertical markets.

Buying LiveOffice is a smart move for Symantec. My initial take is that this acquisition will be a positive development for current and prospective enterprise customers. Here’s why:

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Message Archiving Software-As-A-Service Adoption Continues To Accelerate

Cloud-based alternatives to message archiving are an increasingly attractive option for enterprise buyers. Budgetary constraints, coupled with increasing compliance regulations and eDiscovery needs, are compelling companies to search for message archiving solutions that offer a broad set of functionality at an attractive price. With today’s extended enterprise, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is top of mind as companies look to garner the cost-saving benefits and deployment advantages that this model can deliver. Strong adoption is well on its way. Among organizations rolling out message archiving in 2011, over one-fifth plan to implement a cloud-based solution, and I expect this number will only grow in 2012. For an evaluation of key vendors and key market shifts, Forrester clients can access the market overview on SaaS-based message archiving that we published last month.

A cloud-based solution is a viable solution for many, but message archiving professionals shouldn’t see these offerings as a panacea. Before embarking on taking message archiving to the cloud, make sure you’ve done your homework on vendor and contractual issues and continue to address the strategy, policy, and process challenges as you would with other in-house alternatives. Whether you’re rolling out your first message archiving solution or are planning to carry over your legacy application, make sure you're taking the necessary precautions to make sure that your implementation is a success.

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HP + Autonomy – What It Means For Archiving, Records Management, and eDiscovery

HP today announced plans for a significant transformation of its business, including a $10.3 billion purchase of technology vendor Autonomy. Upon completion, the deal will bring HP strong search and analytics capabilities and a deep and broad portfolio of eDiscovery, archiving, and records management offerings.

While this purchase holds promise, I’m skeptical about how it will translate to near- and mid-term advantage for enterprise customers focused on information risk management. Here’s why:

  • HP and Autonomy information risk management portfolios have significant overlap. With its TRIM and IAP product lines, HP today offers records management and archiving products. Leveraging a long string of acquisitions, including Meridio, Zantaz, Interwoven, CA Technologies' Information Governance business, and most recently Iron Mountain Digital, Autonomy also sells records management and archiving. Prior to today’s announcement, Autonomy faced some portfolio rationalization challenges. With a broader set of records management and archiving assets after the deal finalizes, HP will face some tough choices in determining which of its product lines will receive corporate investment over the long term. While Autonomy will bring significant new eDiscovery functionality and a rich pool of information risk management specialists with legal expertise, HP and Autonomy records management and archiving customers should be cautious until product direction is clarified.
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Symantec To Acquire Clearwell Systems To Bolster eDiscovery

Symantec announced today that it plans to acquire privately-held Clearwell Systems. The $390 million deal significantly strengthens Symantec’s eDiscovery portfolio. With annual sales of $56 million and more than 400 enterprise and law firm customers, Clearwell has traditionally focused on processing, search, and review to support eDiscovery and has more recently offered collection and preservation capabilities. Symantec and Clearwell have a long-standing partnership with several joint customers across their archiving and eDiscovery offerings.

 My preliminary perspective is that this acquisition will ultimately be a positive move for current and prospective enterprise customers. The three main reasons:

  • The intersection of archiving and eDiscovery is critical. Beyond IT and compliance objectives, easing eDiscovery burdens is a top driver for message archiving adoption. In addition to aiming to cut surging messaging volumes, enabling faster and more cost-effective response to litigation and investigations, message archiving decision-makers seek better integration with eDiscovery applications. In our Q1 2011 Global Message Archiving Online Survey, we found that 82% of survey respondents perceive that provider support for collection, review, and other steps in the eDiscovery process is an important buying consideration. Clearwell's eDiscovery offerings augment Symantec’s Enterprise Vault eDiscovery capabilities.
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Autonomy Purchase Of CA Technologies’ Information Governance Business – Will Customers Benefit?

Autonomy announced today that it plans to acquire CA Technologies’ Information Governance business. The deal, expected to close in Q3, focuses on archiving, records management, and eDiscovery. Given overlaps in the vendors' offerings, I see this as a somewhat surprising move and suggest that customers keep a close watch on how this plays out. 

With this purchase, the major offerings that Autonomy picks up are CA Records Manager (which stems from CA’s 2006 acquisition of MDY Group International) and CA Message Manager (which comes from CA’s 2005 acquistion of iLumin). In 2009, I evaluated records management offerings and rated CA Records Manager as a leader in this category. Forrester clients can access the June 23, 2009, “The Forrester Wave™: Records Management, Q2 2009” report for further details.

From its prior acquisitions of Interwoven in 2009 and Meridio in 2007, Autonomy has two existing records management applications. Largely leveraging its 2007 purchase of ZANTAZ, Autonomy also currently markets several message archiving solutions including Digital Safe (cloud-based archiving solution), Enterprise Archive Solution (on-premise archiving software), Arcpliance (on-premise archiving appliance), and more. After it completes the acquisition of CA Technologies’ Information Governance business, Autonomy will have three distinct offerings for records management and over four for message archiving.

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Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Will Deliver Improved Archiving And eDiscovery

Earlier this month, Microsoft disclosed details on Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) slated to ship later this year. Among the various fixes and improvements outlined in the announcement, Microsoft’s plans for archiving and eDiscovery enhancements caught my attention. Earlier this year, I wrote about Microsoft “dipping its toe” into these waters with the initial release of Exchange 2010, and am encouraged that the vendor is taking the market’s message archiving needs seriously with some promising, incremental steps.

Some of the key archiving message archiving advances planned for SP1 are:

  • Storage flexibility for a user’s Personal Archive. With the initial release of Exchange 2010, Personal Archives can only be stored in the same mailbox database as the original mailbox. SP1 will introduce the ability to provision a user's Personal Archive to a different mailbox database from their primary mailbox, supporting tiered storage options for archived mail.
  • Support for access to a user's Personal Archive with Outlook 2007. In the currently shipping version of Exchange 2010, organizations need either Outlook 2010 or OWA to view archived content. The planned additional client flexibility will be a plus for many, but keep an eye on timing since the announcement states that this will be available in the “SP1 timeframe” (allowing for some vendor wiggle room) and note that Personal Archive functionality in Exchange 2010 currently requires Enterprise CALs.
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Iron Mountain Buys Archiving Vendor Mimosa Systems

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.
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IBM Gets Smart With Its Archiving Strategy

Brian-Hill  by Brian W. Hill

IBM’s announcement this week outlining the vendor’s archiving vision and strategy is ambitious and far reaching in scope. It’s encouraging to see IBM working across its different internal divisions to deliver solutions that address specific enterprise needs (e.g., message archiving, file system archiving, and SharePoint archiving) while providing a framework and a set of capabilities for broader enterprise archiving.

My initial feedback on IBM’s strategic announcements is positive. Here’s why:


  • Information and technology chaos reign today. Enterprises struggle with IT environments comprised of multiple, fragmented archiving, records management, and eDiscovery applications. Historically, organizations have deployed these applications to address specific needs such as message archiving to improve operational performance or records management to meet regulatory requirements for physical records. But because these deployments have typically evolved organically and in isolation from one another, enterprises grapple with fragmentation, with disparate systems that lack consistent policies and entail significant ongoing TCO and legal risk. In our Q3 2009 survey, 60 percent of records management stakeholders rated synchronizing eDiscovery, records management, and archiving during the eDiscovery process as “challenging” or “very challenging.” IBM clearly understands this scenario and is aligning its offerings and messaging to meet these enterprise needs.
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Rush To Records Management Certification

Brian-Hill  By Brian W. Hill

As we get closer to ARMA International's Annual Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida, later this week, it’s likely that we’ll hear a lot about US Department of Defense (DoD) records management certifications. Some enterprises treat DoD 5015.2-STD V3 certification as a “check box” item for RFPs, but for others, such as US federal government agencies, these certifications are required.

Q3 2009 survey data show that in making future records management purchasing decisions, DoD 5015.2-STD V3 certification plays a key role. Forty-two percent of records management stakeholders rate DoD 5015.2-STD V3 (baseline) certification as "important" or "very important" in buying decisions. The comparable figures for DoD 5015.2-STD V3 (classified) and DoD 5015.2-STD V3 (Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act) are 24% and 34%, respectively (see Figure 1). The survey data show that these certifications are more important for government (local, state, and federal) organizations, but not dramatically so. In comparison with their non-government counterparts and with some variation across the specific DoD 5015.2 certifications, 5% to 10% more government records management decision-makers rated these certifications as "important" or "very important."


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