This week, EMC announced that it plans to acquire privately-held eDiscovery vendor Kazeon Systems, Inc. The deal, expected to close in Q3 2009, grew from an existing EMC-Kazeon partnership and will enable EMC to provide a range of natively developed applications to support eDiscovery needs.
As enterprises work to cut eDiscovery costs, the broader market for mitigating legal risk is expanding at a rapid clip. The market, however, remains highly fragmented, with a mix of big players and a multitude of smaller providers. Over the past couple of years, the market has been going through some growing pains and continues to consolidate. In exchanges with a large number of enterprises, buyers report frustrations in integrating applications that support disparate steps of the eDiscovery process – many are also increasingly questioning the long term viability of some of the smaller providers. As larger vendors look to round out and rationalize their portfolios, this consolidation trend holds promise in potentially easing enterprise eDiscovery integration headaches.
So will this deal prove to be positive for EMC customers seeking to mitigate legal risk and drive down eDiscovery costs? My immediate reaction is that the acquisition will be good for both EMC and its customers in the long term. Here’s why:
Autonomy’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire Interwoven will strengthen its traction in the broader eDiscovery landscape. With the purchase, Autonomy picks up a range of assets, but a key component of the $775 million purchase focuses on new opportunities to mitigate legal and regulatory risk and capitalize on the surging eDiscovery market.
Along with other markets, M&A activities in this segment slowed in Q4 2008, but vendors continued to announce a steady stream of partnerships (e.g., Open Text - Recommind and CaseCentral - CommVault) and significant internally developed offerings. Selected acquisitions in this market include: