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IBM to buy Princeton Softech for data management, archiving and classification

IBM today announced plans to buy Princeton Softech -- which makes data management, archiving and classification software -- to bolster its Information on Demand initiative.

IBM's summer shopping continued today as it announced plans to acquire data management software maker Princeton Softech Inc.

The privately held Princeton, N.J.-based software vendor makes data archiving, test data management, data privacy, and data classification and discovery tools. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is anticipated to close later this year. The purchase is the 22nd acquisition intended to bolster Big Blue's Information on Demand strategy and comes shortly after IBM announced plans to buy real-time integration vendor DataMirror.

Princeton Softech will be integrated into IBM's Information Management Software division, according to Bernie Spang, director, IBM data servers. It will be added "as is" to the portfolio, Spang said, and no further product roadmap or integration plans have been released yet.

The Princeton tools primarily enable organizations to better manage data and improve database performance by classifying and segregating data based on business rules, such as the age of the data, and then storing the data in the most secure and cost-effective manner, Spang explained. The real value of Princeton lies in bringing these functions to heterogeneous environments, he said. IBM already has data-archiving tools for its own databases, he confirmed, while Princeton's Optim product portfolio offers the unique ability to support heterogeneous applications and databases.

"We have database archiving tools for DB2 and IMS databases in our portfolio today," Spang said. "Princeton complements that by addressing it not only at the database layer but at the business object layer in the application -- and addressing non-IBM database software as well, such as Oracle or SQL Server. And Princeton Optim has application-aware data archiving -- it supports Siebel, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, SAP, Microsoft is in the works -- as well as custom-application data archiving."

The technology helps organizations manage exponential data growth, especially in the face of new regulatory compliance requirements around data retention and privacy, Spang said. The software's data management capabilities also support enterprise data governance programs.

"Growing volumes of data put a strain on the applications and databases, which can impact performance and can certainly impact cost of the storage hardware and the associated software and people," Spang said. "The ability to archive data that is not used on a regular basis, by moving it out of the operational database, can improve the performance of the application in a way that's efficient and ensures proper maintenance of that data in an archive, so you meet regulatory standards for data retention."

Princeton Softech has more than 2,200 customers, including American Airlines, British Telecom, MetLife and Independence Blue Cross Blue Shield, according to its Web site. These customers will all continue to be supported by IBM after the deal closes, Spang said, and they shouldn't worry about having to migrate or change their environments now, as no further product plans or roadmaps have yet been released. Spang added that the 240 employees of Princeton Softech will become IBM employees upon completion of the deal.

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