EMC Grabs ProActivity to Enhance BPM Portfolio

ProActivity's BPM software will be combined with EMC's other content management offerings, most notably Documentum.

Data storage giant EMC revealed on June 19 that it has purchased ProActivity Software Solutions, its third acquisition in six weeks.

ProActivity, based in Newton, Mass., is a privately held provider of content management software for BPM (business process management).

ProActivity provides tools to monitor, analyze and optimize business processes that treat business processes as data, not only as pictures or models. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

On June 7, EMC bought privately owned nLayers of San Jose, Calif, which specializes in application discovery and mapping software.

On May 11, the Hopkinton, Mass. company acquired Interlink Group, a privately held IT services firm focused on Microsoft technology offerings.

ProActivity, which has R&D operations in Netanya, Israel, will be integrated immediately into the EMC Software Group, the spokesman said.

ProActivity joins recently acquired Kashya and nLayers to form a foundation of EMC R&D in Israel, which EMC will continue to enhance over time, Chief Technology Officer George Symons told eWEEK.

"ProActivity is a great incremental add-on to what we already have," Symons said. "It augments the Documentum side of the company, in that it brings new functionality to our content management offerings for BPM."

Symons said the numbers in that market "show good growth possibilities, and all these new acquisitions point toward EMCs strategy of providing an enterprise view of your archives."

Symons will keynote the June 20 general session at Storage World in Long Beach, Calif., with a presentation titled, "Intelligent Information Management—Helping ILM Get to the Next Level."

The idea of IIM (intelligent information management), a term coined by EMC and analyst Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, comprises EMCs overall corporate strategy going forward, Symons said.

This patented ProActivity design automates the detailed capture and validation of "as is" business processes, generates graphical process maps on the fly, provides dynamic multidimensional analysis and creates a strategic process knowledge base that can be reused and extended across the enterprise, the EMC spokesman said.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about how EMC is launching products into the Indian market.

The EMC Documentum BPM suite automates business processes aiming to result in shorter process cycles, lower processing cost, improved quality and better adherence to compliance requirements.

The combined EMC Documentum/ProActivity product suite now brings EMC about up to par with competitors in BPM software offerings, said Forrester analyst Colin Teubner.

"EMC/Documentum is not buying this to enter ProActivitys market, which is business process modeling tools; they are buying it to add the functionality to the market that its Documentum product lines already play in, enterprise content management [ECM]," Teubner told eWEEK via email.

"In some ways, this is a catch-up move to FileNet. BP modeling tools are part of a product category usually talked about as business process management suites [BPMS], which includes these tools plus other functionality such as process automation and monitoring," Teubner said.

"Today, FileNet has more of the BPMS components than EMC; after the acquisition, EMC nominally has all the same components that FileNet has."

The acquisition gives EMC/Documentum the strongest process modeling tools from a content management provider, Teubner said, adding that EMC has a serious amount of integration to do before these tools help them win deals over FileNets BPM functionality.

"However, overall, this acquisition demonstrates a more serious commitment to BPM than weve seen in the past from EMC," Teubner said.

"From my talks with them, they seem to be on the right track to appropriately integrate the ProActivity tools into their suite."

/zimages/6/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...