This week, Microsoft announced that it will be enhancing the security of Office with the acquisition of Prodiance, kCura upgrades its e-Discovery platform, Autonomy closes acquisition of Iron Mountain’s digital assets and gets DoD certification for Records Manager, while Aveska offers governance for unstructured content in SharePoint.

Microsoft Office Security Enhanced

Microsoft Office is popping up everywhere, and that’s not even in relation to the upcoming release of Office 365, whenever that may actually be. This week, we even find it in GRC, with the announcement that Microsoft is buying Prodiance, a provider of enterprise risk management software.

Price and other details around the deal haven’t been made public, but what Microsoft has said is that it will be using Prodiance technology to bolster security around Office tools, particularly spreadsheets -- probably a good thing if one of the main planks of Office 365 is Office Professional in the cloud.

Spreadsheets and data are key to many organizations' operations, yet they are often created in uncontrolled environments.

According to Holly Thomas on the Office blog, Prodiance will “help customers mitigate the risk and improve data compliance and control” around creating spreadsheets in uncontrolled environments.

The acquisition of Prodiance, she says, enables deeper integration of compliance-related solutions into future versions of Office and SharePoint, namely:

  • Increased security and control over critical business information in spreadsheets
  • Audit trails, policy enforcements and monitoring of documents
  • Risk mitigation and improved compliance through automated risk assessment

That should make a lot more companies happy about the way they using Office. Prodiance has enabled over 100 Fortune 2000 companies to address some of their most complex challenges, including “the world's top computer manufacturer." They didn’t say who that is -- probably afraid of starting a row! -- and we don’t really want to start guessing. Interested in more?

kCura Upgrades Relativity

Meanwhile, kCura (news, site) has announced the launch of Relativity 7, its e-Discovery platform. The release includes improvements to the review experience, enhancements for administrators and case managers, more tools for building custom applications and updates to the user interface. Some of the upgrades include:

  • Keywords are easier to work with
  • Redaction navigation helps users find their work product
  • Email thread display improved via a new script
  • An updated viewer engine provides better rendering of PDFs and certain types of email files

And there’s more to come. V7 is only out and kCura is promising more enhancements in v7.1, although it hasn't said when to expect it.

Iron Mountain-Autonomy Deal Finalized

Just in case there was any confusion around Iron Mountain (news, site) and Autonomy, the companies announced this week that the sale of Iron Mountain’s digital assets to Autonomy is completed.

This has to be one of the quickest deals ever, leaving Autonomy (news, site) with nothing left to do but add them to its own stable. The announcement was made in mid-May, and it has already received regulatory approval.

It’s clearly too soon to guess how this is going to work out and integration will probably take quite some time, but Autonomy's Q2 results are expected to be announced in late July 2011 when the company should provide an update on the progress.

Autonomy Gets DoD 5015.02 Certification

Autonomy was also in the news this week after it announced that it had received DoD 5015.02 certification for its Records Manager.

The certification says that Autonomy’s RM meets the requirements needed to operate in classified or secure environments, although the only thing that is really surprising here is how long it took to get certification.

DoD 5015.02 provides implementation and procedural guidance on the management of records in the Department of Defense. It has long since, though, become more than that and is now recognized as one of the global benchmarks for secure records management, along with other standards such as the European MoReq2 standards.

Aveksa’s Data Governance for SharePoint

Finally, Aveksa (news, site), which provides content access governance, has announced that it has extended its suite of Access Governance automation solutions to include the governance and management of unstructured data.

Aveksa’s new Data Access Governance module provides enterprises with the ability to implement access management and governance for SharePoint and Windows file shares.

It integrates into the Aveksa platform, providing one view of user and group entitlements, across both applications and data.

The governance module will enable users to manage both applications and data through one automation solution, allowing them to more easily meet compliance requirements.