Can SealedMedia Compete with
the Giants?"> While many types of technology vendors are telling customers that they can offer businesses the ability to enforce policies and index information about how data is accessed and shared, Everhart contends that having a separate technology onboard to do that work makes more sense. As evidence, he points to his companys larger installations with customers including Telecom Italia, which licenses SealedMedia for 90,000 workers, and the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense.Also being introduced is SealedMedia Express, the companys new line of packaged eDRM tools for use on specific types of business projects. The first of the bundles is aimed directly at companies going through the mergers and acquisitions process.Intel brings Internet, media content providers under the Viiv platform. Click here to read more. Rather than forcing business directors to meet in carefully-guarded rooms to view sensitive documents about each other during the M&A courting process, the package allows companies to share more information electronically, while placing strict controls over the manner in which data can be viewed or distributed. Rhodia, a Paris-based specialty chemicals company, began using SealedMedias eDRM tools in mid-2004 to help share information with its partners and with companies it was looking to acquire. While the firm already used enterprise content management specialist Documentums eRoom software for such communications, company officials said they added SealedMedia to increase security and tracking capabilities. "People working in M&A really appreciate this tool because the security is real, the use of the tool is easy and they can be confident with the confidentiality of the documents they want to share," said Christophe Monch, collaboration service manager for Rhodia. "Bidders like this process because they can see documents without traveling too much, and because they can work at the pace they want." Industry analysts said that SealedMedias technology is viable, based on its ability to be applied at either the software platform kernel or applications level, but observed that the company may have trouble competing with its larger rivals, namely Adobe, EMC and Microsoft, as those companies begin to focus more on eDRM-like technologies. Bill Rosenblatt, a consultant with New York-based Giant Steps Media Technology Strategies, said that SealedMedia clearly has enterprise grade technology, but observed that the vendor will need to make a lot of noise to ward off the larger companies. As a result, he said that the company, and a well-funded new rival Liquid Machines, will likely become acquisition targets themselves. "Id predict eDRM as a big growth market, but the primary hurdle is customer education, as many potential customers dont really know much about it and theres no specific targeted role in a company who would buy this type of thing," Rosenblatt said. "The arrival of Microsoft and EMC in the space is evidence of the opportunity, nailing down the customer remains the tough part." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on image editing and Web publishing tools.