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CA buys MDY for records retention management

Beth Pariseau
CA Inc. announced the acquisition of MDY Group International Inc., a provider of records management software and services. CA says the acquisition will allow it to offer more storage management products for compliance, corporate governance and legal discovery, similar to the capabilities for email archiving it acquired last year with iLumin but for more types of data.

MDY's products, which allow users to centrally manage physical and electronic records according to retention policies, include MDY Filesurf, which manages both physical and electronic records, including emails and associated attachments, in a "virtual repository," and MDY Conflicts. Law firms have an obligation to verify they can accept a client's business without conflict. MDY Conflicts lets them search against client data no matter where it is to identify existing relationships that could expose the firm to potential ethical conflicts of interest.

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The products will be used to develop a centralized management console for retention and management of multiple types of records, including but not limited to email, CA said. MDY email management, compatible with Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise, will be integrated with CA's Message Manager archiving software from iLumin.

"Instead of managing multiple content types as records with discrete solutions, organizations can use MDY to assign retention periods and centrally track all files and messages," said Brian Babineau, analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

Records and retention management for compliance and legal purposes had long been the domain of content management companies outside the storage space, according to Barry Murphy, senior analyst with Forrester Research Inc., but the market for such products has "exploded" in the past year or so, as storage and archive managers become more aware of compliance issues.

Driving this trend is increased federal and state regulation across nearly all industries, including most recently a series of new federal rules on discovery and retention that will take effect this December (see Updated record retention laws cause groans, June 9).

As a result, according to Forrester's research, the records management market grew from just under $100 million in revenues in 2004 to an estimated $284 million last year. Forrester projects revenues to leap to $709 million this year and hit $1.6 billion by 2007.

"Messaging management with email was the first wave of compliance awareness and the biggest pain point," Murphy said. "But users are also starting to want to expand into managing other kinds of data according to compliance and retention requirements as well."

"ESG believes that 80% of the capacity archived in 2006 will be general purpose files, as opposed to email and database data," Babineau concurred.

This acquisition is a step in the right direction toward addressing those concerns, Murphy said. "With MDY, CA now has the ability to apply retention policies to any type of content repository, including messaging."

MDY comes from a jumbled market space that includes both big players, like EMC with its Documentum suite, to standalone records management startups like Tower, which markets a records and retention management product very similar to MDY's called Total Records Information Management Context. Another small player, Meridio, markets a self-titled product that is primarily focused on the Windows space.

"Of the companies small enough for CA to acquire, MDY was really the thought leader in terms of putting retention management into a records management product," Murphy said. "They weren't the only ones who combined those two things, certainly, but they were among the first."

MDY also has partnerships with several of its own and CA's competitors, including EMC.

"There's a lot of coopetition in this market space," Murphy said. "It's a very blurry place."

Murphy predicted that CA would be seeking more pieces necessary for a complete content management platform in the future, like those EMC has with Documentum and Captiva. For example, last week, CA also extended an OEM agreement with Arkivio Inc. to manage and archive file system data.

"Right now they're going up against Symantec Corp. with its messaging management capabilities," Murphy said. "But in the long run, customers are going to want a more comprehensive set of products if CA is serious about getting into the content management space."

Murphy's prediction, however, was dismissed by CA's senior vice president and general manager of storage Bob Davis. "People are necessarily going to want to have more than one repository for different types of data," he said. "You wouldn't store Web data in an Exchange database, for example. We don't see any point in owning all the repositories -- with MDY, we're giving customers a single pane of glass to use to view the different repositories, regardless of who makes them."


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