Friday, August 3, 2007

IBM adds to 'information on demand' drive with Princeton Softech acquisition

IBM is beefing up its "information on demand" initiative with the announcement today of its intention to acquire Princeton Softech, Inc.

Princeton's Optim cross-platform data management software will provide a big boost in meeting the needs of data governance, as well as controlling costs from an increase in data volumes. This becomes a primary corporate concern in light of estimates that storage management may soon represent nearly 50 percent of an annual IT budget.

As organizations are required to retain data longer for auditing, cost becomes an issue if archival data remains on operational systems, eating up storage capacity and degrading performance. Princeton's archiving offerings helps remove the data from those systems, while allowing it to still be accessible and usable.

The other prong of regulatory requirements comes with security of data, especially customer information that is deemed private. In addition to the costs of maintaining huge amount of historical data on operational systems, the potential penalties from exposing private customer data can be daunting. Princeton's data-masking capability is designed to preserve data integrity and efficient archiving.

Princeton also provides test data management software that creates test databases, in which sensitive customer data can be masked and the underlying data protected from corruption during the tests.

The acquisition is one of a long string of smaller, often private companies that IBM has been buying to fill out its data lifecycle offerings. As we've said before, getting your data act together is an essential aspect of being able to move to SOA. This purchase seems to buttress that approach.

Princeton Softech, with 240 employees, is privately held, and has been in operation since 1989. No financial details were disclosed for the deal, which needs regulatory approval. Both companies hope the acquisition will be complete within the next two months.

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