EMC unveils new records management strategies

IRM integration allows for better access control and immediate lock-down

EMC has announced a new SOA-based approach to records management, in addition to integrating IRM (information rights management) into its Documentum 5 product suite. The IRM scheme is built on technology it acquired from its purchase of Authentica earlier this year.

“Two years ago EMC set out to re-architect their entire records management system from the bottom up. It’s now entirely built upon the EMC Documentum platform,” said Andrew Chapman, group product manager, compliance, at the EMC Software Group. “It’s all exposed through Web services.”

Gartner analyst Kenneth Chin said it’s increasingly critical for records management products to have integration capabilities and connectors into various applications; content repositories and file stores. “Typically it can be done through APIs and custom connectors, and JSR-170, the standard that enables content repositories to share information,” he said.

The EMC updates improve access control and retention-policy management, allowing users to set policies outside the Documentum repository, and outside the firewall. This is mainly accomplished by setting policies during the content-creation phase and encrypting the content it before it’s exported. To read a record or document, the application -- Acrobat Reader or Office, for example -- must access a central policy server for a decryption key. To delete or deny access to a document, an authorized agent can change access policies or destroy the key.

EMC’s IRM also prevents attempts to alter documents, Chapman says. “You can immediately lock down any content,” he says, including those shared with third parties.

For its part, Stellent, makers of enterprise content management software, is elevating its own profile as a content security company. Last week, it purchased SealedMedia, a London-based encryption technology company, in a deal worth an initial $10 million. According to Stellent CEO Dan Ryan, SealedMedia will continue to be sold as a stand-alone product, but plans exist to integrate enhanced DRM based on SealedMedia’s technology into two of its key products: Universal Content Management and Sarbanes-Oxley Solution.

“It will place an access-control perimeter around the information regardless of its location,” Ryan said.

According to Chin, success will depend in part “on the partnership and levels of integration it has with various application providers. It’s a dramatic shift, and companies are finally coming to grips with content risks associated with moving content beyond a repository.”

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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