Interwoven ups collaboration ante

Interwoven Inc. on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with knowledge management and collaboration vendor iManage Inc. in a move that underscores the growing importance of collaboration capabilities in content management systems.

The deal is valued at US$171 million and will give Interwoven shareholders a two-thirds stake in the combined company when it closes, probably later this year, Interwoven said. The news follows an announcement earlier this year that the two companies had joined forces to provide customers with a joint content management/collaboration system. The companies released an integrated product, the Interwoven Collaborative Document Management Solution (CDM) powered by iManage WorkSite MP, in April.

“Customers across the board are demanding more comprehensive, end-to-end solutions delivered by a single vendor,” Martin Brauns, chairman and CEO of Interwoven, said in a statement.

In announcing the deal, Interwoven noted that both CDM and iManage WorkSite MP are Java-based and that an integrated offering is already shipping. “Interwoven client services and technical support teams are trained to support the iManage product line today,” the company said in a statement.

In contrast, Interwoven rival Documentum is still in the process of fully integrating the collaboration technology it acquired from eRoom last fall.

Collaboration is becoming increasingly important to content management systems as users look for ways to manage and share their growing amounts of digital content, not only in its final form but also as it is being created, analysts say.

In addition to the integrated product already shipping, the combined companies plan to integrate their existing technologies to enable users to do things such as personalize and find relevant content more easily and to distribute documents and other content developed in a collaborative environment.

The new company will retain the Interwoven name and be headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.

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