Managing more kinds of paper
EMC document archive services for imaging
EMC has announced the EMC Documentum Archive Services (DAS) for Imaging software, the latest addition to its family of enterprise archiving software products.
The offering provides a single, unified archiving platform for customers whose needs include collecting, retaining, securing, and retrieving all types of document images for compliance and legal discovery, content re-use, improved decision-making, and operational efficiency.
DAS for Imaging combines EMC Captiva InputAccel document capture software with EMC Documentum technology and is designed for customers who manage large volumes of paper documents. It converts paper documents to electronic images and enables secure electronic access to stored information while facilitating enterprise-wide search and discovery to eliminate unmanaged archives and minimize document loss.
Like other EMC DAS software, this offering employs a holistic set of retention, storage and security policies and access tools for archiving not just document images, but also enterprise reports, email, and SAP content. EMC's unified archiving software platform is supported by EMC Centera, EMC CLARiiON, and EMC Symmetrix, as well as non-EMC storage platforms. EMC Documentum Archive Services for Imaging is available immediately with pricing determined by configuration.
Separately, the company also announced an enhanced version of its backup solution for the EMC Documentum platform, the EMC NetWorker Module for Documentum. This module provides synchronised tape or disk-based backup and recovery of all EMC Documentum enterprise content management repository elements, including full-text indexes containing index information for documents in the repository, databases containing document information and relationships, storage areas containing content files and information, and configuration files containing Documentum software and configuration files. EMC NetWorker Module for Documentum will be available in June 2006.
Much ink has been spilled over the years about the paperless office. While some may foresee a day where the only paper in the office is that which constitutes the holding tank of a Starbuck's Grande White Chocolate Mocha Decaf, the reality for most is that the office is dependent upon paper-based information for much of its daily operation.
The creation of electronic forms has been a step in the right direction, but there are limitations about where and how these forms can be accessed and the limited support offered for truly free-form information capture. Thus, the demise of paper remains a far-flung notion for most organisations. With this latest offering from EMC we see a compelling approach to managing information that may have started on paper, but still can be of considerable value within the broader enterprise and IT context.
Through its unified archiving platform and related document management software, EMC has created a solution that is well positioned to help reduce the risk of poor information management of paper-based records but, perhaps more importantly, help capture and assimilate valuable information that does not always make it into more centralised electronic information stores.
In theory, this should allow organisations to capture and manage information, such as paper logs of offsite or field employees, or even less structured information such as that of informal information capture executed on a restaurant napkin, alongside existing digitally created information assets.
It is also worthy of note that the combination of Documentum and Captive software EMC acquired is another illustration of the grander vision of EMC, to manage not just storage, but rather information, and in this case, information that did not even start out in a digital form.
Given increased concerns about information management, whether they be for regulatory/governance reasons, or just an example of good business acumen, this latest offering from EMC offers food for thought for organisations as they continue their journey on the information management trail.
Copyright © 2006, IT-Analysis.com 
Clay Ryder is president of analyst and consulting firm The Sageza Group. Prior to founding The Sageza Group, Clay was vice president and chief analyst at Zona Research.