E-records management moves front and centre

A raft of new software offerings are taking aim at the growing problem of electronic records management, which as ascended to a top priority for many enterprises in recent years as tighter corporate governance and regulatory scrutiny have increased pressure on the issue.

In fact, e-records management is now an essential purchase for many companies, particularly in the financial, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries, according to Stephen O’Grady, analyst at Redmonk, in Nashua, N.H.

“E-records management is one of few things now where it is not a matter of (a vendor) pitching an ROI story. For many organizations it really is just the cost of doing business – not a choice but a necessity,” O’Grady said.

To that end, Documentum Inc. on Monday unwrapped its Enterprise Records Management Edition, a standards-based application designed to automate and manage all types of records including e-mail, documents, Web content, graphics, video, and physical records, according to Documentum officials in Pleasanton, Calif. The system also features new automatic records classification capabilities that let enterprises automatically determine what is archived and its preferred location.

The Enterprise Records Management Edition is capable of monitoring e-mail environments to capture e-mail and attachments from the system and apply content intelligence technology that can determine what the e-mail is about.

Electronic records management is a natural add on to ECM (enterprise content management), according to LuborPtacek, Director of Product Marketing at Documentum. “We are bringing the discipline of records management and the power of ECM together to handle all business records,” said Ptacek. “Customers need a way to make the content they’ve created using ECM into a permanent record.”

According to Redmonk’s O’Grady, the growing need to control e-records as part of a larger content strategy means many ECM vendors will either partner with specialized technology providers or acquire the functionality outright. “Records management is fast becoming a real differentiator for ECM vendors that can offer that,” he said.

In addition to capturing, storing, and classifying records, Documentum’s Enterprise Records Management Edition allows content and records to be destroyed based on corporate, regulatory, or legal requirements, according to Documentum officials.

Documentum also announced a hardware-level integration with storage vendor EMC to give companies control over long term storage of records.

Meanwhile, data services vendor Surety Inc. on Monday rolled out its AbsoluteProof Solution Suite, which is designed to provide evidence of the existence of any type of electronic record at a fixed point in time. The system uses a Digital Notary Engine to create a unique digital signature for any electronic record, including transcripts, e-mail, spreadsheets, PDFs, and XML files, according to Surety officials in Herndon, Va.

The updated version of AbsoluteProof includes enhanced PDF protection capabilities achieved by embedding proof of document validity within the PDF file itself; HTTPS support designed to make the service easier to use behind corporate firewalls; a new Java software developer kit; and the ability to validate digital documents after their certificates have expired.

Also making news in the e-records management space, Optika Inc. earlier this month took the wraps off its Acorde Records Manager Version 3.0, which is designed to identity, classify, and manage all forms of information from its inception through its destruction or archival. Optika also provides ECM, imaging, workflow and collaboration capabilities.

Furthermore, IBM Corp. recently rolled out Version 2.1 of DB2 Records Manager, featuring support for physical records, an improved administrative client, and support for DB2 UDB. Big Blue also bolstered the API in Records Manager to make it easier for partners to integrate.