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Posted by Brian Hill on May 20, 2011
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:
As with other technology vendor mergers and acquisitions, I’m sure we’ll see a few bumps in the integration process. For example, today Symantec sells natively-developed and partner-provided offerings for legal hold, collection, and other eDiscovery applications. Clearwell offerings have some overlap so I anticipate a period of assessment and rationalization. The two vendors, however, have joint partners and some existing product integration and Symantec certainly recognizes the importance of the intersection of archiving and eDiscovery. Close proximity may also help with the integration. (Symantec and Clearwell offices are only a few blocks from each other in Mountain View, Calif.) A successful integration is by no means assured, but signs so far are encouraging. I’ll be tracking the progress of the integration and will be interested to see how the Symantec roadmap shapes up and to see what level of support that Symantec and Clearwell customers receive during this transition phase.
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