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Symantec gobbles up LiveOffice for $115 million

Symantec Corp. plans to use its newly acquired LiveOffice, a cloud-based archiving service, to provide end users with better search and data analysis capabilities for legal documents stored in the cloud.

Symantec announced on Monday it acquired LiveOffice for $115 million, a transaction that was completed on Jan. 13 and now gives Symantec an in-house, cloud-based archiving tool for legal documents, e-mail, file-sharing services and communications on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Symantec and LiveOffice have had an OEM relationship since 2010 and the archiving service was rebranded as in April 2011.

LiveOffice already has some level of integration with Symantec’s Enterprise Vault and Clearwell eDiscovery platform to provide email storage management, legal discovery and regulatory compliance. Now Symantec can more tightly integrate LiveOffice with Clearwell so end users can perform more detailed data analysis and generate narrower results when searching for legal documents. The archiving tool serves as the knowledge repository while the eDiscovery platform provides the analysis capability.

“When you are looking for these legal documents, it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” said Brian Dye, vice president for Symantec’s Information Intelligence Group. “Many times in these cases what you are looking for boils down to four or five documents. If you can get tighter and tighter results, you are transferring less data.”

Symantec also plans to build a common user interface and account provisioning tool for LiveOffice and its anti-spam Symantec MessageLabs Email

“We don’t have a time frame [for delivering the enhancements] right now,” Dye said. “We will have one quickly.”

LiveOffice has nearly 20,000 customers, Forrester analyst Brian Hill wrote in a blog about the deal. The company “historically marketed to small- and mid-sized financial services firms. Over the past couple of years, however, the vendor has steadily bolstered its archiving and broader information governance functionality, lined up productive partnerships with major technology vendors, and met with success in selling to larger organizations across a wider set of vertical markets,” Hill wrote.

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