Big Blue Snaps Up Venetica for Unstructured Content Management

Company’s technology will help extend the capabilities of IBM’s DB2 software for documents, images, digital media, and Web pages

Last week, IBM Corp. acquired Venetica, a privately held content-management vendor based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Big Blue is no stranger to the content management space, nor to content management-related acquisitions. In July of last year, for example, IBM purchased Aptrix, an Australian vendor that marketed content-management solutions for Big Blue’s DB2 database.

IBM has kicked its acquisitions in the document management space into overdrive as well. Last December, for example, IBM made its third document-management-related acquisition in two years, picking up Green Pasture Software, a privately held purveyor of document management products. Before that, in 2002, IBM purchased Tarian, a Canadian-based provider of software for managing electronic records.

Venetica markets enterprise content integration software that facilitates access to unstructured information such as business documents, still images, digital media, and Web pages. IBM currently markets a similar product, called DB2 Information Integrator for Content, which purports to do the same thing. Mike Schiff, a senior analyst with consultancy Current Analysis, speculates that Big Blue will use Venetica’s technology to extend the capabilities of DB2 Information Integrator’s content-management component.

Officials say Venetica’s product works with both IBM and non-IBM data sources, including EMC/Documentum, FileNet, Hummingbird, Interwoven, Open Text, and Stellent. Venetica's operations will be integrated into IBM’s Information Integration group as part of its Information Management software business.

Once the acquisition is complete, the company’s technology will be integrated into IBM's DB2 Information Integrator family of products. For the record, Big Blue currently markets two versions of Information Integrator, designed for both structured and unstructured data sources. IBM also markets a dedicated content-management offering (called DB2 Content Manager) along with a lightweight edition called DB2 Content Manager Express.

Officials say that IBM’s ultimate plan is to consolidate down to a single version of Information Integrator running on top of DB2.

“This year, our focus is very much on bringing the two versions together and expanding the reach of what I would refer to our more structured offerings to be able to reach content data,” explained Laura Haas, a distinguished engineer and senior manager of IBM’s Information Integration Development effort, in an interview earlier this year. “What we’re trying to move towards is a single platform so in the future we’ll be going from two separate products really to one. With this announcement, we’re really making it possible for a lot of the integration that needs to occur.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.