Symantec Acquires Ediscovery Tech

Posted on May 20, 2011 By Stuart J. Johnston

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Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) is bolstering its storage credentials with the acquisition of privately held Clearwell Systems.

Symantec will be paying $390 million for Clearwell in a deal that is set to close in September. Clearwell develops ediscovery technology that's designed to enable enterprises to locate data. Symantec sees the deal as being a natural extension of its existing backup and archiving portfolio.

"This acquisition will bring together the industry's leading ediscovery, archiving and backup offerings to provide the most comprehensive information management solution available," Enrique Salem, president and CEO of Symantec, said on a call with press and analysts discussing the deal.

Salem added that Clearwell's technology will help Symantec customers find the information they are looking for, while eliminating the need for high cost manual discovery.

The overall ediscovery market is an attractive one in Salem's view. He cited numbers from Gartner research that forecasts revenues of $1.7 billion for the eDiscovery market by 2014. The ediscovery market is also complementary to the archiving business which is currently a $2.7 billion market.

"An increase in corporate investigations and litigations is driving a need for organizations to automate and simplify the process for discovery," Salem said.

As to why Symantec chose to acquire Clearwell as opposed to a different ediscovery vendor, Salem noted there were a number of factors he considered.

"We have market leading technology in backup and archiving, so as we looked at the capabilities in the marketplace, we thought about what fits best with what we're doing," Salem said.

From a technology perspective, Salem said that Symantec found that Clearwell's capability to categorize and build an integrated workflow solves the big customer problem of how to get to the data that really matters.

"We found that the Clearwell technology was clearly head and shoulders above everyone else," Salem said. "The other thing is, it's already tightly integrated with Enterprise Vault."

Salem noted that he expected to be able to cross-sell Symantec's Enterprise Vault with the Clearwell technology. In his view, it is a complementary sale and a strengthening of what Symantec is already doing.

"We like to pursue businesses and companies that strengthen our position and bring on market leading capabilities," Salem said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


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