HP Acquires Tower Software
HP has taken a dip into the acquisitions market with its recent purchase of Tower Software, an Australian Enterprise Content Management Provider. But they don’t call it an ECM acquisition – rather it’s a deal that will help HP expand its reach into the ediscovery and compliance software market. Towers Records Management Software will be integrated with HP’s existing Integrated Archive Platform providing HP deeper capabilities for managing ediscovery and compliance when collecting information. There is already an existing alliance that integrated Tower’s TRIM Context into the Integrated Active Platform. All organizations are aware of the need to for strong records compliance and information discovery with all the regulations out there today. HP is not the only vendor offering integrated, full suite solutions to help in this area. “In reaction to increased business regulation, electronic records management has moved from a back-office task to a business-critical function,” said Robin Purohit, vice president and general manager, Information Management, Software, HP. Another capability that Tower brings to the table that would entice any vendor is their SharePoint integration. Tower’s software is based on Microsoft Technologies and they are a Gold Partner for SharePoint. This integration should enable HP to enter into the SharePoint ediscovery and compliance world as so many organizations have implemented SharePoint in various formats and now need to look at compliance carefully. With the size of HP -- with revenue totaling $107.7 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2008 – one would have thought they would have gone after a larger company than Tower Software. But according to CMS Watch, this acquisition actually makes a lot of sense. As one of the vendors included in their ECM Suites Report, it’s Towers Records Management-centric ECM capabilities that tie in perfectly with HP’s archiving and storage-centric information management software. According to CMS Watch, for HP to become a leader provider of Compliance and E-discovery solutions, they still need to add capabilities in the area of search/discovery. Tower does not provide this functionality, so we could see more acquisitions from the HP camp in the future. The acquisition is expected to be completed sometime in the second quarter of 2008. In the words of CMS Watch analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe, “As acquisitions go this one is not particularly brutal or surprising; Tower was likely to get acquired by somebody, and HP was likely to acquire somebody.” You can learn more about the acquisition on HP’s website.