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Until recently we've all thought of Iron Mountain as little more than a backup tape shipping and storage business. While offsite maintenance of tapes is a necessary pain of IT existence (and has been a successful endeavor), recent acquisitions and partnerships have demonstrated that Iron Mountain is headed into quite a new arena. The high dollar records management space would appear to be the company's new calling and they've just put some serious resources behind it.Iron Mountain's most recent acquisition is of Accutrac Software whose client-based product, Accutrac XE, performs lifecycle management of records. Iron Mountain will utilize this functionality both internally as well as on-site with their customers. Accutrac XE provides automation tools for indexing and classification, location tracking, discovery, search, query and filtering, retention management, legal holds, query and disposition/destruction reporting. Iron Mountain's entry into the records management space is just the latest in a trend of storage vendors boosting their Enterprise CMS apabilities through acquisition. The trend began back in 2003 when EMC acquired Documentum and continued with acquisitions by Computer Associates of MDY Group International and Xiotech of Daticon. Whereas previously Iron Mountain only dealt with inactive physical records, the addition of Accutrac's core competencies makes it possible for both active and inactive physical records to be managed. Furthermore, Accutrac's capabilities extend even further to enable the management of electronic records including email, office documents and images. If you currently depend on Iron Mountain for physical records management and are concerned about the new direction, you need not worry. Iron Mountain is committed to keeping "business as usual" on the physical records side. However, the ultimate goal is a unified service for the management of both multiple kinds of electronic records and physical records. Overall, this acquisition puts Iron Mountain in a position to take advantage of a dynamic and emerging market, one where large organizations that face many lawsuits and compliance with multiple industry regulations need a one-size-fits-all solution for records management, email archiving, file archiving and storage management. Are you currently a customer of Iron Mountain or Accutrac? Are you looking for a records management solution like the one described above? If so, jump down to the bottom of this page and let us know what you think.