Veritas' E-Mail Ammo

The $225 million acquisition gives Veritas KVS' Enterprise Vault, a software application that archives business-critical information held within Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Office and file systems. It indexes the data and automates e-mail discovery for regulatory purposes.

The acquisition also brings Veritas a new weapon to use against archrival EMC, which last year acquired Legato and that company's EmailXtender application, as well as Documentum and its enterprise content management software.

While nearly every storage vendor seems to be in a race to grab information life-cycle management (ILM) leadership, Veritas and EMC seem to be the front-runners, said Pat Edwards, vice president of sales at Alliance Technology Group, a Hanover, Md.-based solution provider.

KVS brings Veritas a big part of the overall ILM puzzle, Edwards said.

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"E-mail is now becoming a mission-critical part of the business," he said. "A lot of end users are interested in hearing what we have to say about e-mail archiving. Their disks just keep filling up."

The key for Veritas is to integrate Enterprise Vault into its product line as quickly as possible, Edwards said. "The integration should be seamless and fast so partners can approach customers faster," he said.

That integration will be quick, especially for the channel, said Julie Parrish, senior director of channel marketing at Veritas, Mountain View, Calif.

The company plans to quickly start using Web-based seminars via its Advantage partner program to show solution providers the KVS technology, and by December plans to offer online sales and technical training, Parrish said.

Enterprise Vault will replace Veritas' Data Lifecycle Manager, an ILM application that has attracted few customers, said Michael Sotnick, vice president of Americas partner sales at Veritas.

While Veritas could potentially have been successful with Data Lifecycle Manager, it would have been a very long road, Sotnick said. KVS "brings us to No. 1 overnight," he said.

Complicating Veritas' march to the top in e-mail archiving is KVS' long-term technology relationship with EMC. About one-fourth of KVS' revenue is related to EMC's Centera content-addressable storage arrays, a relationship EMC executives expect to continue.

EMC, along with most of the storage industry, is not surprised Veritas acquired KVS, said Dennis Hoffman, vice president of product marketing in the EMC Software Group. E-mail archiving was a gaping hole in Veritas' offerings, Hoffman said. "They needed to go after it," he said.