autonomy_logo_2009.jpg
The recent release of annual figures from Autonomy (news, site)  indicated that company was in the market for more acquisitions. No surprise then that it has just announced it is buying CA’s information governance business, including CA Records Manager and CA Message Manager.

Like many of such deals, details of the acquisition (which is due to be finalized in the third quarter of this year) have not been released. Both companies say that the sale will not have any major impact on their figures.

However, the acquisition will strengthen Autonomy’s Meaning Based Governance, and with CA’s (news, site)  records manager also available in the cloud, should add further fizz to its already considerable archiving and records management products.

CA Records Manager

CA Records Manager provides federated and physical records management, while Message Manager captures and manages messages based on enterprise and regulatory needs, while the staff currently working in these areas with CA will join Autonomy to provide sales and support to existing and future customers.

It’s also probably worth mentioning too, that Autonomy is a UK company and CA is a US-based company, so Autonomy will also benefit from a deeper market penetration with the deal particularly in the legal, regulatory and investigative markets.

What is also noteworthy here is that CA is selling an arm of its business that only last year it put in the cloud. CA Records Manager enables users to control all content across the system, and enables rapid and easy discovery of all documents regardless of where they are stored. Features include:

  • Automated rules for content and email declaration
  • Single eDiscovery interface and workflow for enterprise content
  • Federated search, eDiscovery and legal hold
  • Retention management for records and work in process documents (non-records)
  • Flexible time and event-based scheduling
  • Repository integrity checking
  • Circulation tracking

So there is some considerable overlap in the capabilities of both these companies in this respect suggesting that the acquisition is about markets and expertise.

Autonomy and the Legal Market

And the  legal products market is a market that Autonomy has made some considerable moves in over the past year.

In January, for example, it released a new eDiscovery solution in the shape of eDiscovery Appliance. The solution is, as is the case with all Autonomy solutions, is powered by IDOL and is scalable across any enterprise.

It added eDiscovery and compliance to the cloud in November offering companies the ability to searched, identify, preserve and collect ESI in the cloud from laptops, desktops and more than 400 enterprise repositories, including file and email servers, archives and Microsoft SharePoint.

Autonomy's Acqusitions

However, it is the acquisition trail that is currently stirring a lot of interest with Autonomy, and while the purchase of CA’s information governance is significant from a product point of view, it is unlikely that it is the focus of the US $910.9 million it raised from a bond issue in February.

Speaking about the annual results published in April, Chief Executive Mike confirmed that Autonomy is in discussions about possible acquisitions in the US later this year. At the time he stressed that they were only in talks and that nothing definite was on the cards although some analysts predicted the purchase of something in the US $2bn range and possibly even into a new line of software.

Again, while the CA information governance deal is significant, it doesn’t have the aura of a real industry game-maker.