Archiving Market Constricting as Size Gains Importance - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
6/25/2008
05:31 AM
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Archiving Market Constricting as Size Gains Importance

Messages, tracking them, collecting them, monitoring them, and archiving them may be the biggest challenge many IT managers face. Recently, a raft of products emerged to take on those different functions and now they are being rolled into integrated solutions.

Messages, tracking them, collecting them, monitoring them, and archiving them may be the biggest challenge many IT managers face. Recently, a raft of products emerged to take on those different functions and now they are being rolled into integrated solutions.In the past few years, a number of start-up vendors delivered point products to solve specific customer problems. As various archiving areas have begun to overlap, small and medium businesses are in search of integrated rather than autonomous systems. Proofpoint, a provider of email security and data loss prevention solutions, broadened its line via an acquisition of email archiving vendor Fortiva. CommVault, EMC, and MessageSolution are some of its competitors.

Proofpoint and Fortiva have complimentary product lines and therefore can provide customers with more comprehensive solutions. Another plus is they both were heavily focused on the Software as a Service (SaaS) approach, where a third party runs application infrastructure offsite rather than having customers host it on their premises. Small and medium businesses have been attracted to this option because it can reduce their manpower requirements.

The purchase illustrates the rapidly changing market of information storage and retrieval. Google, which acquired email archiving company Postini in September 2007, has been the markets 800 pound gorilla. Small start-ups understand that they need to gain size in order to remain viable, so other vendors may decide to team up as the market evolves. The changes represent a good news/bad news scenario for customers. On the plus side, vendors will be able to deliver more integrated solutions. On the downside, there will be turbulence as these companies go through the reorganization process.

Whom do you rely on now for email archiving? How comfortable do you feel about your vendors future? Do you view the market consolidation as positive, negative, or mixed development?

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