IBM ramps up compliance product roadmap

IBM Corp. has announced new automated software designed to tackle records management and compliance issues within the enterprise. The Armonk, N.Y.-based firm also revealed that its new WebSphere Data Integration Suite (code named Hawk) would be ready for beta testing this June.

Available now, the new IBM Federated Records Management technology integrates IBM DB2 Records Manager and IBM WebSphere Information Integrator Content Edition. This integration, IBM said, will help enterprises automate and centralize recordkeeping policies for all distributed content throughout an organization. Documents and records stored in this virtualized environment can be frozen to ensure they remain unaltered and intact during the course of a litigation or audit, IBM said.

According to Stamford, Conn.-based IT research firm Gartner, IT governance has surfaced as a top-five priority for CIOs in 2005, particularly in today’s IT environment where current compliance and regulatory issues have become a top of mind enterprise concern and business continuity requires that enterprises have robust records management strategies.

On that front, IBM has been making moves to grow its market share in this space. Indeed, compliance spending has prompted large enterprise application vendors such as Oracle Corp. and SAP AG to also offer compliance products.

Most Canadian organizations operate within a heterogeneous IT environment — the tools are designed to automate consistent records management policies across diverse and disparate content repositories, said Cindy Taylor, information management executive for Markham, Ont.-based IBM Canada Ltd. Records can be consolidated into an enterprise repository such as IBM DB2 Content Manager or left in their native repositories, but managed from a single integrated records management engine, Taylor said.

The Federated Records Management software allows organizations to automatically track and classify recording using almost any database application. Taylor said that product could be used with content management systems (CMS) including IBM’s DB2 Content Manager and similar CMS systems from EMC Documentum, FileNet Corp. and Open Text Corp.

According to IBM, the upcoming Hawk software tools create a centralized system for information analysis and data cleansing.

The Hawk technology — designed to be the foundation of a unified platform for information analysis, data transformation, and metadata management — was acquired from IBM’s US$1.1 billion purchase of Westboro, Mass.-based enterprise data integration vendor Ascential Software Corp. this past March.

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