December 17, 2003 6:21 AM PST

IBM sees Green Pasture in document realm

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IBM beefed up its back-end software for managing corporate documents with the purchase on Wednesday of Green Pasture Software, a privately held company that employs about 20 people.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. IBM will begin to sell the Green Pasture software products immediately as part of Big Blue's DB2 Enterprise Content Manager product line, according to IBM.

Corvallis, Ore.-based Green Pasture makes software to streamline the process of compiling and storing complex documents, such as annual reports or insurance claims, which include several components. The company's software is designed to work with other desktop applications, such as Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office, according to the company's Web site.

The acquisition of Green Pasture marks the third content and document management-related acquisition for IBM over the past two years. IBM has singled out content and document management as a key area for investment and potential growth for its software business.

The company earlier this year said it will boost its research and development in the industry by 25 percent and shift about 2,000 people from its information management sales force to content management.

Clear thinking on
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As the market consolidates, here's
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Earlier this year, IBM purchased Aptrix, a company that sells Web content management software. In 2002, it bought Tarian, which sells an application for managing corporate records. The acquisitions are intended to expand IBM's content management product portfolio and complement its traditional strength in files stored in several formats, such as images and audio files, according to the company.

In October, IBM debuted DB2 Content Manager Express, an edition of its content management server aimed at mid-sized businesses, which incorporated the Aptrix and Tarian capabilities.

Prospects for growth are good in document management, according to analysts. With a new set of regulations governing corporate disclosure and record-keeping, corporations are investing in systems that allow them to better control and archive an ever-growing amount of document-formatted information.

There are several specialized document management companies, but analysts expect that larger companies such as IBM, Oracle and EMC will continue to extend the content management features in their back-end databases and storage systems.


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